Non-Congregate Shelter for Families

Imagine the benefits of a non-congregate shelter for families experiencing homelessness! Picture a welcoming shelter space offering families individual hotel-style rooms with a toilet, sink, and shower in each room. The Non-congregate model shelter affords moms, dads, and kids greater privacy, dignity, and wellness.

Studies show that more families move from homelessness to permanent housing from non-congregate shelters, but the benefits start long before families move into their new homes. The following are just a few scenarios. Parents with teens would have a chance to retreat into a private space to nurture their relationships with each other. Also, families with members who have special needs or disabilities would have better health and emotional balance. It is not uncommon for a parent to bring a newborn into the shelter, an individual room would produce healing, rest, and recovery for a mother and newborn, reducing physical and emotional exhaustion.

Shelter guests will still have ready access to their case managers and other CCO staff. Research shows that guests in non-congregate shelters have a higher rate of staff engagement. Families benefit when parents access assistance and get help to stabilize their future.

Cornerstone endeavors to provide the very best shelter experience to vulnerable families experiencing homelessness. Over the years, all of Cornerstone’s shelter spaces have had construction renovations and upgrades. As a result, some shelter programs have semi-non-congregate rooms, offering families private rooms with shared bathroom facilities.

Through your ongoing support, Cornerstone will continue to welcome families of all sizes and descriptions into safe shelter spaces with wrap-around services. We believe everyone can benefit from non-congregate shelter units, and Cornerstone hopes to make this advantageous shelter model a reality.

Together, we can provide and improve shelter facilities for families experiencing homelessness!
Click here to donate today.

New Sponsorship Opportunities

Bring the Happy and Sponsor a CCO Event!

Cornerstone is rolling out new sponsorship opportunities and packages for events at CCO. Events and celebrations are an important part of the wholistic care that CCO provides to our clients. Become a supporter of Easter Baskets, Back to School, Halloween and Christmas events at CCO. You can . Backpacks, shoes and socks for Back to School; costumes and prizes for Halloween; Christmas gifts for each child, parent or guardian, man and woman sheltered at Cornerstone.

Easter Baskets

Easter is hopping our way! Click here to visit the Easter Amazon Wish List and shop for Easter goodies that will put smiles on the faces of children staying at CCO with their parents. A simple Easter basket with treats and toys could create a delightful memory for a child at CCO. 

Back to School

Every year Cornerstone hosts and event for our resident children who are returning or just starting school. CCO provides the students with new items such as backpacks, school supplies, shoes, underwear and socks. Giving them a fresh start for the new school year. Cornerstone has set up an Amazon wish list for the needs of this event. Go here to purchase items to give these kids a new start on their school year.

CCO resident children receiving school supplies and new backpacks at The Cornerstone Community Outreach Back to School Celebration.

Back to School Party 2024
August 14, 6:30PM – 8:30PM

Back to School Amazon Wish List

If you would like to sponsor this event beyond the Amazon Wish list, please refer to our sponsorship page for sponsor tiers. Monetary sponsorships for this event needs to be received by June 3rd.


For children and their families at CCO, being able to participate in national celebrations is so important to bring normalcy and connection to society around them. Every year Cornerstone hosts a fun Halloween party with costumes, games, treats and dancing! It is a good time for all. If you would like to help with this event, please go to the Amazon Wish List and purchase items like costumes, treats, prizes and games.

Family Halloween Party 2024
October 29, 6:30PM – 8:30PM

Halloween Amazon Wish List

If you would like to sponsor this event beyond the Amazon Wish list, please refer to our sponsorship page for sponsor tiers. Monetary sponsorships for this event needs to be received by September 24th.


Christmas is a time to reach out and share love and compassion with each other. CCO makes it a point to collect wish lists from the children to try get them a gift that they would want. We also proved gifts to the parents to give to give to their kids and each other. An army of elves organizes, sorts, wraps and distributes presents to families and single residents. If you would like to contribute to our Christmas efforts, go to our Amazon Wish List for children and adults, there you can support us by purchasing gifts, gift cards, wrapping paper, tape, and decorations. If you would like to volunteer go to our volunteer page for more information.

Family Christmas Party 2024
December 20th, 6:30PM to 8:30 PM

Christmas Children’s Amazon Wish List
Christmas Adults Amazon Wish List

If you would like to sponsor this event beyond the Amazon Wish list, please refer to our sponsorship page for sponsor tiers. Monetary sponsorships for this event needs to be received by October 14th.

2023 Christmas Photo Album

Smiles and laughter abound! The Holiday Season was filled with hope and joy at CCO! All Cornerstone shelter guests were remembered thanks to our outstanding donors, volunteers, and staff. Many thanks to everyone who made the season bright for children and adults experiencing homelessness! It’s a joy to see the celebration and fun flow over into 2024!

Photo Credit and Many Thanks to Nathan Cameron.

A Happy Holiday for Everyone

“Christmas isn’t just a day; it’s a frame of mind.” -Kris Kringle, Miracle on 34th Street

Christmas is for everyone! Cornerstone works hard each Holiday to celebrate and remember every shelter guest. Join us in making this time of year memorable for children, parents, and single adults experiencing homelessness.

We’re looking for volunteers to work in Santa’s workshop sorting, wrapping, and labeling Christmas gifts. Most people arrive at Cornerstone with little more than a backpack or duffle bag. We hope you will help us spread Christmas cheer through gift-giving. You can shop and donate gifts through the Cornerstone Wishlist. Or make a financial donation to ensure people coming to Cornerstone right before Christmas get gifts, too. Please use the QR codes below to get involved!

