Clear all

7 results found

reorder grid_view

Help to Keep Going as Long as They Need Me: A Report on Seniors Raising Children

April 1, 2006

This report presents the data from CIR's 2005 survey of 182 Senior Caregivers of DCFS wards, examining the challenges confronting these grandparents and other senior adults as they are increasingly called upon to raise their kin. The findings of this report will assist policy makers and community-based organizations to provide better services, better advocate for their needs of these populations and create better policies and legislating.

Wherever I Can Lay My Head: Homeless Youth on Homelessness

March 1, 2005

Research about the issue of homelessness largely has focused on understanding the characteristics and addressing the needs of homeless adults and families in our communities. Much less research has been conducted to document the characteristics and needs of homeless youth. In recent years, a number of studies have come out in Illinois that address the situation of homeless adults and families as well as youth. Yet there remains a lack of data documenting the perspective of homeless youth concerning their own needs. Providing services that youth report they need can serve as a gateway to other needed services. In the summer of 2003, the Chicago Department of Health sponsored a symposium on the needs of LGBTQ homeless youth. Discussions during this meeting made it clear that assessing the needs of homeless youth would require looking beyond those who were living in shelters, and that the needs of subgroups within the homeless youth population were likely to vary considerably. In response to this need for more information about homeless youths' needs, the City's Department of Children and Youth Services (CYS) partnered with the Night Ministry, an agency with a history of addressing the needs of marginalized youth, to commission the Center for Impact Research (CIR) to conduct a study of the needs of homeless youth in the City of Chicago. The purpose of this study was to learn what the youth themselves identify as their needs, and to understand the differences in these needs among a variety of subgroups-those experiencing their first episode of homelessness, those cycling in and out of homelessness, and those experiencing chronic homelessness. Both the non -profit service providers and the City hope that identifying and meeting these needs not only will act as a gateway to other needed services, but also will expedite resolution of problems that result in homelessness and lead to the establishment of permanent, stable, and safe living situations. With guidance from the Homeless Youth Task Group of the Chicago Continuum of Care 3 and an advisory group composed of government policy makers and program personnel and non-profit agency directors,4 CIR conducted a survey of homeless youth in Chicago between the ages of 14 and 21 during April and May 2004. Twelve youth, nine of whom were homeless, were recruited and trained to interview homeless youth for the project. They conducted 400 interviews with homeless youth throughout Chicago -- at bus stops, fairs and festivals, on trains, streets, and basketball courts, in parks, shelters, schools, homes, drop -in centers, churches, and restaurants. In addition to conducting the survey, CIR interviewed homeless youth service providers, advocates, and public policy personnel working at public and private agencies. These interviews provide further information about the needs of homeless youth and the resources currently available to them, as well as ways that the various systems serving homeless youth might be improved.

Medicare Reform: Widespread Confusion, Uncertain Benefits

February 1, 2005

This report presents the data from CIR's 2004 survey of 600 Medicare recipients about their health care options, ability to access services, and choices about health care spending in the wake of Medicare reform. The findings of this report will assist policy makers and community-based organizations to advocate for programs that will best serve the needs of Medicare recipients.

Community Organizing in Three South Side Chicago Communities: Leadership, Activities, and Prospects

September 1, 2004

This study identifies barriers facing groups and leaders in communities on the South Side of Chicago that limit not only their capacity for organizing but also their ability to attract resources for their work. The findings also provide key data on current activities at the grassroots level, with particular attention to groups and leaders that have the potential to expand the scope of their efforts to larger, community-based initiatives.

Pathways to and from Homelessness: Women and Children in Chicago Shelters

January 1, 2004

For the past several years, the number of women and children seeking shelter from the City of Chicago's Department of Human Services (CDHS) during the warm weather months has far exceeded the supply of shelter beds. Officials at CDHS wanted to know whether this increase was related to external factors, such as the demolition of public housing units, or to public policies, such as women reaching the 60-month time limit for receipt of TANF (cash assistance). The City of Chicago is determined to end homelessness by 2013 with a "housing first" policy, significantly reducing the number of shelter beds and creating interim housing and increasing permanent housing linked with the necessary social services. By providing more stable housing along with linkages to mainstream resources, the City believes that it can better prevent recurring homelessness. Current information about the causes of family homelessness, as well as the needs of homeless women and children, is critical to the City as it implements its new programs. To better understand the situations of the women and children currently homeless, CDHS, in collaboration with the Ounce of Prevention Fund, commissioned the Center for Impact Research (CIR) to undertake a study focused on this population. CIR conducted structured interviews with 45 homeless women living in shelters in Chicago. The study provides critical information and insight that can inform CDHS policy and practice vis-a-vis homeless families in Chicago within the limitations of the scope of the study.

Less Than Ideal: The Reality of Implementing a Welfare-to-Work Program

February 1, 2001

As of December 1, 1999, Options/Opciones, the Center for Impact Research's pilot project designed to address the multiple needs of domestic violence victims who are trying to move off Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and become self-sufficient, completed its first 29 months of implementation. This demonstration project, in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Human Services, Rainbow House, and Mujeres Latinas en Accion (two community-based domestic violence service providers), is located in an inner-city community on the west side of Chicago whose residents primarily are poor and working-class African Americans and Hispanics. Options/Opciones was designed with the belief that TANF policy sensitive to the needs of battered women not only depends on policy changes in the TANF department itself but also requires a supportive service delivery system to be developed, lest already overburdened battered women's services be overwhelmed. Given the new TANF legislation and concurrent work requirements (U.S. House of Representatives, 1996, pp. 26-32), there was a need to develop a service delivery system that could serve far greater numbers of women who are struggling with the coupled problems of domestic violence and unemployment, using the existing service providers within the community and the TANF office as the beginning access point to provide assessment and case management services. This article addresses one basic research question generated by the Options/Opciones demonstration project: Can local TANF offices serve as an effective access point for large numbers of domestic violence victims and survivors who need specialized services to help them address their domestic violence and employment-related needs.

Sweatshops in Chicago: A Survey of Working Conditions in Low-income and Immigrant Communities

February 1, 2000

This report is the first research documenting the extent and severity of sweatshop conditions in the Midwest and the first systematic effort in the nation to document sweatshops across industries. The research is a product of the Sweatshop Working Group, a coalition of 32 community organizations brought together by the Center for Impact Research (formerly Taylor Institute). Data was collected from approximately 800 respondents across 12 immigrant and low-income communities in the Chicago metropolitan area in the spring and summer of 1999.