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The Essential Guide to Mutual Aid Groups in Chicago

By November 18, 2021September 30th, 2022Organizing, Resources

From Little Village to Rogers Park, where to give and get help from your neighbors this holiday season in Chicago and its suburbs.

Photo by Michelle Kanaar/Borderless Magazine
Humboldt Park Solidarity Network operates out of Casa Hernandez, located at 3519 W. North Ave. Chicago, Ill. They are open Mondays 4–8 p.m. and Saturdays 2–5 p.m. and offer free food, clothing and other essentials.
By November 18, 2021September 30th, 2022Organizing, Resources

From Little Village to Rogers Park, where to give and get help from your neighbors this holiday season in Chicago and its suburbs.

Mutual aid means being committed to the long-term wellbeing of your communities. The work is rooted in the direct action of organizers and volunteers who answer to the needs of their neighbors. Born out of informal networks, these groups are different from incorporated nonprofits and charities, which typically focus on the needs of an individual group or person. Help from mutual aid groups ranges from financial assistance, food assistance, shelter, childcare and emotional support.

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Over the last two years, as COVID-19 spread through the U.S., it also exacerbated existing racial, social and economic inequalities. The public health crisis strained the country’s broken healthcare system and left millions of people unable to afford basic needs like shelter, food and clothing. One result is that more people across the country are joining mutual aid groups to help their neighbors.

“We’re still seeing neighbors coming out. That number keeps growing,” says Nicolas Hernandez, a community organizer who helped start Casa Hernandez, where the Humboldt Park Solidarity Network operates on Chicago’s West Side. Hernandez says that a lot of the people who come out to Casa Hernandez are undocumented and afraid to ask for help from bigger or more formal institutions.

Mutual aid has a long history in the United States. According to an AP report, various forms of these groups have been around for centuries and have been rooted in the work of communities of color and immigrants. In the 18th century, free African American communities pooled their resources to care for the elderly, widows and children, and buy land. Another example of mutual aid groups were sociedades mutualistas, a network of mutual aid societies created in 1922 in Texas that provided Mexicans in America with essential support, such as education and legal resources, after they immigrated.

Today, mutual aid networks continue to support Chicago’s communities beyond and in the absence of government help. As the holiday season nears, Borderless Magazine has compiled a list of mutual aid groups in Chicago that are building community security and safety. To donate or request assistance, look up your neighborhood below and find a mutual aid group near you.

Illustration courtesy of Albany Park Mutual Aid

Albany Park

Albany Park Mutual Aid
312-854-9741
Website

Avondale

Avondale Mutual Aid
708-620-7941
Website

Belmont Cragin

Belmont Cragin Mutual Aid
Website

Beverly

19th Ward Mutual Aid
773-980 6043
Website

Bronzeville

Bronzeville/Kenwood Mutual Aid
312-945-6647
[email protected]
Website

Cicero and Berwyn

Berwyn Cicero Mutual Aid
Website
Facebook

Edgebrook and Forest Glen

Edgebrook and Forest Glen Mutual Aid
224-698-7065
Facebook

Request aid using this form

Edgewater

Edgewater Mutual Aid Group
312-324-4378
Website

Bryn Mawr Warming Center
Instagram

Gage Park

Gage Park Latinx Council
2711 W. 51st St
708-872-8798
Website

Hermosa

Hermosa Mutual Aid
773-236-7760
[email protected]
Website

Request aid using this form

Humboldt Park Solidarity Network operates out of Casa Hernandez, located at 3519 W. North Ave. Chicago, Ill. They are open Mondays 4–8 p.m. and Saturdays 2–5 p.m. and offer free food, clothing and other essentials.Photo by Michelle Kanaar/Borderless Magazine

Humboldt Park

Humboldt Park Solidarity Network
312-883-7526
[email protected]
Website
Instagram

Lolitas Bodega
Linktree

Hyde Park

Hyde Park Mutual Aid
[email protected]
Request aid using this form

UChicago Mutual Aid
Facebook

Irving Park

Irving Park Mutual Aid
773-231-7310
Website

Jefferson Park and Gladstone Park

Jefferson and Gladstone Park Mutual Aid
773-270-1288
[email protected]

Request aid using this form

Lakeview and Lincoln Park

Lakeview/Lincoln Park Mutual Aid Network
312-775-2391
[email protected]
Website

Request support using this form

Lincoln Square

Lincoln Square Ravenswood Solidarity Network
224-458-4666
Website

Humboldt Park Solidarity Network operates out of Casa Hernandez, located at 3519 W. North Ave. Chicago, Ill. They are open Mondays 4–8 p.m. and Saturdays 2–5 p.m. and offer free food, clothing and other essentials.Photo by Michelle Kanaar/Borderless Magazine

Little Village and Pilsen

Chicago Latina Moms
[email protected]
Website

 

Little Village Mutual Aid, Telpochcalli Community Education Project (TCEP) and Únete La Villita
2832 W. 24th Blvd
708-885-9388
[email protected]
Website

 

Pilsen Solidarity Network
917-747-8651
[email protected]

Request aid using this form

 

Femme Defensa
Instagram
Linktree

 

Chicago Community Jail Support
2700 S California Ave
Website
Linktree

 

Little Village, Englewood and South Chicago
Food, Farm Familias through the Getting Grown Collective
Website

Logan Square

Logan Square Mutual Aid
773-234-8313
[email protected]
Website

McKinley Park

McKinley Park Mutual Aid
312-772-4806
Facebook 

Northern Suburbs

Suburban Solidarity Network
Facebook

Northwest Side

Northwest Side Solidarity Network
Website

Oak Park

Oak Park Mutual Aid
708-628-8373
Website

Portage Park

Portage Park Mutual Aid
312-854-9851
[email protected]
Website

Rogers Park

PO Box Collective
773- 216-5556
[email protected]
Website

 

Rogers Park Free Store
1407 W. Morse Ave.
Website
Instagram

Humboldt Park Solidarity Network operates out of Casa Hernandez, located at 3519 W. North Ave. Chicago, Ill. They are open Mondays 4–8 p.m. and Saturdays 2–5 p.m. and offer free food, clothing and other essentials.Photo by Michelle Kanaar/Borderless Magazine

Roscoe Village

Roscoe Village-North Center Mutual Aid
[email protected]
Facebook group
Request aid using this form

South Loop

South Loop Mutual Aid
708-953-8481
[email protected]
Request aid using this form

Ukrainian Village

Ukrainian Village Mutual Aid
312-298-9328
[email protected]
Website

 

West Town Mutual Aid
773-245-6846
Website

Uptown

Uptown Buena Park Solidarity Network
312-854-9215
[email protected]
Twitter
Facebook

West Side

Westside Mutual Aid
Instagram

 

Lil’ Miracles Mutual Aid through 360 Nation
[email protected]
Website

 

Tri-Taylor Mutual Aid
312-870-0760
[email protected]

Request aid using this form

Wicker Park and Buck Town

Wicker Park-Bucktown Mutual Aid
773-273-9640
Website

Don’t see your mutual aid group? Email Diane at [email protected] with your group’s info, and we’ll add it to our list!

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