Chicago Coalition for the Homeless recognizes Chicago Housing Authority CEO for helping citys most vulnerable residents find homes

November 16, 2017 10:35 AM

Press contacts:
Office of Communications – Chicago Housing Authority
Molly Sullivan: (312) 786-3344;
Matthew Aguilar: (312) 935-2646;

CHICAGO (Nov. 16, 2017): Chicago Housing Authority CEO Eugene Jones, Jr. was honored Wednesday by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless for his leadership and commitment to helping Chicago’s most vulnerable residents find a place to live.

Jones received the John “Juancho” Donahue Award at the Coalition’s annual “Victory Celebration” for his commitment to ending homelessness in Chicago and his embodiment of the people-centered leadership exemplified by the late Coalition Executive Director Donahue.

CHA recently developed targeted programs for veterans who served our country and for ex-offenders seeking re-entry into society.

“It is with much gratitude that I accept this award, and I am accepting it on behalf of all of the partners with whom we work and who also understand how important it is to help lift people up and give them what everyone deserves: a place to call home,” Jones said. 

Also recognized were Cook County Clerk David Orr; Robin Ficke, Deputy Policy Director in the Office of the Mayor; Chicago Public Schools principals Anthony Rodriguez, Ramona Outlaw and Douglas Maclin; State Representatives Litesa Wallace, Jim Durkin and Camille Lilly and the Bridgeview Bank Group.

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless said in a statement:

“We are pleased to recognize Eugene Jones, Jr., for this special award. CHA has made great strides under his guidance in removing barriers to housing for people with criminal records. From our first meeting, it was evident that he cared deeply about the issues of homelessness and we are happy to partner with him and CHA.”

Under Jones, CHA’s “Reentry Demonstration Program” was bolstered to make it possible for homeless persons who had certain criminal backgrounds to obtain housing. The three-year demonstration program allows 50 formerly incarcerated individuals to move into traditional public housing or an HCV-assisted unit, while receiving services from their reentry provider.

This demonstration program also allows participants to reunify with their families or to be eligible for housing, providing them with a safe, stable home, support system and foundation to get their lives back on track. 

Also, CHA is a partner in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s pledge to end veteran homelessness in Chicago. In support of that plan, CHA allocated 450 housing vouchers for veterans in November 2015, providing them permanent, affordable housing. That is in addition to the nearly 1,200 VASH vouchers that CHA has issued to support the cause.

The 65th Infantry Regiment “Borinqueneers” Veterans Housing that opened in August 2016 was part of that VASH allocation. 65th Infantry provides low-income veterans with the opportunity to live in a sustainable area and onsite access to supportive services. It is part of the Property Rental Assistance (PRA) program.

It provides 49 permanent affordable rental units for low-income veterans and their families.