Where to donate food, clothing, money and more to help migrants arriving in Chicago from Texas and other southern states.
More than 30,000 migrants have arrived in Chicago since Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sent the first bus in August 2022.
The city is still struggling with how to handle the influx of migrants more than a year and a half later. A recent Borderless investigation uncovered how conditions inside the city’s largest migrant shelter failed to meet the basic standards for emergency shelter laid out by the U.N. Refugee Agency. Migrants interviewed described overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions, mistreatment from workers and freezing temperatures.
Mayor Brandon Johnson’s 60-day shelter limit has come under criticism from advocates who say the decision would create more chaos in an already precarious situation. The 60-day shelter policy sends migrants back to the city’s landing zone, where they must request new shelter placement or find alternative housing. However, the housing search for migrants has been stifled, in part, by months-long federal backlogs in the necessary work permit allocations and immigration applications that would allow new arrivals to pay for rent and access housing.
In light of Chicago’s crisis, several immigrant-serving community organizations have stepped up to support new arrivals by providing necessities, access to legal assistance, case management and other services.
Last year, Borderless compiled a list of community organizations supporting migrants and explaining how readers can help. Borderless has updated the list to include more organizations located throughout the city. We’ve organized it by the city’s quadrants: Northside, West Side, Southside, and Far South.
Do you have a resource that we did not list? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will add it. This list will be continuously updated.
St. Chrys’ Closet
Seeking: Menstruation supplies, baby diapers and wipes, and toiletries. Clothing for babies and adults, including XL sizes; shoes and boots, bedding, and towels. Kitchen-related items, cleaning supplies, toys and children’s books, suitcases and backpacks.
How to help: Drop off items at St. Chrys’ Closet, a volunteer-run free store located at the Church of Ascension on 1133 N. La Salle Drive. Donations are accepted at the shop door located in the alley between LaSalle and Clark streets. Call 920 254-4735 to arrange for drop-offs.
St. Chrys’ Closet is also seeking Spanish-speaking volunteers.
Chicago Refugee Coalition
Seeking: Chicago Refugee Coalition’s Refugee Resource Center at Sullivan High School is seeking deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, shampoo and conditioner (with specific priority on products designed for BIPOC hair), body wash, feminine hygiene products, bar soap, laundry detergent, shoes, school supplies and art supplies such as crayons and colored pencils. They are also seeking bedding, new towels, cleaning supplies, and dried shelf foods (sugar, flour, canned food, pasta, rice, tea, and coffee).
How to help: The Chicago Refugee Coalition has assembled a Migrant Relief Amazon Wishlist in partnership with Lurie Children’s Hospital to provide direct service relief such as warm winter wear, undergarments, basic household items, hygiene products and more.
The specific items listed above can be dropped off at the Refugee Resource Center, Sullivan High School at 6631 N Bosworth Ave. Email email@example.com to arrange a drop-off time.
Food Not Bombs Rogers Park and PO Box Collective
Seeking: Deodorant, travel size shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes, lotion, sunscreen, menstruation supplies, baby diapers and wipes, new underwear, socks, blankets, clean clothes and Ventra cards.
How to Help: Drop off donations at Food Not Bombs Rogers Park/ PO Box Collective, 6900 N. Glenwood Ave. only on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Life Impacters Foundation
Seeking: Donations of items to help furnish new apartments, including bath towels, shower sandals, pillowcases, twin-size sheet sets, medicine (for adults and children), earache drops for children, storage bags and storage bins.
How to help: Contact Yolanda Peña (firstname.lastname@example.org), Co-Founder/Director of Programs of Life Impacters Foundation, to coordinate a drop-off time at 2100 N Kildare Ave, Chicago, IL 60639.
Humboldt Park Solidarity Network
Seeking: Donations of hygiene products, baby formula, toothbrushes and bottled water
How to Help: Drop off donations at their free store Casa Hernandez,3519 W. North Ave., Chicago.
Little Village Community Council
Seeking: Undergarments for men and women (underwear, socks and bras.)
How to Help: Drop off location at 3610 W. 26th St. on Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Pilsen Food Pantry
Seeking: Hygiene items for children and adults (diapers and wipes, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, feminine hygiene).
How to Help: Donations of items can be stopped off at 1850 S. Throop St. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
Seeking: Donations of adult clothing (size small and medium), gift cards (especially for medication at Walgreens, Target and CVS), gym shoes (men’s size 8-10 and women’s size 5-8), reusable water bottles, kids toys, baby care items, kids clothes (especially boys clothing, undergarments and socks), strollers, Pack-n-Plays, kids shoes (size 11-4), phones, tablets, SIM cards
How to Help: Drop off donations at Casa Michoacan (1638 S. Blue Island, Chicago) Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or donate cash to BPNC
Seeking: Donations of clothes (especially new undergarments, shoes and boots), hygiene products (diapers and wipes, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, feminine hygiene), transportation support (bus cards, rideshare, bicycles), communication support (phones, phone cards, international minutes) and prepaid gift cards.
How to Help: Venmo donations to vaultgallerie or Cash App to $vaultgallerie. The drop-off location is Vault Gallerie, 2015 S. Laflin Ave.
Southeast Youth Alliance
Seeking: Donation of adult and children’s clothing (especially new undergarments, shoes and boots,) hygiene products (diapers and wipes, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, pads,) phones and SIM cards.
How to Help: Drop off items at the locations listed or donate money or items through the links:
13300 S. Baltimore Ave.
9536 S. Marquette Ave.
11308 S. Ewing Ave.
Contact for location
Anti Detention Network
The Anti Detention Network runs a space where migrants can get meals on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 5 p.m. They are also collecting direct donations such as clothing, medications and ventra cards for a free store in the space where migrants can get what they need. Direct message them on Instagram to get the address.
Illinois Community for Displaced Immigrants
ICDI’s Chicago Immigrant Transit Assistance (CITA) program serves asylum seekers at the Chicago Greyhound station who have recently left immigration detention.
How to help: ICDI has assembled an Amazon Wishlist to help facilitate donations. Once purchased, items will be delivered to ICDI and given to migrants present at the Chicago Greyhound station who have recently left detention. Direct donation drop-offs must be coordinated by contacting them at email@example.com.
Pixie Cup works with non-profit organizations to donate menstrual cups for women in need. You can contact them through their donation application.