Every Wednesday evening, The Chicago Help Initiative (CHI) gathers at the dining hall at 721 North La Salle Street to serve a warm meal to 130 guests in a safe and dignified setting. An additional 65 individuals receive a bag meal to go. The nutritious and delicious food is provided by local restaurants and hotels from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and River North areas. Before dinner, a speaker gives a brief presentation on resources on finding temporary shelter, housing, medical care or job training. During the meal, guests share fellowship and have an opportunity to visit resource tables staffed with volunteers who maintain listings on a wide variety of services, including shelter, legal aid, medical care and job opportunities. Guests are given an opportunity to participate with several ongoing programs after dinner, including literacy, gardening, art classes, smoking cessation and bicycle repair.
It is CHI’s mission to assist our guests in bettering their lives and becoming contributing members of the community once again. We have only one paid staff person supported by interns, but every meal is served with upwards of 25 volunteers.