Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Park District Strike Information

The following information is subject to change.

Chicago Public Schools

Until further notice, CPS schools will be open during normal hours without instruction. All other activities are cancelled. Breakfast and lunch will be served.

Charter and contract schools will operate as usual.

Chicago Park District

The Chicago Park District facilities are open as usual. Facilities with drop-in activities include:

  • Humboldt Park, 1400 N. Humboldt Drive, 312-742-7549
  • Hamlin Park, 3055 N. Hoyne, 312-742-7785
  • Riis Park, 6100 W. Fullerton, 312-746-5363

Chicago Public Library

CPL facilities will be operating according to their regular schedules including:

  • Humboldt Park Library: 1605 N. Troy, 312-744-2244
  • Daley Library: 733 N. Kedzie, 312-743-0555

Other Options

  • McCormick YMCA, 1834 N. Lawndale, 773-225-2525
    • Special programming is available during strike. Call to register. Cost: $34 per day per child (members) $64 per day per child (non-members)
  • Union League Boys and Girls Club, 1214 N. Washtenaw, 773-772-2187
    • Contact for information on any additional strike programming.

Isaias Solis Joins South Bend Community School Corporation as Director of Operations and Communications

LUCHA’s Director of Programs, Isaias Solis, recently accepted the position of Director of Operations and Communications with the South Bend Community School Corporation’s Empowerment Zone and will be transitioning effective October 4, 2019. In his new role, Isaias will work closely with Dr. Cheryl Camacho (Ph.D., Harvard University), Chief, South Bend Empowerment Zone, the South Bend Community School Corporation, Indiana Board of Education, the Empowerment Zone Board of Directors, school leadership, parents, students, and community to close the educational achievement gap for students enrolled in 4 elementary and 1 middle school in South Bend’s West Side public schools. He will support the important work of the Zone Chief to ensure that zone schools are well supported logistically and operationally so that principals can focus on delivering excellent academic results for students. While his absence will be felt at LUCHA, we are excited about this new opportunity for him.

During his tenure at LUCHA, which began December 2017, Isaias and his team led the launch of Department of Programs operations utilizing evidence-based and practiced-informed frameworks and theory of change models, consolidating all related services under one Department, growing the Department of Programs to a peak staff of 20, which included full-time staff, part-time staff, VISTA’s, interns, and volunteers. The Department of Programs additionally grew from a budget of $697,000 in 2017 to a budget of $3 million in 2019 and its client base grew by 250%, all from Chicagoans requesting LUCHA’s Department of Programs services, while maintaining a 95% client satisfaction rating (bi-annual client satisfaction surveys).

Under Isaias’ leadership, the Department of Program’s Housing Opportunities Program (HOP) successfully received US Department of Housing and Urban Development three-year recertification by successfully meeting all audit requirements with zero findings in 2018. Additionally, LUCHA’s Housing Opportunities Program housing counselors became the first group in the State of Illinois, as required by the new HUD published Housing Counseling Certification Requirements Final Rule, to become nationally HUD certified, one year in advance of the required deadline. HOP additionally fully implemented a cross-training model that allowed all counselors to be fully trained and certified in all six HUD core service areas. The Community Law Program was able to successfully secure a Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) contract to perform real estate closings for all CHA Choose To Own clients and Isaias also worked closely with Staff Attorney Raisa Alicea to secure additional funding from HUD’s Fair Housing Initiative Program to provide much needed fair housing services, resources, and complaint filing support for Chicagoans who face housing discrimination. Additionally, the Resident & Community Services program transitioned from an information, navigation, and referral operation to implementing a rigorous housing stability case management model which incorporates a comprehensive and evidence-based client assessment tool developed by the University of Michigan to better assess and quickly address clients’ complex social service needs. All Department of Programs operations and data collection also became fully digitized with each program utilizing complementary Client Management Systems (CMS) further maximizing operational efficiency and impact. LUCHA’s Department of Programs also continued to evolve as a recognized leader in housing counseling and direct service delivery provider.

