Earlier this week, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless visited Alternatives, Inc.’s Wicked Truth and Youth Advisory Board summer program.  Organizer Hannah Willage accompanied Sonovia, her two sons, and Cassie, who had each previously experienced homelessness. After sharing their stories with the youth, Sonovia and Cassie took questions and helped facilitate a deeply moving conversation about the pervasive presence of homelessness–especially among youth–in Chicago.

In their own words, the youth of Wicked Truth and Youth Advisory Board invite you to respond with them to Sonovia and Cassie’s stories:Sonovia

Meet Sonovia: She had been homeless 20 years of her life and she never once realized it until 2010.

It was the 1980s. Her story started at the age of 11 when she had to move in with her grandmother and take care of the people she now called family. When she finally got the courage to seek help in the 1990s from the government, instead of housing they took her two children away from her. That’s where her downward spiral started with drugs and depression. She survived on the, streets witnessing people on drugs and being killed… even inside prison…


Meet Cassie: She had been homeless since the age of 17 when her mother died.

Living on the cold streets of Chicago and couch-surfing in Joliet, she has been struggling to feed herself and her brother. Fighting to make ends meet, living in her car, surviving shootings in a trap house…


Meet 20,000 students experiencing homelessness at this very moment. They are in our schools, our streets, and going through the same things that these two women went through. The number of homeless people has tripled over the last three years. Like Sonovia and Cassie, most of them don’t even realize they are homeless. They don’t even know there are places where they could get help. They are homeless but scared to seek help from anyone… they continue to live out the lives of young Sonovia and Cassie.

Being homeless is not permanent. It does not have to be. Most just need a second chance. And you can lend some help. Chicago Coalition for the Homeless is an organization that helped Sonovia and Cassie with their second chance. The organization is made up of people just like you, so join and contribute to reduce homelessness in Chicago and give a second chance to someone who deserves it.


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