HOW offers housing and services to a diverse population of clients across Chicagoland. The individuals and families served by HOW have been exposed to trauma, poverty, and violence. They include those living with HIV/AIDS, those with a chronic or mental health issue, and youth aging out of the foster care system. Because of HOW’s extensive services and one-on-one assistance model, all clients are provided the individualized support they need to thrive.

HOW's 2019


Client Distribution Map

82% of clients live below the federal poverty threshold with an average monthly household income of $770.45.​​

60% of adults reported at least one disability or health condition when arriving at HOW.

86% of clients are people of color, 79% of whom are Black or African American.

93% of family households are female-led.

1,336 people, including 592 children, were served.


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The map to the right displays 2019 client distribution by units of housing (in blue) and number of clients (in red).

*Suburbs percentages listed are totals of the North and South Suburbs combined.


of clients reported
HOW’s program is helping
them make progress
towards their goals.


of clients in permanent
supportive housing maintained
housing for 12 months or exited to permanent housing within 12 months of coming to HOW.


of clients reported that
their Case Manager is
helpful and responsive
to their needs.


children and youth were served through
HOW’s Youth and Education Program.

The HOW Employment Program (HEP) grew significantly in 2019 by dramatically expanding services south,where 46% of clients reside. HOW Employment Specialists work closely with clients on soft skills, job placement and retention, and educational advancement. HEP formalized a monthly, five-day Job Readiness Training program that includes topics like financial literacy; transitioning from SNAP and TANF to employment; and selecting and managing childcare while employed.


clients engaged in
employment and/or educational services through HOW.

of those 390


of clients obtained
and/or maintained
health insurance.


of clients working with
HOW’s HCCM reported
they maintained or
improved their health.

While HOW has long assisted clients in managing their health care needs, in 2019 a new position of Health Care Case Manager (HCCM) was added to offer dedicated services and support to medically complex clients with chronic conditions like HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and/or hypertension. HOW’s HCCM helped clients to secure insurance, navigate the health care system, find appropriate providers, schedule appointments, track baseline health markers, assist with paperwork and filing, obtain supplemental health care items, and more. Based on its success, the Health Services Team will grow to two full-time employees in 2020.