SHPA’s Resident leadership & Empowerment Program Resident committee began holding special meetings in January to discuss the importance of registering to vote. The group’s priority was to get residents in permanent supportive housing registered to vote. Understanding that persons with lived experience in shelters and literally homeless had the right to vote, the special committee wanted to include information for this population also.
The special meetings continued February – June, with the group voting the effort be called “Vote to Be Heard”. The group felt the best way to get the message out was to make a flyer to distribute through print and electronic links to walk anyone through the process. The flyer was developed for statewide use and contains other helpful voting information links for both individuals and agencies who provide supportive and shelter services.
Please print and distribute the flyer to help promote voter registration. Here is the link to print or browse the flyer.

Join SHPA’s Residents Program

We advocate to pay it forward! 

Where Supportive Housing Residents come together to use their voice to make positive change in their communities and their lives. 

The Residents Program at the Supportive Housing Providers Association (SHPA) is designed to bring a unified voice for the individuals who live within the housing programs that are within the SHPA membership organizations. The goal is to give the consumers of permanent supportive housing a platform to advocate, be a component of positive change in their communities, and support and bring awareness to issues that specifically affect the consumers of permanent supportive housing in Illinois.

Its one thing for staff and policy champions of supportive housing to work on policy change and advocate; its another thing for residents! The messaging has a larger impact and more authentic position when it comes from the consumers of supportive housing. The residents who advocate around the issue of ending homelessness can provide their personal stories and insight on how permanent supportive housing has transformed their lives.

Through the SHPA Residents Advocacy program, residents participate in activities like advocacy workshops, providing input on the issues included in SHPA’s annual legislative priorities, and sharing best practices to help case managers improve their level of service.

How can residents get involved?

SHPA has a few ways in which Residents and Advocates of permanent supportive housing can get involved.

  • Participate in our monthly conference calls where we discuss updates in our campaigns and learn from other residents who are advocating around issues in their various communities.
  • Attend the Membership meetings. SHPA has a Resident’s Scholarship that covers the costs for residents who want to attend and participated in our Membership Meetings. Click HERE for the Residents Scholarship Application.
  • Participate in SHPA’s Advocacy Actions by contacting your elected officials.
  • Participate in SHPA’s Days of Action.
  • Host a conference call at your organization.
  • Schedule a Leadership Development Training at your agency.
  • Invite the SHPA Illinois Coordinator to attend your next tenant council meeting or consumer group meeting.

Being a part of the Residents Program has an array of benefits for Residents and the agencies in which they live. Residents have the opportunity to:

  • Work on issues common to residents across the state.
  • Enlighten the communities where our supportive housing buildings are located, including developing strategies to improve relations between residents and neighbors.
  • Encourage each other’s participation in civic activities, including registering new voters, increasing voter turn-out and tenant council membership.
  • Learn from one another about how to increase participation for Resident related activities in their buildings and communities.
  • Educate providers and ourselves about issues of concern to residents, for example, healthcare issues and tenants rights.
  • Gain ideas about how to organize meetings and other events in your building.
  • Have an opportunity to visit your local, state, and national legislators.
  • Learn how you can make things better in your neighborhood and in your community.
  • Be aware of the latest advocacy battles.
  • Build relationships across Illinois.

To join the SHPA Residents Committee, contact:

Susan Day
Illinois Coordinator- Central & Southern Region
Supportive Housing Providers Association
Phone: (217) 321-2476 ext. 3