Here is the first part of our list of ninety-nine things (places, groups, people, etc) that we like. Our theme for today is Non-Profits and Charities, primarily because we want to make sure these folks get their names out there, but also because it is #GivingTuesday and apparently that means people are looking for worthy organizations to shower with cash today specifically.
Well look no further, below is a well-cultivated list of organizations doing good work in Chicago to make things better for us all. We kept annotation to a minimum, but you are welcome and encouraged to click through to their websites and learn more about them. Most of them fall into one of two categories: 1) “hey, we help queer people/youth live healthier and happier lives”, 2)”hey, we help people gain access to food in the city, either growing it or just in general, yay.” Other than that, there are a couple wildcards.
1. Windy City Performing Arts – the organization in which Kristl and Rachel met, there is an SSAA chorus (Windy City Treble Quire) and a TTBB chorus (Windy City Gay Chorus) and the groups are having their combined concert this Saturday at 5pm and 8pm.
2. Felines and Canines -Edgewater-based no-kill shelter housing ~80 cats and ~20 dogs, they have a safe, beautiful space for animals, and a very high adoption rate.
3. Chicago House – Chicago House and Social Service Agency serves individuals and families who are disenfranchised by HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ marginalization, poverty, homelessness, and/or gender nonconformity by providing housing, employment services, medical linkage and retention services, HIV prevention services, legal services, and other supportive programs.
4. Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois – TJLP is a group of radical activists, social workers, and organizers who provide support, advocacy, and free, holistic advocacy and criminal legal services to poor and street-based transgender people in Illinois.
5. El Rescate – is a project of the Puerto Rican cultural center that provides identity-affirming housing to homeless LGBTQ youth, some being HIV positive, and support services to assist with their transition to independence.
6. ONE Northside - is a community action organization composed of community members (like churches and credit unions) as well as concerned individuals that work with lawmakers to make social change.
7. Project Fierce – Project Fierce Chicago is a grassroots collective of radical social workers, housing advocates, and young people who are working together to establish identity-affirming transitional housing in Chicago. Project Fierce’s mission is to reduce LGBTQ youth homelessness in Chicago by providing transitional housing and support services to homeless LGBTQ young adults.
8. The Night Ministry – The Night Ministry is a Chicago-based organization that works to provide housing, health care and human connection to members of our community struggling with poverty or homelessness. Through the Night Ministry’s Health Outreach Bus, Youth Outreach Van, and Youth Shelter Network, they work on the ground in Chicago neighborhoods to reach adults, teens, pregnant and new moms who have nowhere else to go.
9. Howard Brown – Howard Brown Health Center exists to eliminate the disparities in health care experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people through research, education and the provision of services that promote health and wellness.
10. Chicago Women’s Health Center – Chicago Women’s Health Center facilitates the empowerment of women and trans* people by providing access to health care and health education in a respectful environment where people pay what they can afford.
11. Greater Chicago Food Depository – The Food Depository, founded in 1979, makes a daily impact across Cook County with a network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, mobile programs, children’s programs, older adult programs and innovative responses that address the root causes of hunger. Last year, the Food Depository distributed 67 million pounds of shelf-stable food, fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 154,000 meals every day.
12. Care for Real – They help those in the Edgewater community by providing food, clothing and counseling services to those in need. They have on-site food distribution, deliveries to the homebound, a free clothes closet and a case-management program to help clients connect with other services they may need.
13. Greenheart Transforms – Greenheart is a nonprofit committed to connecting people and planet to create a more peaceful and sustainable global community.
14. NeighborSpace – NeighborSpace is the only nonprofit urban land trust in Chicago that preserves and sustains gardens on behalf of dedicated community groups. We shoulder the responsibilities of property ownership so that community groups can focus on gardening. NeighborSpace-protected gardens give young and old alike an opportunity to get their hands in the earth and enjoy nature, right in their own neighborhoods.
15. Peterson Garden Project – hosts community gardens all over the northside of Chicago, recently opened a community kitchen in Edgewater.
16. Advocates for Urban Agriculture – Advocates for Urban Agriculture (AUA) is a coalition of individuals, organizations and businesses working to support and expand sustainable agriculture in the Chicago area, from home- and community-based growing to market gardens and small farms.
So, that’s our curated list. Did we miss any of your favorite organizations? Are there sustainable or queer organizations that you feel absolutely should be on this list? Please leave a comment or let us know on Facebook or Twitter. We are always excited to learn about more enlivened non-profits doing good work in Chicago. Or maybe Chicago isn’t your home city, but you want to let us know what is going on in Portland or New York. Start the conversation. We’re listening!