Frequently Asked Questions

How can I volunteer my time to support La Casa Norte’s clients?

To find out more about volunteering at La Casa Norte, please click here

How can I donate to support La Casa Norte’s programs?

Our donors enable us to provide critical services in the community.  Thank you for making the commitment to a monthly or one-time donation by clicking here.

How can my group or company get involved?

We have various opportunities for larger groups to get involved once, or on a continuous basis.

If your group would like to volunteer with us, please click here.

If your group would like to donate, please click here.

If your group would like to host a food or supply drive or support in any other way, please email and tell us how you would like to support our efforts.

How can I find out more about La Casa Norte’s programs and services?

The best way to find out the most updated information on the programs and services we currently offer is to call or come to our main office at:

La Casa Norte Main Office

3533 W. North Ave

Chicago, IL, 60647


Why are people homeless?

There is no single reason why people confront homelessness.  It is often a complex web of barriers and challenges in which our clients must draw upon their own resiliency to move beyond their circumstances.   A few characteristics of those experiencing homelessness include:

  • Many people suffer from physical or mental health conditions and are not able to access appropriate care.
  • People often experience homelessness as a result of escaping domestic violence.
  • Those released from jail or prisons frequently have no place to go.
  • Many times youth leave because of abuse in their homes or are forced to leave because they are pregnant or lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender.
  • Language and cultural barriers, as well as lack of legal documentation often interfere with one’s ability to secure income and housing.
  • Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders encounter many challenges in securing stable housing.
  • Often times, chronic substance use can interfere with one’s housing stability and people are in need of assistance when seeking treatment.

*The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless reports 116,042 people in Chicago experiencing homelessness during the 2012-2013 school year and only 2,260 emergency shelter beds available.  Click here to read more.

How long are people usually homeless?

The length of time people are homeless can vary and are often referred to as:


Episodic is used to characterize families and individuals who go in and out shelters.  These people are often young and leave shelters when they secure income or stay in shelters on a seasonal basis.


Transitional is a term often used to describe when families or individuals become homeless as a result of some sort of health, financial, or housing crisis.  They usually stay in shelters for a few months and then transition into some sort of short or long term housing.


Chronic homelessness is when families or individuals have experienced homelessness for a year or more, or they have been homeless for at least a year or on more than three times in the last three years. People live on the streets, are doubled up, sleep in a car and sometimes multiple shelters.

What is La Casa Norte doing to end homelessness?

Homelessness is a multifaceted social problem that requires strategy and dedication from various service providers and the community to implement solutions.

La Casa Norte is dedicated to a “housing first” model and Chicago’s Plan To End Homelessness 2.0.  We aim to provide housing opportunities and resources so our clients are able to secure the safest and most appropriate housing possible.  Our programs provide clients with:

-Emergency Shelter Beds

-Transitional Supportive Housing

-Permanent Supportive Housing

In addition to housing, we believe that when the basic needs of our clients’ are met through supportive services, they are be able to focus on goals that will lead to long term stability. Therefore, we provide crisis intervention, therapy, employment support, case management, transportation assistance, advocacy, nutrition, and other services to support our clients as they reach their goals.

Someone I know is in a housing crisis, at-risk, or currently homeless.  What do I do?

Many of our clients need to be referred through the City of Chicago’s’ homeless prevention hotline.   Try calling 311 to inquire about who is eligible for the various services offered through the city.

While some of our programs are currently full or have a waiting list for those seeking permanent or transitional housing, we still offer various services throughout many of our facilities. Even if someone is not eligible for one of our housing programs, we can still offer referrals that assist people in stabilizing their housing situations.

At our main office, we provide information and resources for both internal and external programs to support people in a housing crisis.  We also provide free access to computers, fax, a phone, and a clothing closet to assist people in the community.

For more information, please contact us at 773-276-4900 x204 or email us at

I am a young person and can’t go home.  How can I seek services from La Casa Norte?

Supportive Services

La Casa Norte offers drop-in centers where youth can obtain services and resources to assist them with finding shelter and housing.

Drop-In Center Locations

Casa Corazon West Drop-In Center

(Please call for hours)

3543 W North Ave

Chicago, IL, 60647

Casa Corazon Back of the Yards Drop-In Center

(Please call for hours)

1736 W. 47th St.

Chicago, IL, 60609

For hours or more information, please contact our main office or program staff at 773-276-4900 (x246) or email

Emergency Shelter

La Casa Norte offers emergency shelter beds on the west and south sides of the city. These programs are open to all genders, ages 18-24 and provide overnight shelter on a first-come, first-serve and night-by-night basis.  Youth receive both dinner and breakfast during their stay.


Logan Square Emergency Beds Program

1940 N California

Chicago, IL, 60647

Back of the Yards Emergency Beds Program

1736 W. 47th St.

Chicago, IL, 60609

More information is available through our youth drop-in center listed below or by contacting our main office at 773-276-4900 or email

Transitional Supportive Housing

La Casa Norte offers housing to male-identified youth ages 18-21 who are experiencing homelessness.   Residents can live at Solid Ground for up to two years or until their 21st birthday.  To enroll on the waiting list or inquire about other options, please call 773-276-4900 (x241) or email

What rights do students who are homeless have under the law?

Portions of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act provide that states must give support so that students who are homeless have the same opportunities as other students.  Under this portion of the law, students who are homeless must be allowed to remain at the schools they attended when they were housed, and must be given transportation assistance to do so.  They must also not be prevented from enrolling in school due to a lack of documentation or immunization records.  Read more on the rights of students who are homeless here.

What is “harm reduction?”

Harm reduction is a model used to support people in making a change in their behavior or life circumstances.  This idea assumes that change does not always happen right away.  People often take steps in many directions as they seek to transform their lives.

La Casa Norte aims to meet clients where they are currently at in their own process and believe that reducing high-risk behaviors is the best way to support them in their efforts.  We use the harm reduction model as a guiding principle in our work and do not hold that any particular change is the only appropriate goal.  It is our mission to work with clients in identifying the goals they value and are ready to consider in their life.

For example, Lydia is a single parent of two children and has struggled with depression and alcohol use in the past, stemming from the time her husband was killed in a car accident 5 years ago.  Lydia came to La Casa Norte looking for support after she got laid off from her job and she and her children were evicted from their apartment.   She could no longer afford mental health services or medication and though she had been clean for almost 2 years, Lydia began using alcohol again.

It is our goal at La Casa Norte to work with Lydia in identifying appropriate housing, and work with her to secure an income to support her long-term stability.  If Lydia decides to use alcohol, we will not deny her services.  Rather, we aim to support her in obtaining the necessary resources and mental health treatment that will allow her to make progress towards her goals.

What is “trauma informed?”

We understand that our clients are often impacted by complex trauma and that confronting homelessness in itself is traumatic.  Our goal is to provide services in a manner that is present to how trauma affects our clients’ survival skills, sense of safety, learning style, and ability to achieve their goals.  Our trauma informed perspective allows us to better understand why our clients do what they do, and how we can sensitively and effectively work with them to build positive relationships and make positive changes in their own lives.

How much does it cost to live in Illinois in a market rate apartment?

A study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that someone must earn $17.02 an hour or $35,392 annually to afford a 2-bedroom market rate apartment costing $885 a month.  This assumes this person is working 40 hours a week for 52 weeks out of the year and spending 30% of their income on housing.  A household must have two full-time members earning the $8.25 minimum wage to be able to afford market rate housing in Illinois.

Find out more by clicking here



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La Casa Norte - 3533 W. North Avenue / Chicago, IL 60647 / Telephone - (773) 276 4900 / Fax - (773) 342 4253