Skip to Main Content

Help Needed for Migrants Arriving in Chicago

Help Needed for Migrants Arriving in Chicago

Migrant Welcome

Update (1/17/23)

While new arrivals have temporarily slowed down, the ongoing crisis of thousands of people seeking refugee and asylum at our southern border means that the need for resources to welcome desperate individuals and families will be a continuing imperative.  There are still thousands of people living in shelters and hotels. The State has taken over the hotel day-to-day needs. ICIRR member orgs such as World Relief have been providing case management support.

Churches in every District contributed in-kind and cash donations. As just one example, DeKalb First UMC put out an appeal to church members in late September and within a month gathered hygiene items, first aid items, and clothes, with an estimated value over $2,000. The Church delivered these to World Relief Chicago. The DeKalb Church also designated its annual Christmas Offering during the month of December (over $6,000) for immigrant and asylee needs to The Resurrection Project’s Texas Immigrant Rapid Response Fund. 

Providing Assistance


  • For anyone interested in volunteering, theough World Relief we encourage them to sign up as a volunteer as a first step (unless they are already a volunteer with the NIC), and list “Bus Response” on their volunteer application in the Volunteer Interests field.
  • Volunteers are needed for donation sorting, distribution, and food service during mealtimes.  ICIRR is coordinating volunteers and requests to register groups of people rather than individuals to limit the number of follow-up contacts needed using a Volunteer Sign Up Form
  • The city of Chicago also needs volunteers - see the link at

Legal Assistance

The Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors is helping migrants seeking asylum with paperwork and court dates. To support their work, visit

Financial Donations

Financial donations can be made online or by mail to any of the organizations directly assisting the families:

See the bottom of this article for a list of needed items and drop off locations.

Sara Aardema, World Relief’s Church Mobilization Director, sent a note recently:

I wanted to drop you a note to say thank you so much for connecting with us at World Relief the past few months to join us in welcoming asylum seekers to our community. We’ve had some great new connections with UMC churches thanks to your help in spreading the word about the needs over the past couple of months. We’re very excited that Glenview UMC is planning to welcome an asylum seeker family through our H.O.M.E. program in the new year! This is such a blessing to have a new church partner sponsor a family through this program.

It’s not too late for Individuals and NIC Churches to provide assistance for “welcoming the strangers in our midst.” Please help by donating in-kind items or cash donations to frontline organizations like World Relief, ICIRR, Casa Michoacan and The Resurrection Project. For more information see the side bar or contact Rev. Jonathan Crail, NIC Refugee Coordinator (

Update from World Relief (11/21/22)

World Relief is one of the agencies helping with case management support at a hotel near O’Hare. They are not currently mobilizing volunteer support or donations for people staying here, as this is all being coordinated through the site.

One way they are looking for help in the community is to find affordable housing leads by connecting with landlords willing to rent to these families and individuals who generally do not have a job or a credit history. Fortunately, there is now a short-term rental assistance program funded by the state that provides 3-6 months of housing so people can move out of the hotels. They are looking for landlord connections in the following areas: Humboldt Park, Little Village, Cicero, Berwyn, Midway area, and Blue Island. Anyone with any leads can email Sara Aardema from World Relief (

Another way to consider providing more extended-term support for asylum seekers in our community is through World Relief’s Asylum Project. They provide legal services, case management, and housing support/community connections to asylum seekers who arrive in Chicago in many ways beyond the group of people who have come recently on the buses. A specific way churches can help a family is through the H.O.M.E. program, which invites churches to provide six months of housing assistance and form a volunteer team to connect with the family relationally. More information can be found here.

update (10/31/22)

Thousands of immigrants (I've heard close to 5000 now) have arrived in Chicago on buses from Texas over the past two months. Your donations are making a difference!

Some of you have asked for the best places to deliver goods.

According to Claudia Marchan from NIJFON,  Casa Michoacan at 1638 S Blue Island Ave, Chicago, IL 60608. M-F, 10-4,  (I heard they take a lunch break from 2-3 p.m.) is a good option because according to staff there the items are taken to the hotels where migrants are staying within 24 hours. They are still collecting coats, thermo shirts and pants, kid's coats, kid's shoes, men's shoes, and underwear for all.

If we collect cash donations, where should we send the money? See below for Financial donations.

update (10/12/22)

Last reports indicate that more than 1,500 migrants have arrived so far on buses to Chicago from Texas and more continue to arrive almost every day. It's projected as many as 10,000 migrants could arrive in the Chicago area by the end of the calendar year. So, there continues to be a significant need to provide a welcome for those arriving.

