To our Coalition Partners,

If you’re like me, you might feel at a loss for words as you try to describe the past year. I’ve said this countless times over the last 9 months, but if anyone had told me a year ago how my first year as Executive Director of Illinois Partners would unfold, I don’t think I would have believed them. I know I am not alone in feeling exhausted, I’m guessing you probably feel that way too. I have been reminded every day that resilience is fundamentally necessary to do this work.

This year has shown me…


The pandemic and resulting economic crisis have shown how systems long taken for granted — in our government and in our wider society — have fallen short of supporting and valuing the needs of our communities.

As a leader of a statewide coalition of 800 human service organizations that provide child care, access to housing and food, healthcare and so much more, I have witnessed how the past few months have tested our resilience and left us questioning what the future holds. …


‘Nobody is free until everybody is free’ — Fannie Lou Hamer

Today is Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States. June 19th commemorates this very day in 1865, when federal troops arrived in Texas to ensure that all enslaved African Americans were freed. This came more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, which formally freed all enslaved people after the American Civil War. Juneteenth reminds us that for more than two years, enslaved African Americans in Texas were not granted the freedom they were promised by our government.

Today is a reminder that freedom…


This week, we are highlighting the Southern Illinois Coalition for the Homeless, which provides affordable housing and supportive services, while working to eliminate the causes of homelessness in the southern twenty-four counties of Illinois. We spoke with their Executive Director Camille Dorris to hear more about their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How is the COVID-19 crisis affecting the populations you serve?

It is affecting them in different ways. For the ones who were already housed in our Transitional Housing, Rapid Rehousing and Permanent Supportive Housing programs, they still have a roof over their heads, but many have lost their…


Every week, Illinois Partners will be sharing stories from our Coalition Partners who are on the front lines of responding to the COVID-19 Crisis. We know the interconnections between health and human services are all the more evident in this time of crisis — to better understand this, we spoke with the team at Thresholds. Thresholds operates in Chicago and the surrounding counties that provides services and resources for persons with serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders. They work with many populations, including youth and young adults, veterans, young mothers, the deaf, and individuals experiencing homelessness, among others. …


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect us all, the interconnections between healthcare and human services are all the more apparent. To highlight Illinois’ organizations on the front lines, we are launching a series featuring interviews with health and human service leaders. They are providing essential services during this public health crisis, and their stories reflect the resilience of our sector.

Our first interview is with the Community Health Care Clinic in Normal, Illinois, led by their Executive Director Mike Romagnoli. CHCC provides high quality care through a free clinic model maximizing resources, volunteers and community partners. They serve primarily…


Last week, Illinois Partners for Human Service facilitated virtual focus groups on the impact of COVID-19 with our health and human service coalition partners throughout the state. We spoke with 120+ providers in McLean County, Peoria, Southern Illinois, the South, West and North Sides of Chicago, Lake County and DuPage County. Our mission as a statewide coalition is to listen and amplify the experiences of our coalition partners, who are working on the front lines in this crisis. They are resilient, and wholly committed to caring for those who need it most, no matter the circumstance. …


COVID-19 has presented our health and human services sectors with a unique set of challenges unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes. As we grapple with what must be done to take on the challenges ahead, it is more important than ever to acknowledge the interconnected nature of community care. We know the critical role health care professionals play in caring for people in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We also know they are joined by human service professionals, whose work does not stop in times of crisis.


Welcome to Illinois Partners Medium Page! We are excited to explore new avenues for engagement and outreach with our coalition. You can expect this page to share updates on our work, advocacy opportunities and our latest research.

In my first 6 months as Executive Director, we’ve experienced many exciting and humbling moments: a statewide listening tour; new research published; collaborations with the Illinois Department of Human Services; meeting with 25 legislators in Springfield with our board of directors as part of Advocacy Day; and serving as a panelist alongside the State Comptroller at the City Club of Chicago. It is…

Lauren Wright: Illinois Partners for Human Service

Because Human Services Matter to ALL of us.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store