CHICAGO — Chance the Rapper, newly minted Chicagoan of the Year, stopped by WCGI radio Wednesday morning to announce a partnership with a humanitarian organization to donate clothes to the homeless.
The Empowerment Plan, a Detroit-based organization, and Chance created the “Warmest Winter” initiative to raise $100,000 for 1,000 coats to help Chicago's homeless this winter. The coats, which will be made by formerly homeless women, have a compartment that turns into a sleeping bag.
People can also donate via his website, Chanceraps.com.
This project falls in line with Chance the Rapper's career-long commitment to his city and social justice, which includes initiatives like Teens In The Park Fest, Open Mike Chicago and his annual #SaveChicago campaign on Memorial Day Weekend.
He also reached out to his 1.25 million Twitter followers to spread the word about Warmest Winter:
According to a study done by the Chicago Homeless Coalition, 125,848 Chicagoans were homeless during the 2014-15 school year. Over 20,000 of them were identified as Chicago Public Schools students. Chance wants to help that demographic the most.
"You can save a whole lot of lives this winter and next winter to save Chicago," he said in the interview.
Chance also clarified recent comments he made on Twitter about Spike Lee's "Chi-raq" film.
"The reason that we are dying is that we all have PTSD, Post Trumatic Stress Disorder. Kids have seen people murdered in front of them," Chance said. "That starts a paranoia in your mind that you are walking around with. When you feel someone is trying to kill you, that's when you get scared and start shooting people."
The Chatham native went on to discuss why he chose to name Officer Jason Van Dyke in his recent SNL performance, using his name as part of an impromptu rap in one of his songs.
"We talk about Laquan McDonald a lot. That's deflection technique to make you look at the victim of the crime as a suspect to make you think about what he did in his life rather than thinking of the murderer himself," Chance explained.
He went on to say that he thinks Van Dyke was over-charged with first-degree murder because it's unlikely the officer who shot Laquan McDonald would get convicted for the serious charge, which implies the perpetrator had premeditated the murder.
Watch the full interview below:
Warmest Winter has currently raised over $6,800. The deadline to raise the funds is Jan. 6.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: