Connections for the Homeless Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1987, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information


  2121 DEWEY AVE
Evanston IL 60201-3057

...  ...  ...  ...  

Encompass Rating System by Charity Navigator

Overall Score


out of 100

This charity's score is a passing score.
This overall score is calculated from multiple beacon scores: 33% Finance & Accountability, 57% Impact & Results, and 10% Leadership & Adaptability

Learn about the Encompass Rating System: Overview | FAQ | Release Notes

Next: Impact & Results

...   Finance & Accountability

This score provides an assessment of a nonprofit's financial health (stability, efficiency and sustainability) and its commitment to governance practices and policies.

Finance & Accountability Score


out of 100

The score earned by Connections for the Homeless Inc. is a passing score

This V6 of the Finance & Accountability Score provides a baseline measure of an organization's health including the indicators listed in the report below.

This score represents Form 990 data from 2021, the latest year electronically filed and published by the IRS.

Back to Overall

Finance & Accountability Report


of 100 points

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio


Higher effect on score

More data  

The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s). This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver.

Program Expense Percentage

Amount of Credit Received

70% or higherFull Credit
60% - 69.9%Partial Credit
50% - 59.9%Zero Points for Program Expense Score
Below 50%Zero Points for Both Program Expense AND Liabilities to Assets Scores

Source: IRS Form 990

Board Composition

17/17 Independent

Higher effect on score

Charity Navigator looks for at least 3 board members, with more than 50% of those members identified as independent (not salaried).

The presence of an independent governing body is strongly recommended by many industry professionals to allow for full deliberation and diversity of thinking on governance and other organizational matters.

Source: IRS Form 990

Independent Audit or Financial Review


Higher effect on score

An Audit, Review, or Compilation provides important information about financial accountability and accuracy. Organizations are scored based on their Total Revenue Amount:

Total Revenue Amount

Expectation to Receive Credit

$1 million or higherExpected to complete an audit
$500,000 - $1 millionExpected to complete an audit, review, or compilation
Less than $500,000No expectation (removed from scoring methodology)

Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio


Lower effect on score

The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990). This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and/or long-term sustainability.

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

Amount of Credit Received

Less than 50%Full Credit
50% - 59.9%Partial Credit
60% or moreNo Credit

Source: IRS Form 990



Lower effect on score

Charity Navigator looks for a website on the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency metric.

Nonprofits act in the public trust and reporting publicly on activities is an important component.

Source: IRS Form 990

Conflict of Interest Policy


Lower effect on score

Charity Navigator looks for the existence of a conflict of interest policy on the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency measure.

This policy protects the organization and by extension those it serves, when it is considering entering into a transaction that may benefit the private interest of an officer, director and/or key employee of the organization.

Source: IRS Form 990

Board Meeting Minutes


Lower effect on score

Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has this process in place as an accountability and transparency measure.

An official record of the events that take place during a board meeting ensures that a contemporaneous document exists for future reference.

Source: IRS Form 990

Document Retention and Destruction


Lower effect on score

Charity Navigator looks for the existence of a document retention and destruction policy per the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency measure.

This policy establishes guidelines for the handling, backing up, archiving and destruction of documents. These guidelines foster good record keeping procedures that promote data integrity.

Source: IRS Form 990

Whistleblower Policy


Lower effect on score

Charity Navigator looks for the existence of a whistleblower policy per the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency measure.

This policy outlines procedures for handling employee complaints, as well as a confidential way for employees to report financial or other types of mismanagement.

Source: IRS Form 990

Additional Information


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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

No Data Available

Key Persons data is currently unavailable for this organization. This data is only available if this charity has at least one year of electronically-filed Form 990 data filed within the last six years.

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Community service organization (BMF activity code: 408)

Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.

Connections for the Homeless Inc. reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Fundraising Capacity

  • Revenue

  • Staffing

  • Administrative Capacity

How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

Following the action steps laid out in our strategic plan, we’ve made tremendous progress in the past two years strengthening our communications and building relationships with donors and all levels of government partners. This paid off as the pandemic took hold. We swiftly communicated and shared the social and economic impact of our work which increased both our profile and our reputation in the community. We raised approximately $3.7M in private funds in fiscal year 2021 that ended on June 30, 2021 (up from $2.3M in fiscal year 2019). We also got seats at the right tables as decisions were being made about federal stimulus funds, FEMA reimbursements, and other relief dollars coming through government partners. This resulted in $10M in government revenue during our 2021 fiscal year (up from $2.5M in fiscal year 2019). Sustaining this growth is top of mind, and we’re adding positions to our development and community engagement team to finance the growth of Connections.