“When I relocated to the Greater Chicago Area in 2017 and took the role of Director of Programs, I clearly understood the urgency with which we needed to approach this work and I was deeply moved by the team in place and how they saw themselves as leaders in this work. Outside of providing direct services to the community, they saw themselves as empowered agents of change, with our daily work targeting deep rooted systemic and institutional barriers that have perpetuated the racial wealth gap in Chicago. Stabilizing individuals through case management services, educating and empowering through housing counseling services, and advocating for with legal services was a bridge to support our clients in achieving self-sufficiency.” To those ends, Isaias and his team prioritized community partnerships and expanding the array of services and service providers to ensure that our clients had options at their disposal. In collaboration with Chicago United for Equity, a racial equity leader in Chicago, the team further expanded LUCHA’s regional influence as a racial equity leader as it relates to redlining, mortgage lending, and housing affordability.

Isaias’s collaborative and community-minded spirit allowed him to partner and collaborate with practitioners across Chicago and the nation as he worked closely with the Latino Policy Forum’s Housing Acuerdo and Immigration Acuerdo, UnidosUS, NeighborWorks America, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Chicago Housing Authority, City of Chicago’s Department of Housing, Illinois Housing Development Authority, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Justice, lending partners, and many other local organizations.

Board Member Julisa Sanchez remarks that, “Under Isaias’ leadership in the Department of Programs, LUCHA has continued to extend its network of partners who together with LUCHA have positively impacted many lives in our communities through high quality programming and services. Isaias’ fierce advocacy and focus on program growth and expansion has built a remarkable culture and expectations for programs and services at LUCHA. We are certain that he will be an outstanding leader in his new role addressing another important and complex issue – the educational achievement gap. We will miss him dearly and wish him the best in his new endeavor.”

According to Isaias, “LUCHA, the team, our community partners, and our clients will always hold a special place in my heart since we have built and cultivated many authentic and results-driven relationships, have created sustainable systems of operation, and have worked to ensure that every Chicagoan has access to safe, stable, and affordable housing. We have built strong and sustainable operations around systems that will ensure that continue the good work that the team has been engaging in over the years. The lessons learned and the personal and professional growth that I have experienced while at LUCHA are important lessons that I will carry with me in my next role. I look forward to continuing to promote the LUCHA brand and being a life-long ambassador, supporter, and cheerleader as LUCHA continues to grow, expand, and further cement its legacy in Chicago and the Midwest.” Many thanks and the highest congratulations, Isaias!

We at LUCHA are completing the transition process for the Department of Programs and will announce next steps shortly. Stay tuned!

LUCHA welcomes Paralegal to Community Law Program

Please join us in welcoming Erica Bobish to our esteemed Community Law Program! In her new role as Paralegal, Erica will support our operations by preparing, organizing and maintaining legal correspondence and other documents and conducting research as it pertains to case preparation. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Erica graduated in 2019 from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and minors in Latin American Studies, Peace and Justice Studies, and Theology. During her time at Xavier, she studied in Chile as a Community Development intern at Servicios Jesuitas a Migrantes (Jesuit Services for Migrants) and in Nashville, Tennessee at the Nashville International Center for Empowerment, which serves immigrant and refugee populations in middle Tennessee. Erica is currently a graduate student at Loyola University Chicago, where she is pursuing a Bilingual Master of Social Work. She aims to work with the Latinx community of Chicago after graduation.

Welcome, Erica!

2815-21 W. Division Street #NoNosVamos

This week, LUCHA stood in solidarity with tenants of 2815-21 W. Division Street  who are facing displacement from their affordable apartments if their landlord refuses to renew the building’s Section 8 contract or sell the building to an affordable housing developer who would renew the contract. Tenants are organizing within their legal rights to purchase the building in partnership with a like-minded developer in the hopes of preserving affordability and keeping families in place.

The fears of displacement and losing community connections are rampant across the City of Chicago given the affordable housing crisis — but we are HERE TO STAY! Join us in celebrating the heroes of this moment, but don’t forget to do your part to keep these families in their homes. Call the property manager at 773-447-2122 and insist that this building stay affordable. #NoNosVamos #HereToStay

Playstreets @ HPR

In a historic moment, LUCHA hosted another successful PlayStreets event on August 10th – which also happened to be the first community block event on the 1100 block of North Christiana Avenue in over 20 years! We brought out over 150 LUCHA residents and neighbors, who came together over fresh BBQ and an intergenerational basketball game. We also hosted several partners – including Chicago Public Schools (CPS)Huntington Bank and YWCA – who provided free financial and social service resources (and stuck around for all of the fun!). Above all, we are overjoyed to witness the growing connections among residents with each passing PlayStreets season. Given the historic lack of community engagement on Christiana Avenue, we are honored to have gathered so many neighbors in support of a healthier and more connected block. 

