Your NPR news source

CHA Launches Program for Survivors of Human Trafficking

The Chicago Housing Authority is launching the first program of its kind in the country to address housing issues for survivors of human trafficking. Federal officials approached Chicago to pilot the housing program, which will provide 60 subsidized vouchers over the next three years.

SHARE CHA Launches Program for Survivors of Human Trafficking
Chicago neighborhood

Stephen M. Scott

The Chicago Housing Authority is launching the first program of its kind in the country to address housing issues for survivors of human trafficking.

The pilot program stems from a task force President Barack Obama created to combat trafficking. Housing for people trying to escape was identified as a major barrier.

Federal officials approached Chicago to pilot a housing program. Over the next three years CHA will provide 60 subsidized housing vouchers.

“There is a significant lack of housing for people who are leaving their situation. It’s much analogous to victims of domestic violence when there wasn’t safe housing many years ago,” said Mary Howard with the Chicago Housing Authority.

Local social service agencies will refer trafficking survivors to the CHA program. One of those agencies is Heartland Alliance, which sees 20 to 25 survivors a year.

“When we meet survivors after they escape, they are at a tipping point,” said Megan Mahoney Heartland’s Freedom from Trafficking Program Director.

Many are still vulnerable from poverty, violence and exploitation, she said. They may not know English or have immigration trouble.

“Bouncing from one temporary housing situation to another doesn’t create the stability they need,” she said.

Mahoney said offering survivors subsidized housing has the power to change lives.

The Latest
“Street tracks are different every year, no matter where you go,” Shane van Gisbergen said. “The burial location is always different, whether inside the curb or on top of it. The track always changes.”
NASCAR has unveiled its first electric racecar in Chicago. One test driver said the sound and smell were unlikely anything he’d previously experienced.
NASCAR Chicago Street Race begins this weekend, and sections of DuSable Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue have closed to make way for the event.
Some small business owners said they plan to close during the two-day event, but others are excited about the race and the boost in pedestrian traffic that could bring more sales.
The San Diego-based chain is planning to open eight 24-hour restaurants in the city and suburbs in 2025 and 2026. One will be near Midway Airport, with the rest in the suburbs.