Lawson House YMCA

Since 1931, Lawson House has provided safe, affordable housing for people in transition.

Today it is the largest single-room occupancy (SRO) supportive housing facility in the Midwest, providing housing and wrap-around social services for extremely low-income or formerly homeless men and women.Lawson House YMCA

Lawson House provides an array of free social services, mental health and primary medical care to help residents achieve housing stability and be independent, vibrant contributors to their community. These supportive services have been carefully added over the past 30 years through lasting partnerships with area agencies and organizations. Through their commitment, Lawson House has emerged as a national model of supportive housing.



On-site services include:

  • Denny Primary Care and Preventive Medicine Center – an affiliate of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, providing free medical care to all residents
  • Life Development Center – Case managers connect residents to job training, life skills development, counseling, transportation assistance and more
  • Mental Health Services – Outpatient mental health clinic and emergency housing programs, provided by Northwestern Memorial
  • Food Pantry – Food assistance for low-income residents
  • Clothes Closet – Appropriate attire for job interviews, cold weather, more
  • Social Activities – Monthly resident meetings, support groups, movie nights and social outings



Lawson House is open to men and women. We offer furnished private rooms with community, shared or private baths. Every room comes with a microwave oven, a mini refrigerator, a ceiling fan and all utilities. Other features include:

  • 24 hour security
  • Air-conditioned resident lounge
  • Easy access to CTA’s Red, Brown and Purple lines and many bus routes
  • On-site laundry facilities
  • Resident computer lab
  • Free fitness privileges at partner YMCAs


Both market-rate and subsidized rooms are available. Subsidized rental assistance is available through the Low Income Housing Trust Fund and the McKinney Grant program for those who meet federal guidelines for homelessness.

Market-rate rooms vary in size and cost. The 2014 rent schedule is:

  • Basic Room (with community bath) beginning at $410/mo.
  • Semi-Private Room (with shared bath) beginning at $459/mo.
  • Private Room (with private bath) beginning at $505/mo.

 All rooms require a one-year lease, which can be terminated with 30 days notice. No security deposit required. Transient or short-term housing is not available at this location.


How to Apply for Housing

Applicants must apply in person at Lawson House YMCA, 30 W. Chicago Avenue. Application hours are 8:30am – 3:30pm Monday through Friday. Please click here for a downloadable version of the application and a letter detailing the process.


Contact Us

Lawson House YMCA
30 W. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60654
Intake: 312.932.1166
Administration: 312.932.1163