With assistance from E.J. Coyne & Company, The Harbour is providing essential services and hope to young women in northern Illinois. To vote for them, use the social media buttons to share this story, or leave a comment below. If they reach 500 votes, the $5k donation they’ve already earned doubles to $10k!
Cook County, Illinois has the second highest population density of any U.S. county. The systemic issues that impact such an enormous metro area are bound to have a ripple effect on the surrounding region. Suburban Cook County, just outside of Chicago, is no exception, as it grapples with how to provide young people experiencing homelessness with the resources they need.
In Cook County, The Harbour has spent the past 50 years providing a safety net for young women facing homelessness. In moments of crisis The Harbour provides emergency housing and services, as well as support for long-term employment. Nearby insurance agency, E.J. Coyne & Company, joined the cause 15 years ago and hasn’t looked back.
Finding a home in the cause
In 2006, E.J. Coyne & Company began providing insurance for The Harbour, but quickly saw a deeper role for themselves in the important work the organization was doing. Occasional monetary donations evolved into long term volunteering, and now the agency provides year-round staple events for The Harbour’s clients, as well as fundraising support. Four agency employees are regular volunteers, and agency leadership has even taken up Board-level responsibilities for the nonprofit.
Fostering more than a sense of home – a sense of family
E.J. Coyne & Company has stayed involved with The Harbour in very intentional ways. The agency’s efforts all drive toward a common purpose of creating community and helping build the futures of the organization’s youth. From annual barbecues and “Top Chef” style cooking events to holiday gift-giving and mentorship opportunities, the agency builds community and helps break the cycle of homelessness.
The Harbour’s annual gala most directly showcases the enormous impact this work has.
“At the event we hear from the young women who have been able to rise above their challenges,” said Leah Greenblum, Director of Development at The Harbour. “Many have completed their education, secured employment, and are thriving, living independent lives. While they may have experienced abandonment in the past, they’ve learned that there are adults in their lives that care about them.”
“Many of our youth have completed their education, secured employment and are thriving, living independent lives.”
-Leah Greenblum, Director of Development at The Harbour
A flourishing future starts with big changes now
The Harbour continues to ramp up their focus on long-term solutions, providing resources to help the youth they serve with education and employment. Often, successful futures are made possible with even basic access to reliable technology. The nonprofit hopes to outfit that with desktop computers and laptops youth can check out in the new “Harbour House.” This new facility will replace the 90-year-old building they currently use and will house 10 young women, offering a safe, friendly location where they can restart their lives.
E.J. Coyne & Company’s most recent efforts have focused on fundraising to help complete this project. “With the increase in teen homelessness, it’s rewarding to know that we can help even a few of these young women move onto productive and happy lives,” said Ed Coyne, President of E.J. Coyne & Company.
“It’s rewarding to know that we can help even a few of these young women move onto productive and happy lives.”
-Ed Coyne, President, E.J. Coyne & Company