WHAT WE DO
After over 20 years of teaching at CPS, earning a master's degree, and being a homeowner, Queen (pseudonym) lost everything after the sudden death of her son and became homeless. Queen suffers from mental illness due to various traumas including rape, sexual, and physical abuse. At the age of 18, Queen found herself in and out of mental institutions and jailed numerous times for drugs. Queen survived the streets, drug abuse, mental illness, sexual assault, and homelessness to now being a retiree with a pension and getting her own apartment in a senior citizen building.
Kevin 21, hails from Mexico. He came to Chicago with his mother as illegal immigrants and eventually they both became US citizens. His mother died from cancer a couple of weeks ago and Kevin suffering from being street homeless and an alcoholic. He wants to get services for his alcohol issue and to live at Pacific Garden Mission. The dilemnia now is getting his state id which was stolen.
There are over 34,000 registered sex offenders across Illinois. Unfortunately there are limited homeless shelters for sex offenders leaving them to live on the street as this man from China. He came to America, and committed an illegal act, paid his dues and now an Illinois sex offender who also is homeless in Chicago. He also was denied using his passport back to China as a result.
Joey the Clown - Joseph Nechtow his real name, owns a business in Chicago called Joey the Clown, in which he provides entertainment mostly for birthdays. Now that Coronovirus is upon us, Joey the Clown just added a new mission which is to make people laugh and be happy despite this crisis. Joseph is street homeless and says he never lost his happiness despite his own issues. He has a Bachelors degree
from University of Colorado in Human Service. For now, Joey the Clown says, "Dont worry keep laughing."
Always smiling and kind, Jose who receives a monthly SSI check, Link Card and Section 8, became homeless and living in a shelter because of issues with alcohol and poor money management causing him to not pay his rent. He however accepted services for alcoholism and is now in his own apartment.
Maurice who was having issues with alcohol and hails from Puerto Rico, became street homeless in Humboldt Park for 3 years after his wife threw him out their house and then she divorced him and moved. Maurice was not accepted into Chicago shelters because of refusal to stop drinking.
Jerrell became homeless in Chicago in 2015 with issues from drugs and no employment. He was also 2 years away from receiving his college degree from NIU in Engineering. Hopefully today he is well and living a productive quality of life.
Bette is from Ghana in the Continent of Africa. Due to a thing called life, she had no job, no money, no family here in the United States and no place to stay. She was homeless 4 years living on the street and in Chicago shelters. She accepted needed social services and is enjoying life now in her own apartment.
Pat was living on the street 3 years ago in a wheelchair in a viaduct severely mentally ill and abuser of drugs during a brutally cold winter with risk of frostbite and amputation. The Bedrock Movement social worker petitioned him into services at an area hospital. Today he is off the street living in an assisted living arrangement.
Global homelessness in Chicago is represented through Sweden, The Caribbean and Italy as these 3 came to Chicago on vacation and ended up street homeless and unemployed living at Pacific Gardens Mission for 7 months. Now they are back living with their families in their respective countries.
Birdman was once the most infamous and notorious leader of a popular and violent Chicago street gang. Birdman has been in and out of jail, has had issues with drug abuse, has experienced mental illness as well as homelessness. Today he has a job and and doing his best to lead a productive quality of life one day at a time.