Our History and Programs

Rev. Robert Johnson

Inner Voice/IV was founded in 1984 by the late Rev. Robert Johnson, who opened a soup kitchen on the west side of Chicago to tend to the physical needs of individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty. He quickly realized that while food was essential to survival, a broader array of services was necessary to help people break the cycle of poverty and homelessness and find pathways to independence and self-sufficiency. Now celebrating 40 years, Inner Voice provides a combination of affordable housing and support services designed to help families and individuals, including returning citizens and Veterans use housing as a platform for health and recovery following a period of homelessness.

Designed to help participants succeed for the long-term, support services provided through Inner Voice and its partner network are critical to helping participants secure immediate and affordable housing, preventing eviction and a return to homelessness, and acquiring and nurturing a sense of self-worth.

Our Team

Inner Voice currently employs 62 full-time staff members. Inner Voice has a long history of employing individuals with lived experience, with over 55% of its staff having been homeless or at imminent risk, and 55% with a justice-involved background. Many staff have endured most of the hardships that accompany homelessness such as substance use disorders, justice-involved backgrounds, gang affiliations, incarceration, poor credit histories, trauma and more. Program participants do not have to look far to realize that personal recovery is possible, and life can get better.

Click HERE to learn more about our team members, as well as new program updates.