In 1996, SRHAC received its first City grant from Chicago’s Dept. of Housing to provide an SRO Outreach Program and Initiatives. From 1998 to 2021, our programs and activities included placing homeless individuals into scattered-sites SRO housing with supportive services and homeless families into subsidized apartments.

For twenty years, (1998 to 2018) SRHAC housed hard-to-place, chronically homeless, and disabled single adult clients in permanent SROs, utilizing federally-funded rent subsidies and supportive services. SRHAC yearly provided permanent SRO housing with case management to almost 150 homeless and disabled adult men and women, utilizing over twenty scattered-site SRO housing locations city-wide.

Early on, SRHAC created a social service linkage network made up of dozens of specialized supportive services agencies dedicated to homelessness prevention of SRO residents and other single adults. Through these initiatives, many tenants in SRO housing received life-changing services including job and housing counseling, self-sufficiency skills, assistance with housing placement and special rent-subsidy programs.

These homeless sub-populations included:

  • Individuals experiencing substance use disorders
  • Those with mental disabilities
  • Domestic violence victims
  • Human trafficking survivors
  • Ex-offenders
  • Service veterans
  • Persons living with HIV/AIDS
  • Individuals suffering from physical disabilities and chronic illness

In 2012, SRHAC acquired the former Austin YMCA at 501 N. Central Avenue in Chicago, and renamed it Plaza Arms. We began directly housing hard-to-place, single adult men and women into affordable SRO units. With its 300 units, Plaza Arms is the second largest SRO in Chicago, and provides decent low-income, affordable permanent housing units for single adult men and women. These clean private rooms contain a closet, bed, dresser, refrigerator, and microwave.

Plaza Arms also houses the Austin Community Family Center (ACFC) that provides well-received adult and youth programs. The center utilizes the building’s two basketball courts, gymnasiums, and fitness center spaces for sports, recreational, wellness programs and other community-oriented activities.

The State-funded Phoenix Recovery Support Program also operates within Plaza Arms, and offers assistance to men and women dealing with substance abuse.

Besides offering below-market monthly and weekly SRO rents, SRHAC also partners with Chicago’s Low Income Housing Trust Fund (CLIHTF) by providing eighty of its SRO units in Plaza Arms with rental subsidies. The CLIHTF units are reserved for truly poor single adults who struggle to secure rent monies on a daily basis.

From 2014 through 2021, SRHAC provided Interim Housing for homeless families and single adults with children, funded by the City’s Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS). The program offered housing units to homeless single mothers and fathers with children and two-parent families. It began with twenty-five homeless families and expanded to fifty-seven, and eventually served over 4,000 people.

In 2018, SRHAC acquired a 45-unit SRO property in Belvidere, IL, that houses low-income single adults in a protective and quiet environment. This facility is now undergoing renovation. SRHAC expects to acquire more existing and potential SRO properties to expand its ability to directly house low-income, single adults by offering affordable below-market-rate rental units with subsidies when available.

SRHAC continues to play a major role in developing and implementing homeless intervention initiatives and strategies and remains the city’s leading SRO expert.