Sponsor the Back-to-School Party!

CCO would like to partner with generous donors to help support this year’s Back-to-School Party. Each August, CCO hosts a party filled with school supplies, new backpacks, games, treats, dancing, and a lot of motivation for the new school year. Your support will help make this year extra special for the children at CCO.

Children experiencing homelessness can face additional barriers to consistent education. CCO tries to bridge the gap that homelessness and poverty cause in childhood development and academics. The family case managers ensure children are attending school and have all they need to succeed. CCO partners with Chicago Hopes, which provides tutoring during the school year and enrichment programs in the summer to children sheltered at CCO every weekday afternoon.

If you want to sponsor part of the fun at this year’s party, contact Amanda Learmond at Or visit our Amazon Wish List by clicking here or scanning the QR code above.

2022 Christmas Photo Album

The 2022 Holiday Season brought joy and cheer to the families and individuals sheltered at CCO. Each child received a stocking filled with toys, treats, and a new pair of pajamas. They each wore their new pj’s to the CCO Christmas Party, where they got to meet Santa, receive gifts, and celebrate the holidays with their family. The Christmas Party featured CCO Board President Chris Spicer as Santa Claus, loads of sweet and savory treats, and a hot chocolate station. The crowd went wild when Santa arrived with his bags of gifts!

The celebrated season would not be possible without volunteers who made the party exceptional. Thanks to all who worked as elves in Santa’s Workshop, sorting, wrapping, and decorating Christmas presents for the big day. Christmas at Cornerstone would not be possible without your generous donation of toys for children and gifts for teens and adults. Many thanks!

We hope you enjoy the 2022 photo album. Enjoy the smiling faces found in it!

Photo Credit: Nathan Cameron

CCO Family Portraits with Santa

CCO Christmas Party Album…

You can support families at CCO by making a financial donation today!

CCO Staff & Christmas Volunteers…

No Gift Too Small

Eve Haycock, Naomi Program Director, was visiting friends and a young lady found out she worked at CCO. She was very curious asking many questions about the shelter and the people living there. This young person was moved by Eve’s description of CCO’s work with people experiencing homelessness and wanted to donate something to encourage and help the residents. She gave Eve the sketchbook she had been drawing in all year to encourage people to have hope in hard times. Then she gave all the money she saved over the summer from her allowance.

We at CCO are so grateful for this young ladies gift. It may seem small on the surface but the gift of hope goes deep into the hearts and lives of those who have little. This donation of hope may be the best gift we have received all year. Thank you.

CCO Back to School Rally 2022

Thanks to the amazing CCO staff, East Bank Club and Grace and Truth Church volunteers, donors, and partners; the children at CCO enjoyed a Back to School rally with games, activities, treats and a reptile show. Celebrations are so important at CCO and this rally is a great way to encourage and prepare kids for a new year of learning. It’s an opportunity for families to have some fun, get new school supplies and get excited for the coming school year.

On Wednesday afternoon, the kids had a pizza party with a reptile show hosted by Alison of Curious Creatures on Broadway, providing an opportunity for kids and families to experience and learn about animals in person. Local cartoonist, Tim “Spike” Davis, drew cartoons for the kids to color. Anna Ingerson did face painting, Isaac Ingerson did balloon twisting, and the staff facilitated more fun and games. 

Along with fun the kids received a backpack, school supplies, and new shoes thanks to our many donors and partners. Chicago Public School and DFSS provided basic school supplies for each child and CCO donors supplied backpacks and supplemented other supplies. We partnered with several local businesses to collect backpacks and supplies. Combined with donors purchasing items from our Amazon School Supply wish list and financial contributions through our GoFundMe page, CCO was able to outfit each child with a backpack, new shoes, and supplies for the school year. 

Thank you to East Bank Club and Grace and Truth Church for volunteering. Thank you Everybody’s Coffee, Uptown Farmers Market, Hearthstone and Terrace, Uptown Underdawg, Immanuel Anglican Church, and Emerald City Coffee for collecting backpacks and supplies. Thank you to all our donors who purchased items from our Amazon Wish List and gave financially through our GoFundMe. You are helping to ready our students for school and giving them another step towards quality education.

Donate for Back to School

I know, I know school just got out. And we’re talking about Back to School already?! Yes we are.

During the 2021-2022 school year, CCO had an estimated 60 students enrolled in Chicago Public School. Now that they are going back to the classroom for in-person learning, our younger residents have many school needs. CPS wonderfully provides a box of school supplies for each child at CCO, however when it comes to Back to School that is just the tip of the iceberg. Kids need backpacks, lunchboxes, school uniforms or new clothes, new shoes, and miscellaneous supplies like calculators, extra markers and crayons.

So, CCO has started a GoFundMe and an Amazon Wish List for the Back to School needs of our student residents. Please consider a financial donation and/or donating school supplies to give young CCO residents a better chance of success in school. Thank you.

If you are local in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, you can go to these businesses that have a CCO Back to School box and drop off items there for CCO residents.

Everybody’s Coffee 
935 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
Monday-Friday 7-2 Sat-Sun- 8-3

Uptown Farmers Market
Wednesday 2-7
Broadway and Clifton 

Hearthstone and Terrace
1329 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
Mon-Sat 11-6

Uptown Underdawg 
1122 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
Sun 11-5 Tues-Sat 11-8

Emerald City Coffee 
1224 W Wilson Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
Mon-Fri 7AM–4PM Sat 7AM–3PM Sun 8AM–3PM