In collaboration with local, state, and federal agencies, the city of Chicago is taking action to ensure they have access to shelter, food, and other resources. 

Individuals and families are housed in temporary Chicago shelters and hotels in nearby suburbs.

NIC refugee coordinator Rev. Jonathan Crail says World Relief still needs hygiene kits, while the agency has begun to provide direct services to some of the families and individuals arriving on the buses. Click to learn more.

Update (9/20/22)

More than 750 asylum seekers from Central and South America have arrived on buses sent from Texas since Aug. 31, according to the city of Chicago. In collaboration with local, state, and federal agencies, the city of Chicago is taking action to ensure they have access to shelter, food, and other resources. 

The city expects to receive hundreds more migrants from Texas. Under the direction of Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and the Texas National Guard, the Lone Star state has also bused over 8,000 migrants to the nation's capital since April and over 2,200 migrants to New York City since August 5, according to the state's website.

Individuals and families are housed in temporary Chicago shelters and hotels in nearby suburbs.

Paragraph On Prayer From Wholehearted Faith

Lay Missioners Roberto Moreno and Jackie Moreno Salgado who serve Living Waters NFC in Franklin Park bring donations to dozens of immigrant families staying in a suburban hotel in Burr Ridge.

Immediate donation needs include:

  • Small size clothing (especially socks and underwear/sports bras)
  • First Aid kits (Band-aids, Bandages, etc)
  • Medications for adults and children (e.g. Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, etc)
  • Personal Hygiene items (toiletries, feminine products, etc)
  • Duffle Bags/Small Suitcases

For a more comprehensive list of needed items see these websites:

NIC Collection sites by district

NIC Refugee Coordinator Rev. Jonathan Crail is organizing with churches across the conference in each district to serve as donation collection sites to be centralized locations to bring the items to the city.

Lake North:

  • Galilee UMC, Highland Park
    1696 McGovern St, Highland Park, IL 60035
    Contact: Pastor Jake Cho
    Hours: By appointment only (Call Pastor Cho)
  • Glenview United Methodist Church

    727 N. Harlem Ave., Glenview, IL 50025
    Contact: Ethel Doyle
    847-729-1015, 847-975-0361
    Hours: Monday - Thursday, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. or by appointment (Call Ethel Doyle)

Lake South:

  • St. Andrew UMC, Homewood
    18850 Riegel Rd., Homewood, IL 60430
    Contact: Carolyn Funk
    Hours: Monday 10-1, Thursday 10-2, Friday 4-6
  • First UMC in LaGrange
    100 W Cossitt Ave., La Grange, IL 60525
    Contact: Hattie Koher
    Hours: Drop off box outside church office 9-4 pm (other times available by request)

Prairie North:

  • Faith UMC, Freeport
    1440 S. Walnut Ave., Freeport, IL 61032
    Contact: Lisa Hunziker
    Hours: 9-1 M-F

Prairie Central:

  • Aldersgate UMC, Wheaton
    1753 S Blanchard Street, Wheaton IL 60189
    Contact: Daniel Cochran
    Cell 401-864-2441
    Hours: By Appointment with Daniel

Prairie South:

  • Sycamore UMC
    160 Johnson Ave., Sycamore, IL 60178
    Contact: Debbie Elleson
    Drop Off Hours: M-F, 10-2
  • Sugar Grove UMC
    176 Main St., Sugar Grove IL 60554
    Contact: Rev. Tammy Scott
    Office open Mondays & Thursdays 8:30-Noon.
    Bin located near rear entrance for after hours donations!
  • Channahon UMC
    24751 West Eames St, Channahon, IL 60410
    Contact: Lana Stafford
    (815) 467-5275
    Drop Off Hours: T-F 9:00 to 1:00, Saturday by appt

Chicago Donation Drop-Off Locations

  • Rincon Family Services - 3942 W. North Ave, Chicago; M-F, 10 am -4 pm
  • World Relief Chicagoland - 3507 W Lawrence Ave. Chicago, IL 60625, M&W, 10 am - 3 pm
  • World Relief Chicagoland - DuPage County, 191 S Gary Ave. Ste 130., Carol Stream, IL 60188, M-F, 8:30 am -5 pm
  • City of Chicago Drop-Off Locations:

Download a pdf of the original article

Download a pdf of the original article in spanish

News & Announcements