The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) has awarded LUCHA a Community Ventures Program loan to cover a portion of the rehabilitation costs for LUCHA’s single-room occupancy (SRO) building, Humboldt Park Residence (HPR). The rehabilitation will preserve 65 units and provide significant upgrades including private bathrooms, air conditioning, energy-efficient windows, and shared common space for community-building among staff and residents. As Humboldt Park and surrounding areas experience gentrification and increasing displacement pressures, HPR continues to meet a critical need for housing affordability and accessibility. A longstanding partner, JCUA also provided financial support during the predevelopment and construction phase of HPR back in 1995. We are grateful for the ongoing support of community partners who continue to see the value in advancing housing as a human right!
Always innovating, LUCHA is one of four organizations chosen by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) to participate in a 12-month program that offers the benefits of financial technology solutions to clients in Chicago. The program, supported by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Chase Foundation, will increase access to financial services for individuals and households in need and empower clients to invest in their financial health without disrupting their established ways of life. This month, LUCHA spent some time with the CFSI and longstanding community partner Center for Changing Lives (CCL) to review collective goals and strategies to best serve clients. We look forward to the continued collaboration!
LUCHA’s Executive Director, Juan Carlos Linares, has been appointed to the Board of Governors of the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), an organization that works with leaders across government, business, non-profit and other sectors to advance public policies and best practices that build toward a more equitable, sustainable Chicago. An active partner of MPC via Elevated Chicago, Juan Carlos and LUCHA will continue to engage industry leaders and local stakeholders in the push for equitable community development, innovative infrastructure and equitable access to green/park space and other natural resources.
LUCHA’s Executive Director, Juan Carlos Linares, recently paid a visit to the Pereira Passos Institute (IPP) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The IPP serves as the city’s research body and manages city data to inform equitable public policy development and urban interventions. Andrea Pulici, the Technical Coordinator of Special Projects at the IPP, presented on the Social Territories Program, which serves families who are underserved by the existing network of social services in Rio de Janeiro. LUCHA and the IPP shared experiences and best practices in coping with inequality with regard to city living conditions, drawing an international link between cities like Chicago and Rio de Janiero, and demonstrating the need for equitable city development across the globe.
LUCHA’s Housing Opportunities Center has kicked off its 2019 group education activities! This is your year – join us for a group education workshop and build toward your dream of homeownership. For FREE registration, click here.
Upcoming workshop dates:
Saturday, February 9th, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday, February 23rd, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
For more information about housing counseling and education services at LUCHA’s Housing Opportunities Center, please call 773-489-8484.
As a long-standing community-based organization, LUCHA embraces its role as a champion for equitable solutions to address issues adversely impacting community residents. In preparation for the upcoming Mayoral Election, LUCHA staff and residents attended the One Chicago for All Alliance Mayoral Forum at the UIC Forum on January 12th to advocate for affordable, safe, and fair housing in the City of Chicago. Community organizations from across the city – including LUCHA’s community partners such as the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, the Center for Changing Lives, and the Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation – came together to publicly support the notion of a more inclusive and just city that works for all of us.
There’s still time to register to vote! To access your voter information, locate your precinct polling place or verify your voter registration, click here.
In celebration of Three Kings’ Day, LUCHA closed out the holiday season by hosting its Resident Services Program partners at Nellie’s Restaurant. Nested in the heart of Chicago’s vibrant Puerto Rican community, we came together over classic Nellie’s breakfast fare – like the much-revered pastelón and avena de coco – to uplift the importance of supportive services for our shared communities. In the spirit of collaboration, LUCHA’s residents demonstrated how our programming has impacted their lives by sharing their stories and leading group activities, including mixing our own healthy trail mix and collaborating on a collective art project together.
Dineyshka, a young mother of three, recently moved into our Passive House. She evacuated Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and has been struggling to make a new life here, having doubled-up with family members in Joliet, then moving to Chicago with big hopes only to wind up on the streets with her children. Thanks to our collaboration with FEMA, HUD, CHA, and Humble Design, we are so grateful to help her celebrate the holidays in a safe, warm home. In 2019, Dineyshka looks forward to adding the final touches to her home and transitioning from multiple part time jobs to a career. We look forward to supporting her and her family as they build roots in our community and are excited to create many new beginnings for other families as well. Cheers to everything 2019 holds in store!
We are so grateful for our partners who have helped take our Housing Opportunities services to the next level this past year. The market and our current political climate continue to present challenges, but we are so proud of our clients who have overcome each barrier via their resilience and repaired their credit, increased their savings, and purchased their first homes. We are finalizing our workshop schedule for 2019 now – stay tuned!