The annual event is from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road. Kristen Hamer, director of community relations for the CHA, said 5,000 families have signed up to receive 10,000 new coats for children ages 14 years old and under.
The event "is restricted to families who have already registered online to attend," Hamer said. "So we don't want people thinking they can show up anyway and get a coat. All coats have been accounted for."
The coat giveaway is for residents living in CHA buildings and those with Housing Choice Vouchers (formerly called Section 8). Any leftover coats will be donated to Catholic Charities.
Additionally, a free resource fair will take place at the event. Attendees will be able to sign up for energy assistance with the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County; receive flu shots and blood screenings by Walgreens, and even get a state identification card from the Secretary of State's office. Hamer said the CHA will also pay the ID card fee for a limited number of people.
Free transportation is also being provided for those residents needing it.
"We have three buses bringing residents from Altgeld Gardens [on the Far South Side] and have more buses going to our other buildings," she added.
And while the program is restricted to elementary school-age children, Rich Lalley, vice president of Development for Operation Warm, said he would like to include older children.
"I would love to be able to include high school-age children down the road," Lalley said. "There are 14.2 million children living in poverty in America and this year we will do our part by giving away 200,000 coats."
The Philadelphia-based organization also does coat giveaways in New York, Boston and Denver but Chicago remains the hub.
"Chicago is one of our largest coat giveaway programs," he said. "An additional 15,000 coats will be given away through other organizations we partner with in the Chicago area."