Demand for charitable donations rising as temperatures continue to drop

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As the people and even some dogs of Chicago tried to shelter themselves from the cold during their daily routine, the line outside Catholic Charities grew Monday night.

In the past month, Routine for Andy Williams, and others in Chicago’s homeless population, boils down to shelter– warm shelter.

“It’s non-stop. Feels like, the last month and a half.”

John Ryan’s worked at Catholic Charities for 11 years. This winter, this economy is proving to be an unfortunate perfect storm for thousands in Chicago. Demand has doubled.  Donations have not.

“We have staff going out there 24 hours a day doing well being checks, bringing homeless into shelters and warming centers.”

This winter has been a struggle.

Tenisha McMillen, one of Chicago’s working homeless, came on Monday not for shelter, but a scarf and new shoes.

“Hopefully somebody tells you there’s a place like Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, different shelters that having open clothing closets, to help you find the things that you need.”

“So we’re trying to keep up. Our staff is working a lot of hours and they enjoy doing it. It’s their mission and we’re going to continue to do it,” Ryan said.

It’s not an enviable position to be in– having unprecedented demand for your services when you’re not expecting it, that’s what charities are facing this year, in this weather.

As Chicago’s cold continued into another week, the heated demand at Catholic charities pressed on.

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  • Kristine Kappel

    Please know that Catholic Charities helps anyone in need, regardless of background. More than 1.2 million people were supported by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago in Cook and Lake counties last year. Thank you for your support.

    Kristine Kappel
    Spokesperson, Catholic Charities

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