The fun isn’t over just yet! With just one PlayStreets event remaining in the 2019 season, don’t miss out on what we have in store for September 14th!

Housing For All 4th District Housing Fair with Rep. Delia Ramirez

On August 10th, 4th District State Representative Delia Ramirez hosted the Housing For All Fair, a community event with an accessible platform for residents to learn more about available housing options in the area, apply for affordable housing, become informed of tenants’ rights, explore options for homebuyer education, and seek recommendations for property tax appeals. Staff from LUCHA’s esteemed Community Law Program and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-certified  Housing Opportunities Program  joined in to provide free legal consultations and resources for homebuyer education.

Thank you to Rep. Ramirez for organizing, to all of our community partners who participated in the Fair, and to all who attended! We are grateful to be a part of such a dedicated network of housing advocates who invest in the success of every resident.

CHA Choose To Own – Year 2

LUCHA is excited to announce our continued partnership with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA)  through its Choose To Own (CTO) Homeownership Program. The program assists public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) tenants in the transition to affordable and sustainable homeownership by applying voucher assistance to a mortgage instead of rent. In addition to financial assistance toward housing costs, the program refers clients to providers such as LUCHA who offer quality, bilingual pre- and post-purchase homebuyer education, credit counseling, legal representation for closing, and other services to guide renters through the homebuying process.

Most recently, LUCHA assisted 30 first-time homebuyers in preparing for purchase and closing on their properties through the CTO Program. With this extended support, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to help more of our neighbors begin building generational wealth in their new homes!

Tierra Linda Lease-Up

We are delighted to announce that our latest affordable housing development, Tierra Linda, is fully occupied! With 45 scattered-site affordable rental units, Tierra Linda is LUCHA’s first sustainability-oriented development which bridges affor dability with green technology for low-income residents of the City of Chicago. Located primarily along the 606 Trail, Tierra Linda represents LUCHA’s commitment to transforming neighborhoods through community development and increasing neighborhood access to people who might otherwise be displaced from Chicago’s exclusive housing market. Moreover, it is a step toward an equitable affordable ho using field which approaches development through the lens of environmental sustainability.

Affordable Housing Tour with City of Chicago Housing Commissioner

This week, LUCHA teamed up with the Logan Square Neighborhood AssociationCenter for Changing LivesSpanish Coalition for HousingBickerdike Redevelopment Corporation and Northwest Side Housing Center to host a trolley tour of affordable housing successes and opportunities with local officials and Commissioner Marisa Novara of the city’s Department of Housing. Touring the Northwest side of Chicago within the Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Hermosa and Belmont-Cragin neighborhoods, we highlighted the innovative achievements of affordable housing projects such as LUCHA’s Tierra Linda development and Passive House building. In addition, we imagined an equitable future with an affordable TOD housing development at the Emmett Street lot in Logan Square, which is experiencing widespread gentrification and massive displacement of legacy Latinx families who can no longer afford to live in the neighborhood they helped shape; and the Here to Stay Community Land Trust, which would organize community-owned land and maintain naturally occurring affordable housing for renters and homeowners on the Northwest side in the face of demolition and displacement.

We are honored to work alongside dedicated partners who continue to advance housing affordability and accessibility for our neighbors and proud to share our efforts with the City of Chicago in the hopes of creating a more equitable Chicago for all.


PlayStreets in July

On July 27th, the sun was out to welcome all of our neighbors as we hosted our third PlayStreets block party of the season on the 1700 block of Drake Avenue. True to our promises, we brought the fun with a full-sized bounce house, basketball hoop, and even a sack race! Thanks to our featured partners this month for their involvement:

We are so delighted to create space for our community in fun and safe environments and look forward to the remaining PlayStreets events of the season!