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The Essential Guide to Mutual Aid Groups in Chicago

By November 21, 2022December 1st, 2022Organizing, Resources, Trending

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 store front casa HernandezMichelle 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 21, 2022December 1st, 2022Organizing, Resources, Trending

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

Editor’s note 11/21/22: This list has been updated and will continue to be updated.

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
mutual aid store front casa Hernandez
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.Michelle Kanaar/Borderless Magazine

Humboldt Park

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

 

Lolitas Bodega
Linktree

Irving Park

Irving Park Mutual Aid
Facebook

Jefferson Park and Gladstone Park

Jefferson and Gladstone Park Mutual Aid
[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

mutual aid store front casa Hernandez
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.Michelle Kanaar/Borderless Magazine

Little Village and Pilsen

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

 

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

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 

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
6525 N. Clark
Website
Instagram

mutual aid store front casa Hernandez
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.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

West Side

Westside Mutual Aid
Instagram

 

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

Wicker Park and Bucktown

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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