February 2023- Love is in the Air

To our Darling Supporters,

Just as spring turns the corner and warmth flows into the city once again, so too can we feel warmth filling our hearts. This February, we at ORC and in the greater community find ourselves contemplating that great motivating factor, the ephemeral mystery and driving force: Love.

Of course, we don’t need chocolate hearts and capital-driven holidays to contemplate the ties that bind us. Whenever we act with intention, by reaching out, forging bonds, and sharing resources, we reinforce the love and care we hold for each other. When we entrench ourselves in the community, we reinforce the fact that not only are our favorite people worthy of love, but so too are we, the people who share the same identities and inhabit the same communities. By supporting each-other, we affirm that we, too, are worth supporting.

With this in mind, One Roof Chicago would like to send love to all of our supporters and greater ORC family.

You are seen. You are cared for. You are loved.

Cold Feet? Let Us Help!

Considering becoming a monthly donor? Allow us to sweeten the pot.

Monthly donors at any level can receive a pair of socks for themselves, or we’ll donate your pair to a youth in need. Socks are the #1 most requested item from youth in homeless shelters, and we can work together to make their winter a little warmer.

Thank you for your trust and mutual investment in our community.

A Blast From the Past- The Founding of ORC

The original germ of the idea came to Pamela Calvert, a then-newcomer to Chicago who was considering senior living options for herself and her wife. As “elder orphans” without close family ties in the area, Pam and her wife were seeking both longterm security into old age and a diverse urban community.

Having served on the board of a small mission-driven senior community in northern California, Pam was aware of some of the larger issues facing the industry, most especially finding and retaining staff. As the Baby Boomers age into a “grey tsunami,” every occupation serving elders is suffering an acute shortage of workers. One researcher has estimated this labor shortage may reach over 150,000 workers by 2030, more than doubling again by 2040 – and his study was published before the onset of the COVID pandemic, which has decimated the ranks of healthcare workers.

During the time she was researching Chicagoland senior residences, Pam attended an overnight event to raise funds and awareness for homeless queer youth sponsored by several Chicagoland organizations. “The stories I heard that night just ripped my heart out,” she says. “These were such good kids that any parent should be so proud of, and instead they’d been thrown out of their homes. I couldn’t get them out of my mind.”

“One day I was walking down the street, thinking about all this, and just asking myself ‘OK, who do I want to get old with,’” Pam remembered, “and I thought, well, with my [queer] people, of course. And then I thought about the youth, and what they needed, and job training, and all of a sudden everything just connected. And so of course I went right home and called Tracy Baim.”

Pam, “the nobody nobody sent,” pitched her idea to Baim, who encouraged her to develop it further and connected her to Pride Action Tank, the LGBTQ+ nonprofit incubator led by Kim Hunt. Pam also cold-called Jacqueline Boyd, a board member of youth homelessness advocacy organization Project Fierce and founder of senior service advisor The Care Plan. Boyd in turn brought in Jim Bennett, the former Midwest regional director of Lambda Legal, and with Hunt the four began the process of researching and mapping out an entirely new intergenerational model.

A larger group quickly joined the planning process, and One Roof Chicago was incorporated in January 2019.

About One Roof Chicago

One Roof Chicago is an emerging initiative to build an LGBTQ+ centered intergenerational community for older adults and young people most in need of affirming housing, meaningful connection, and career development. This project is the first of its kind nationwide and the fact that it’s happening here, in our home of Chicago, is a huge source of excitement and pride. As we build together, we do so informed by frameworks of Black Liberation, Harm Reduction, Healing Justice, Restorative Justice, Housing First, Positive Youth Development, and Trauma-Informed Care. We lead with intentional relationships, thoughtful practices, and community collaboration.

Want to get involved? Email cathy at with questions or interest.

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