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Homeless in Chicago, Various Partners

2019,  2020,  2021

Home 5 Fellows Program 5 Social Impact 5 Homeless in Chicago


Both the classes of 2019 and 2020 explored homelessness in Chicago to come up with innovative ideas aimed at helping those experiencing homelessness or the nonprofits who serve them. Working with the Chicago Jobs Council, the class of 2019 mapped the journeys of people utilizing Chicago’s support systems in an effort to demonstrate how organizations involved in the issue could collaborate better. The class of 2020 examined youth homelessness and developed a strategy for a public awareness campaign on the issue.

“I found myself quite taken and inspired by the efforts of the Ignite staff to make a meaningful change, and [improve] circumstances for so many,” wrote one Fellow. “It is that attitude and focus on ‘small but meaningful’ change that I am determined to take forward in my own work on the social impact project in the weeks and months ahead. While I am well aware that our small group cannot transform the landscape of youth homelessness in Chicago or anywhere else, the development of a truly meaningful, practical, and scalable digital tool, one that makes Ignite’s role and mission just a little easier, on the day-to-day, will undoubtedly have a real impact on the critical work they do, and would fill me with a great deal of pride at project’s end.”



For many people, including the Fellows, these projects were life changing. For Max Tabb ’19, the project has particular meaning as he is himself a Chicago resident. It highlighted the high barriers that even the most motivated individuals face while experiencing homelessness and brought to light the difficulties of navigating a fragmented support system. The impact project has helped Max, currently a consultant at a firm that largely works with nonprofit hospital systems, to be able to consider—and share—a broader view of the types of non-healthcare services that these systems should provide to their clients. For Christy Steele ’20, the exercise of working with her class of Fellows led her to better understand the many complexities surrounding youth homelessness. Since then, she has made a commitment to engage with the issue in her local community. Christy credits the project, and the McGowan Fund, with inspiring her to “strive to make a positive impact professionally, personally, and in (her) community. The generosity of the McGowan Fund … created a deep sense of gratitude and fueled (her) desire to pay that forward to (her) community and to the planet.”

A Record of Impact


Homeless in Chicago →
2019, 2020
Various Partners

Expanding ELM →
2017, 2018
Rush University Hospital

Mental Health Concerns in the ER →
Rush University Hospital

Get With the Guidelines →
2014, 2015
American Heart Association

Ethics Curriculum →
2011, 2012, 2013
Aurora University