• IdentificationMSDobm08
  • TitleDoug Dobmeyer papers MSDobm08
  • PublisherSpecial Collections
  • RepositorySpecial Collections
  • Physical Description53.0 linear feet
  • Date1978-2008
  • Origination
    • Chicago (Ill.). Department of Housing.
    • Dobmeyer Communications.
    • Dobmeyer, Doug

Arrangement of the collection very closely mirrors the original order of the materials as donated by Mr. Dobmeyer. Individual series have been created for each of the various organizations, agencies, and task forces with which Doug Dobmeyer worked, comprising Series I - Series X. Materials documenting Mr. Dobmeyer's media consulting company, Dobmeyer Communications, forms Series XI and materials documenting Mr. Dobmeyer's publication, Poverty Issues...Dateline Illinois, comprise Series XII. The final series, Series XIII, contains media coverage of Dobmeyer and his work.

The Doug Dobmeyer Papers (1978-2008) comprise administrative records, correspondence, reports, publicity and fundraising materials, and media documenting organizations for which Dobmeyer served as founder, director, board member or consultant. These organizations include: Voice of the People in Uptown, Inc., Residents for Emergency Shelter (REST), Center for Street People, Lakefront SRO Corporation (now Mercy Lakefront Housing), Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund, Public Welfare Coalition, Chicago Community Trust Fellowship, and the Task Force to Oppose Gambling in Chicago.

Also included in the collection are reports from the Chicago Department of Housing (1990-2008), client files from Dobmeyer Communications (a media consulting firm for social issue agencies and advocates) as well as materials relating to Dobmeyer's publication, Poverty Issues...Dateline Illinois, and media coverage of Dobmeyer's work with social service agencies, in developing public policy, and as a journalist.

Doug Dobmeyer has worked for over thirty-nine years in the non-profit sector and doing media work and journalism in both the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois. He graduated from Indiana University in 1971 with a degree in political science and served for two years as a VISTA volunteer with the Cook County Legal Assistance Foundation from 1971-1973. Dobmeyer's principle work for the following twenty-five years has included social service work primarily with the development of emergency services and low-income housing in Chicago to address homelessness. This work has included direct service, public policy development, lobbying, and media work to get policies adopted.

Dobmeyer has served as executive director of several Chicago-based homeless and statewide advocacy groups. In the mid-1980's he led efforts to establish the first organization, the Lakefront SRO Corporation, (now Mercy Housing Lakefront) to focus on the purchase, redevelopment and management of SRO (single room occupancy) buildings. Lakefront SRO has since merged with Mercy Housing, based in Denver, but during its initial nineteen-year run as an independent organization, eleven buildings with over 1,000 units for the very low-income were developed and managed.

Also in the mid-1980's Dobmeyer was a leader in efforts to force the developer of an upscale near west side development (Presidential Towers developed by the Habitat Company) to provide to the city over $3 million for a fund for low-income housing. That fund turned into the Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund. In 1989 the fund was established and Dobmeyer was appointed a Board member first by then-mayor Eugene Sawyer. Dobmeyer was then reappointed by Mayor Richard M. Daley for ten two-year terms, serving as the Board Secretary during his tenure. By 2010, the Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund fund has subsidized over 2,400 units of rental housing so low-income individuals and families can live in rental housing and provided long-term housing development assistance for the very low-income.

In 1994, Doug Dobmeyer started Dobmeyer Communications, doing media work for a variety of clients on difficult social agenda issues. Additionally, as a Chicago Community Trust Service Fellow (1994-95) and a Fellow at Loyola University of Chicago (1998), he has been involved in researching, teaching writing and media training for many people.

Dobmeyer has served as spokesperson for the Task Force to Oppose Gambling in Chicago, an organization that has fought efforts to bring a casino to the city and has successfully kept Chicago casino-free for twenty years.

As journalist and author, Doug Dobmeyer published Poverty Issues...Dateline Illinois from 1996 to 2001. He also developed and wrote On Issue, a political column for Streetwise, from 1998 to 2001. During the spring legislative session in 2000, he covered state issues and political news at Illinois’ State House for City News USA, a web-based news service, among several other publications. Beginning in January, 2004, Dobmeyer started publishing Today’s Issues, an e-publication covering political and social issues. Dobmeyer has also written a book on media strategies for non-profit organizations, Competing Successfully for Media Coverage (Dobmeyer Communications, 1996).

Doug Dobmeyer is married to Candace Huber, a property manager for Over the Rainbow Association providing housing for physically challenged people. At the time of his 2008 donation of his personal papers to the University of Illinois at Chicago University Library, Dobmeyer has remained active through continued writing and advocacy work.

Doug Dobmeyer papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Names
    • Center for Street People. -- Archives
    • Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. -- Archives
    • Chicago Community Trust. Fellowship. -- Archives
    • Chicago Low-Income Housing Trust Fund. -- Archives
    • Dobmeyer Communications. -- Archives
    • Dobmeyer, Doug
    • Dobmeyer, Doug -- Archives
    • Lakefront Supportive Housing. -- Archives
    • Public Welfare Coalition (Ill.). -- Archives
    • REST. -- Archives
    • Task Force to Oppose Gambling in Chicago. -- Archives
    • Voice of the People in Uptown, Inc. -- Archives
  • Subject
    • Chicago Community Organizations.
    • Chicago Neighborhoods.
    • Community development, Urban.
    • Community-based social services.
    • Gambling--Social aspects.
    • Homeless persons--Housing.
    • Homeless persons--Services for.
    • Housing rehabilitation.
    • Lobbying.
    • Low-income housing.
    • Media consultants.
    • Nonprofit organizations--Employees.
    • Nonprofit organizations--Management.
    • Poor--Services for.
    • Public welfare.
    • Shelters for the homeless.
    • Social advocacy.
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area.
    • Illinois--Chicago--Uptown.
    • Illinois--Chicago.