Heartland Alliance International (HAI)
Heartland Alliance, one of the world’s leading anti-poverty organizations, works in communities in the U.S. and abroad to serve those who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety. It provides a comprehensive array of services in the areas of health, housing, jobs and justice – and leads state and national policy efforts, which target lasting change for individuals and society.
Heartland Alliance advances the human rights and responds to the human needs of endangered populations—particularly the poor, the isolated, and the displaced—through the provision of comprehensive and respectful services and the promotion of permanent solutions leading to a more just global society.
In the late 1800s, Chicago was quickly becoming home to one of America’s largest immigrant populations. They came in pursuit of the American dream of hope and opportunity, but struggled to find a foothold. That’s when poverty, illness and homelessness set in.
Heartland Alliance opened its doors in 1888, pioneered, in part, by Jane Addams, founder of Hull House and one of Chicago’s first leaders in the movement to end poverty. From the beginning, they worked to bring healthcare, housing and support to people facing homelessness. Over the years, we’ve continued their mission, helping to restore dignity to the most vulnerable populations. They reconnected immigrant families separated at Ellis Island and became first responders during the Great Depression to those in need of housing. When veterans returned from World War I and World War II, they offered them the services they needed to recover. Later, as crises of homelessness, limitations on mental and physical healthcare services and the spread of HIV/AIDS reached a fever pitch, they were among the first to respond, opening some of Chicago’s first housing and healthcare clinics to serve those in need.
These principles still guide us today. They now work throughout the Midwest and in 20 countries around the world, using their experience to advocate for change. They serve more than 500,000 people each year, including refugees, those experiencing homelessness and chronic illness, and those seeking justice. They connect them with the services they need to escape poverty and heal, just as they have for more than 125 years. Want to learn more about their mission to end poverty? Read about their work in housing, healthcare, jobs and justice.See more