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.
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.
Our work is made possible through continued support from partners in the community, who see the value in our mission of advancing housing as a human right. We look forward to expanding our impact together in 2019!
We gathered to celebrate the holiday season on Tuesday with our residents. From our home to yours, we wish you all the joy your hearts can hold and every success in the coming year!
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!
Juan Carlos Linares presented on a panel at the SPARCC learning convening focused on “Investment without Displacement: Solutions for Equitable, Healthy & Vibrant Communities” in Los Angeles this month. It was the only rainy week all year, but spirits were high as community organizations, industry experts, and leaders in government came together to develop relationships, learn from one another, and make new connections across each of the six cities. Check out content from the convening here!
As a steering committee member of Elevated Chicago, part of the national SPARCC initiative, we are proud to announce the expansion of the City of Chicago’s existing Transit Oriented Development (TOD) policy to more than 20 high-ridership bus routes along eight major corridors across the city, including Ashland Ave, Western Ave, and Chicago Ave. Thanks to the advocacy of community groups such as LUCHA via the Elevated Chicago platform, Chicago will be the first city to expand TOD to bus corridors. This is a major leap ahead for creating and preserving affordable housing, especially in areas of opportunity with access to jobs, schools, parks, and transit.
Each Thanksgiving, LUCHA’s Resident Services Program hosts a holiday dinner program at Humboldt Park Residence (HPR). With staff, local partners, and 30 LUCHA tenants in attendance, this year’s celebration was filled with joy, warmth and the delicious aroma of tenants’ and staff homemade cooking, including traditional Puerto Rican fare like pasteles and pollo guisado.
In true LUCHA tradition, those in attendance shared what they were grateful for. Emilia*, a tenant who had previously experienced homelessness, expressed her gratitude for HPR and the family environment that she and other tenants have cultivated through the work of the Resident Services Program. The most popular response?: the impressive and expansive spread of food!
*Names and identifying details have been altered to respect privacy.