The Coalition works in five work groups, meeting monthly to discuss and execute the plan to end homelessness in Oak Park.

Core Committee

The Core Committee of the Coalition meets monthly to discuss each work group’s progress and to set goals for the Coalition to make homelessness in Oak Park rare, brief and one time.

Members: Lisa DeVivo, Tammie Grossman, John Harris, Jim Madigan, Vanessa Matheny, Carolyn Newberry-Schwartz, Jeff Prior, Lynda Schueler

Affordable Housing

The Affordable Housing Work Group works to advance housing policies that address the expansion and inclusion of affordable housing units throughout Oak Park. The work group also identifies gaps in housing services that meet the imminent needs of households experiencing housing instability. Recent successes include promoting the Community Builders development on Oak Park Avenue, the creation of an Interim Housing program at the Sojourner House on Austin Boulevard and the development of a community-wide Flexible Rental Assistance Program (FRAP) intended to meet the rental assistance needs of high-risk doubled-up households threatened by homelessness.

Chair: John Harris

Members: Pat Anderson, Simone Boutet, Lisa DeVivo, Henry Fulkerson, Tammie Grossman, Derrick Lewis, Greg Marsey, Vanessa Matheny, David Pope, Jeff Prior, Lynda Schueler, Pete Vilim

Career Pathways

The Career Pathways Work Group is focused on helping those who are experiencing homelessness find and maintain employment in Oak Park. The goal of this group is to bring people who need jobs into contact with employers in the area, as well as get them involved in education training to gain employable skills that are useful in the workforce. By partnering with local businesses and organizations, this group is working hard to bring employment to those that are in need.

Chair: Gail Shelton

Members: Evelyn Antwi-Mensah, Shefaali Bidani, Rachael Bild, Anairis Boror, Dan Conran, Christian Harris, John Harris, Aaron McManus, Jane Miller, Michelle Panock, Cate Readling, Sandy Rosen, Rob Simmons, Elizabeth Stewart, Cara Sullivan, Rashmi Swain, Romiesha Tucker, Raheem Young

Community Touchpoints

The Community Touchpoints Work Group maintains contact with various community stakeholder organizations that interface with persons who are homeless including area schools, hospitals, the library and the police department to keep tabs on homeless numbers and statistics. Recent successes include establishing data sharing agreements with District 97 and District 200 to identify homeless children and make referrals to Housing Forward for assessment and to determine the household’s service path to regain housing stability. 

Chair: Carolyn Newberry-Schwartz

Members: Lynda Schueler

Public Awareness

The Public Awareness Work Group focuses primarily on communications and outreach work for the OPHC. This work group deals directly with community involvement and awareness through social media outreach, event planning and day-to-day communication.

Chair: John Harris

Service Intersections

The goal of the Service Intersections Work Group is to facilitate coordination between front-line service providers in Oak Park in order to help identify individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and make sure they are connected to wrap-around services in our community. The group has created a closed-loop referral process allowing agencies to make informed and effective referrals. That process was automated in early 2019 with an interactive database that includes a public portal to access resources.

Chair: Vanessa Matheny

Members: Sarah Bielecki, Patricia Camarena, Shannon Ellison, Yesenia Garcia, Denise Gonzalez, Amanda Kuhn, Shelly Lustrup, Candice Martin, Adriana Riano, Catherine Rison, Gail Shelton, Aubrey Thorton, Mark Tisdahl, Romiesha Tucker, Tammy Verticchio, Raheem Young

If you are interested in joining a work group, contact us!