Housing Forward's clients are a varied group. They include those who are temporarily down on their luck, and those who are expereince chronic homelessness. They are victims of circumstance, domestic violence, mental illness, substance abuse. They are unemployed and unskilled, medically indigent and underinsured, and developmentally delayed. But they have one thing in common; they are homeless and extremely low income. They are people with urgent essential needs for food, shelter and safety, and for connections with community support systems to resolve underlying causes of their homelessness.

There are numerous, documented reasons for financial and housing crises -- lack of affordable healthcare, lack of affordable housing, lack of a livable wage, substance abuse, mental illness, domestic violence, forced eviction and foreclosures, and so on. If not resolved quickly, these become chronic, escalating issues not only for the individual but also for the community. Housing Forward provides a continuum of solutions that spans six service offerings, to address our guests' varied needs no matter their circumstances or level of self-sustainability.

Since 1992, we have served more than 17,000 people.

Janiyah's Story

“My goal is to break the cycle, so my son doesn’t go though what I went through.”

Read Janiyah's Story's Story

Joanne's Story

“I felt like I had been waiting forever, and it happened in a split-second.”

Read Joanne's Story's Story

Elizabeth's Story

The Interim Housing Program is amazing.

Read Elizabeth's Story's Story

Rousse's Story

"Helping is what family is all about."

Read Rousse's Story's Story


I never wanted anyone to guess I was homeless but I was so tired.

Read Eduardo's Story


"I don't know what I would have done without Housing Forward."

Read Donna's Story


I’m so proud of the positive steps Ronald has been making. We believe in him and know he will keep on winning.” ~Dannette Kennedy-Salaam, Diversion & Outreach Specialist

Read Ronald's Story
Employment Program

P. J.

"Life keeps getting better and better."

Read P. J.'s Story


“I learned how to be responsible at Housing Forward.”

Read Yvonne's Story

Jay and Lisa

Together—we can disrupt homelessness.

Read Jay and Lisa's Story


This is the first time in a long time I’ve felt like a real person.

Read Andrew's Story


There's a lot of stygma around going to a homeless shelter, especially with a family. I didn't know there were other ways Housing Forward could help.

Read Juanita's Story


“Parents bring their kids along to volunteer in the shelter, and they let them interact with us, which means a lot when you’re used to sometimes being treated like trash.”

Read Gregory's Story


"Sometimes a person has to suffer a breakdown before they can have a breakthrough."

Read Adar's Story

Sarah and Evan

“Housing Forward helped me and my baby get back on our feet. I have hope for the future and know I have the support of my case manager to help me through."

Read Sarah and Evan's Story


"Because of Housing Forward and the caseworkers and outreach team, I was able to move out of my friend's garage and into my own apartment. Now, my health has improved enough that I no longer need an oxygen machine."

Read Linda's Story


I am so grateful to those who help people like me behind the scenes including the donors. I hope they realize the value of their support in the lives of those they touch.

Read Theodore's Story


I don’t know what we would have done without the help from Housing Forward and their dedicated staff. Thanks to them, we are now stable and able to continue living in our apartment.

Read Doris's Story


It’s been rough, but I’m in good hands with a good organization. The people at Housing Forward are wonderful. They’re helping me and my children get back on our feet.

Read Chris's Story
Prevail Oak Park


"The Prevail program provided hope, week after week, month after month, gently walking me through the process until all the pieces were in place.”

Read Lane's Story
Housing Forward


Losing my home after working for nearly 30 years was the lowest point in my life. I never expected to have to sleep in a shelter with dozens of other people. For the first few months, I was in shock. The staff at Housing Forward understood this, and worked with me at my pace to connect me with the services I needed to regain stability in my life.

Read Jeff's Story
Housing Forward


I had been living on the street and in shelters for so long that it had become normal to me. When the Outreach team talked with me the first time, I didn't expect to be housed, and didn't want their help. They kept coming back, though, and I'm glad they did. Now that I have my own apartment again, I recognize how much I needed a helping hand.

Read Brandon's Story


Housing Forward gave us so much more than a home and hope for the future. Housing Forward gave us back our dignity. For that, we will be forever grateful.

Read Suzanne's Story
Prevail Oak Park


"I never thought I would be needing this kind of service, but it only takes one situation in life to change your status. I am just grateful knowing that I could come to one place and get all the service I needed."

Read Erwin's Story