What's The Answer?

Every night in Chicagoland over 125,000 men, women and children can be found sleeping in alleys, under viaducts, in abandoned homes, in parks, empty garages, subway trains – wherever they can find shelter. They are part of a larger, tragic trend: in the United States an estimated 1,500,000 are homeless, half of them chronically. Imagine what life must be like for these people on cold winter nights in Chicago and their feelings of hopelessness!  

Have we not all at some point felt that twinge inside as we pass by the homeless on the streets and see their miserable condition, perhaps looking into their desperate eyes as we fish for pocket change—or perhaps (more often) averting our gaze as we quickly walk by? We want to help, but we are not sure what the best way is. So what is the answer?



What Is The Question?

As we know, we can’t find the right answers until we start asking the right questions. In this case,  the first question is “what are the root causes of homelessness?” A major one is substance abuse, which affects between 70-90% of our homeless population. If we are going to substantially solve the problem, the underlying issue of substance abuse must be addressed. We have found the right recovery program to solve this problem—Illinois Shelter & Recovery Services, Inc.

What Is Illinois Shelter & Recovery Services?

Founded in 2007, Illinois Shelter & Recovery Services, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating the problem of homelessness in Chicago by offering basic and substance abuse recovery services of indigent and homeless men  and women. 

Where We Deliver

Illinois Shelter & Recovery Services breaks the cycle of homelessness and addiction. It is cost-effective, less than $25 per person, per day as compared to $250-$1000 per day for other treatment programs. There are no financial commitments for the client - the only requirement is their concentration of recovery and the program. We help our clients find free health care and any required medications. An average range of a stay is six to nine months while we provide recovery and comprehensive care addressing job placement, housing, education, assistance with legal and medical issues, and family reunification.


What Makes Us So Successful?

Illinois Shelter & Recovery Services breaks the cycle of homelessness and addiction.

Distinctive factors that contribute to its success include:

  • It is cost-effective: less than $25 per person, per day. This program will ultimately save taxpayers millions of dollars in ER visits, health care and judicial system costs.
  • There are no financial commitments for the client- the only requirement is their willingness to focus on recovery and the program.
  • Since funds to pay for these services are privately raised, insurance companies are only involved as donors. Because of this difference, instead of 2-4 weeks offered by most treatment programs, the normal stay is six to nine months.
  • The whole person is addressed including recovery, education, legal and medical assistance, housing, job placement and family reunification.