JD Miller Recognized as One of 2019’s Most Inspiring Chicagoans
Just last week we celebrated our chief revenue officer, JD Miller, for being named one of Crain’s 2019 Notable LGBTQ Executives, recognizing his significant contributions to advancing workplace equality within the Chicago area. Today, we’re honored to celebrate another one of his achievements, as he’s been named one of StreetWise’s 2019 Most Inspiring Chicagoans!
We’d love to take a moment and share a bit more about what makes JD so inspiring:
JD’s Philanthropic Work in Chicago
In speaking with the pastor at a Lincoln Park church about their efforts to help the homeless, he noticed that meals were offered without any sign-in requirements. This enabled volunteers to develop trusted relationships with their homeless guests – something many nonprofits struggle with and only a few excel at. Forming these bonds has been crucial to the success of the program, as they were key to moving people out of homelessness. This formula for success naturally led the church to want to help more people in their community. However, the church didn’t have the infrastructure in place to support an expanded program. To resolve this problem, JD partnered with volunteer leadership to incorporate the program as a standalone nonprofit. This helped to provide the additional resources they needed to expand.
Today, the organization uses the trusted relationships they develop to introduce more than 12,000 homeless contacts annually to life-changing community resources with the help of Care for Friends (CFF). CFF is an organization that works to build pathways out of homelessness. The program has been very successful: within six months of being introduced to their housing partners, 85% of CFF guests are in a permanent living situation. Additionally, graduates – of the job skills and training program CFF partners with – earn an average wage of $12.34 per hour for work lasting 38 hours per week. In addition, 60% of CFF guests who require additional care have found a permanent medical home that’s not the emergency department, as it might’ve once been.
JD’s work doesn’t stop there. This fall, he’ll work with Care for Friends to expand their services and address the needs of LGBTQ youth, partnering with Lincoln Park High School and The Center On Halsted.
Additionally, JD serves as a business mentor to Chicago entrepreneurs at 1871. He’s also an active member of the Alumni Advisory Board at the University of Illinois Department of Communication, where he has endowed a fund to support undergraduate students pursuing business careers.
We’re incredibly proud of you and your work, JD. Congratulations!