How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

We've expanded every program at Connections in response to the pandemic, and our approach and capacity has changed for the better. Our growth includes: - Preventing more evictions. We prevented 542 families from losing their home by covering $2M in rent, mortgage, and utility bills—500% more financial assistance compared to pre-pandemic levels. - Sheltering more people. We served 323 people —including 69 children—through our 24/7 shelter. We’ve maintained operations via partnerships with local hotels that increased our shelter capacity from 18-beds pre-pandemic to 80 today. - Connecting more people to housing. We supported 444 people in maintaining or moving into a stable home of their own, more than ever before. - Doubling our advocacy efforts by hiring three new staff. Our advocacy program, Joining Forces for Affordable Housing, is helping bring together local partners to identify shared challenges, develop shared solutions, and pave the way for a more equitable community.

How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

Every part of our operations at Connections has shifted and adapted in response to the pandemic. We've expanded every service and program we offer. To accommodate this growth we have: - Hired 30+ new staff, increasing the size of the agency from less than 50 employees pre-pandemic to more than 90 today. We've increased our capacity in our direct service, finance, advocacy, human resources, and fundraising and communication departments. - Hired the agency's first Director of Human Resources to provide the infrastructure and support for employees of Connections. The new Director comes with more than 30 years of experience in human resources, and she is also helping support the agency's diversity, equity, and inclusion work. - Strengthened existing partnerships and launched new ones to build connections and collaborations to help us end homelessness in north suburban Cook County.

Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

Through our COVID-19 response, we've seen what it takes to end homelessness. We are preparing to sustain our expansion and assessing our capital needs to make more progress ending homelessness. Our plans include: - Securing a fixed-site permanent shelter that can serve up to 80 neighbors. What began as a lifesaving response to the pandemic via partnerships with hotels, has proven to be a successful shelter model in providing people experiencing homelessness with the support needed to move into stable housing. - Reimagining how we use our current facilities to make our services more effective and accessible to more neighbors. We are looking at how we can transform our spaces to increase the number of emergency shelter beds and provide dignity-based services where everyone can grow and thrive together. - Ensuring we can adapt and respond to changing needs by launching the agency’s first Innovation Fund where resources can be dedicated where they are most needed.

Previous: Finance & Accountability  / Next: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Impact & Results

This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.

Impact & Results Score


out of 100

Connections for the Homeless Inc. is cost-effective, earning a passing score.


$80 provides a night of shelter for a person experiencing homelessness.

Do you work at Connections for the Homeless Inc.? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.

Back to Overall

Impact & Results Report


of 100 points

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Rated Program

Rated Program


Hilda's Place Emergency Shelter


The nonprofit provides people experiencing homelessness with a temporary place to stay.

Program Type

Emergency Shelter

Beneficiaries Served

People experiencing homelessness; Adults; Men

Program Geography

Evanston, IL

Time Period of Data

7/1/16 to 6/30/17

Learn how we assess the impact of nonprofits

Outcomes and Cost

Outcomes: Changes in the lives of those served by a nonprofit. They can be caused by the nonprofit.

Costs: The money spent by a nonprofit and its partners and beneficiaries.

Impact: Outcome caused by a nonprofit relative to its cost.

Cost-effectiveness: A judgment as to whether the cost was a good use of resources to cause the outcome.

Outcome Metric

A night of shelter for a person experiencing homelessness

Outcome Data Source

Ratings are based on data the nonprofit itself collects on its work. We use the most recent year with sufficient data. Typically, this data allows us to calculate direct changes in participants' lives, such as increased income.

We look for self-reported shelter nights. If we cannot find this information we estimate it using HIC data.

Method for Attributing Outcomes

We don't know if the observed changes were caused by the nonprofit's program or something else happening at the same time (e.g., a participant got a raise). To determine causation, we take the outcomes we observe and subtract an estimate of the outcomes that would have happened even without the program (i.e., counterfactual outcomes).

We assume that the provision of shelter by one nonprofit does not diminish the provision of shelter by any other (neighboring) nonprofit. We also assume there is, in general, no slack capacity in the homeless shelter system. In the absence of a given shelter, beneficiaries would not be able to stay at another shelter because other shelters are assumed to have no beds to spare. We therefore set the counterfactual to zero.

Cost Data Source

After estimating the program's outcomes, we need to determine how much it cost to achieve those outcomes. All monetary costs are counted, whether they are borne by a nonprofit service deliverer or by the nonprofit’s public and private partners.

Program cost data reported by the nonprofit. Partner and beneficiary costs reported by the nonprofit or estimated by Charity Navigator.

Cost Calculation

$506,299 program costs + $0 partner costs + $0 beneficiary costs = $506,299 total costs

Impact and Determination

We calculate impact, defined as the change in outcomes attributable to a program divided by the cost to achieve those outcomes.

