Chalice House provides temporary housing and support for families and/or individuals navigating the U.S. Asylum process. community-based housing such as Chalice House offers alternatives to detention while an immigrant’s case is pending so that families can stay together and immigrants don’t experience additional trauma in immigration detention centers.

Chalice House is a shared project between Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist and a coalition of partners:

  • Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants (ICDI) is a non-profit, faith-based organization that provides services to immigrants released from ICE detention. An ICDI case manager connects residents to educational, ESL, religious, health, and legal services as needed.
  • Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist and Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Arlington Heights co-lead on housing and mentorship.
  • A coalition of Community partners and many individuals provide ongoing financial and in-kind support.
  • A Home Team manages home furnishings and repairs.
  • A Community Team creates opportunities for the residents to be involved with our partners.
  • A Hospitality Team supports the mentors in providing hospitality and support to Chalice House residents.

To get involved, contact

The project requires financial and volunteer commitments to maintain, and we are incredibly grateful and inspired by the support that has been provided by our community partners as well as dozens of individuals.

  • Countryside Church Unitarian Universalist
  • Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Arlington Heights
  • St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Barrington
  • Great Plains Zen Center
  • Unitarian Church of Evanston
  • Southminster Presbyterian Church
  • St. John United Church of Christ, Arlington Heights
  • Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation
  • First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights
  • First Congregational Church, Crystal Lake
  • Unitarian Church of Hinsdale
  • North Shore Unitarian Church
  • Garden Club of Inverness
  • Family Forward
Dozens of individuals and team from our partner organizations have helped to furnish and prepare the home for our guests. 


To get involved with the Home Team, contact








We invite you to join the coalition by investing time, talent, or treasure and helping us make a difference by offering our home to affected immigrants.

  • Connect us to congregations, faith groups, or other organizations interested in supporting Chalice House through donations or volunteer efforts.
  • Provide financial support by clicking on the Donate Now button on the right and specifying Chalice House on the form
  • Join our mailing list to stay up to date on Chalice House residents and future needs

To help with any of the above, ask questions, or offer suggestions, email us at

The need for housing for immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. is critically important. In a recently released report, the National Immigrant Justice Center described immigration detention centers as a “sprawling network of wasteful prisons operated by for-profit companies, county jails, and a small number of processing centers owned by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that are interchangeable from jails in structure and practice.”

Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants showcases Chalice House in a heart-breaking but hopeful video featuring the plight of immigrants who find themselves in ICE detention after migrating to the United States seeking asylum. The video features several ICDI clients telling their story and describes how community-based housing like Chalice House is a welcome change for people when they are released from detention. Chalice House was a pilot program for ICDI and because of the support we received from our partners and many individuals, it is now a model for others.

The Chalice House team hosted an educational series based on the Dialogues on the Refugee Crisis curriculum. The book is highly recommended and is available from the publisher. If you’re interested in joining a future facilitated session covering both the book and the accompanying DVDs, please email

Other recommended reading includes:

Countryside is committed to a transparent financial process. All Chalice House transactions are maintained in separate accounting records by the church administrator, with oversight provided by Countryside’s Treasurer, Chalice House bookkeeper, and auditor. 

We have four sources of funds:

  • Grants
  • Countryside Church fundraisers and congregants
  • Community partners and supporters
  • Individual donations including through Faithify

The Chalice House budget is $34,000/year

  • Cost of housing is $16,000/year (covering lost rental income to CCUU) plus a fund of $4,000 to cover utilities, home maintenance, and some additional needs of the family.
  • Each family receives a stipend of $500/month for a total of $12,000/year ($6,000 per family) – this is currently covered by the State of Illinois.
  • Major home maintenance expenses that improve the value of the property, such as a new roof, will be covered by separate fundraising, pro bono donations, or the CCUU capital fund.

The support of our Community Partners, individual supporters, and helping hands remains critical to a sustained commitment. If you would like to begin or renew your support, please contact or go to this secure donation page and select Chalice House.