Impact Calculation

$506,299 total costs / 6,088 nights of shelter provided = roughly $80 provides a night of shelter for a person experiencing homelessness.

Benchmark for Rating

Impact & Results scores of emergency shelters are based on the cost of providing a night of shelter relative to the Fair Market Rent in that county. Programs receive an Impact & Results score of 100 if they are less than 200% the Fair Market Rent and a score of 75 if they are less than 400%. If a nonprofit reports impact but doesn't meet the benchmark for cost-effectiveness, it earns a score of 50.



Analysis Details

Analysis conducted in 2019 by ImpactMatters. An analyst searched the Form 990s, annual reports, audited financials and the website of the nonprofit to calculate impact and rate cost-effectiveness. A second analyst conducted quality control.

Additional Information


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Largest Programs

Largest Programs

Connections for the Homeless Inc. reported its three largest programs on its FY 2021 Form 990 as:


Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses



Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses



Spent in most recent FY


Percent of program expenses


Previous: Impact & Results  / Next: Culture & Community

...   Leadership & Adaptability

This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.

Leadership & Adaptability Score


out of 100

The score earned by Connections for the Homeless Inc. is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.

Back to Overall

Leadership & Adaptability Report


of 100 points


The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission

We serve and catalyze our community to end homelessness, one person at a time.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses


The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.

Connections for the Homeless is a trusted, bold, agile leader on the prevention of and solutions to homelessness. Guided by our core values and acting as an anti-racist organization, we combat systemic inequities, strengthen our exceptional workforce, and build innovative programs and partnerships that create a thriving community.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.

Goal One: Anti-racism is incorporated into the fibers of the agency model: how Connections conducts itself with clients, staff, volunteers, and partners.

Goal Type: New program(s) based on observed changes in needs among our constituencies/communities served.

Goal Two: Connections' bold, innovative programs and partnerships ensure the agency's leadership in the prevention of and solutions to homelessness.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.

Goal Three: Programs and services maximize wellness through housing, mental/physical health supports, jobs where appropriate, and connections to other resources.

Goal Type: Focus on core programs to achieve mission and scale back on programs not seen as core.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development

Describe an investment in leadership

We're committed to offering ongoing opportunities for our staff, volunteers, and participants to engage in leadership development opportunities. Investments in the last year include offering clinical supervision for direct service staff working toward licensure credentials, voluntary paid leadership opportunities for young people (18-to-24) in our programs to inform and structure our direct services and advocacy efforts, restorative justice facilitation training, program/skill specific conferences (e.g. Blacks in Nonprofits, 2020 National RHY Conference, 40 hour domestic violence training, etc.), among others.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.

This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

Connections engages in a variety of external mobilization efforts to extend our impact and reach: - Communications: We have a robust communications program to increase awareness about our work and encourage our community to come onboard as part of the solution to end homelessness. - Strategic partnerships and collective impact: We work with hundreds of partners to advance our shared mission to create a community that works for everyone. - Advocacy: We lead a coalition, Joining Forces for Affordable Housing, that brings together hundreds of partners to advocate for community-solutions that address the affordable housing crisis. This includes bringing attention and awareness to the legacy of institutionalized and systemic racism that perpetuates homelessness and housing inequities. As an antiracist organization we are determined to keep systemic inequities and discrimination at the forefront as they continue to have effects on our community today.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.

Last year Connections for the Homeless served 4,000 people last year, including Kira. Without her knowing, her former spouse stopped making mortgage payments on their north suburban home. She called Connections for the Homeless. We answered and moved Kira and her family into our hotel-based shelter operations with 250 other households. Prior to the pandemic, we did not have the capacity to shelter women and families. With the incredible support of our community, we launched a new shelter program that can serve people of all genders and family configurations. This is just one example, of many, of how we've adapted our work to better meet the needs of the people we serve.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Previous: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Culture & Community

This score provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves. Learn more about how and why we rate Culture & Community.

Culture & Community Score

Not Currently Scored

Connections for the Homeless Inc. is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback or Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen and Equity Practices sections of their Candid profile.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

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Culture & Community Report


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Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

This organization has not provided information regarding the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices it is presently implementing. As such, the organization has not earned a score on this metric. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.


We are utilizing data collected by Candid to document and assess the DEI practices implemented by the organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the Equity Strategies section of their Candid profiles to receive a rating.

Learn more about the methodology.

Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective.


We've partnered with Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.

Learn more about the methodology.

Analysis and Research

Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Below you can find more information about the metrics we currently evaluate in this beacon and their relevance to nonprofit performance.

Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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