CCHD awards $630,000 to local social-service groups

By Chicago Catholic
Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development was started in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1969 as a response to the systemic injustice facing low-income communities. Since then, CCHD has invested millions of dollars into organizations committed to robust community and economic development. Twentyfive organizations in the archdiocese benefited from $630,000 in grants this year. They support immigration rights, workers’ rights, disability rights and restorative justice, among other issues.

Latino Union collaborates with low-income immigrant workers to develop the skills to improve social and economic conditions in their communities and workplaces. One of its projects, the Chicago Coalition of Household Workers, trains and organizes female domestic workers to advocate for just work conditions.

Progress Center for Independent Living is a private, nonprofit, nonresidential organization operated by and for people with disabilities. PCIL members advocate for their human rights through disability rights’ trainings and oneon- one peer mentoring.

Southside Together Organizing for Power, a multi-issue community organization, fights to preserve low-income housing, improve the juvenile justice system and increase access to affordable healthcare and mental health services in Chicago. One of STOP’s ongoing projects, the Mental Health Movement, supports leadership development and organizing to preserve the six remaining mental health clinics in Chicago.

The Coalition to Save Our Mental Health Centers engages local residents to expand and restore mental health services in their communities. The coalition is working to create Chicago’s second Expanded Mental Health Services Program to address the local needs of residents in the North Lawndale, East Garfield Park, West Garfield Park, and Near West Side community areas.

Interfaith Leadership Project calls to collaboration communities of faith and organizations to create positive change in Berwyn and Cicero. It has continuously helped hundreds of youth through the DACA process and has also worked to increase the vote in Cicero by 34 percent among people that had not voted in the last five years.

St. Eulalia’s economic development project, Mujeres Unidas, is a women-owned cooperative addressing the issue of unemployment of women in Proviso. Through participatory learning and leadership development, women create economic opportunities in self-sufficient, womenowned worker cooperatives in the food service industry. Twelve women are currently members.

Las Luciernagas is a worker cooperative founded within the Telpochcalli Community Education Project. The co-op strives to promote living-wage employment and professional and leadership development for low-income, immigrant women in the Little Village community by founding a worker-owned catering business.

Kenwood Oakland Community Organization was formed in 1965 in Bronzeville to be a strong source of organizing, leadership development, and empowerment for neighborhood residents. KOCO works on several issues, including safe and affordable housing, creating tenant councils in low-income senior housing, empowering youth leaders and building a neighborhood network of academically excellent community schools.

W2C helps students prepare for, enroll in and graduate from college, and provides training and leadership development to parents. W2C works with first-generation middle- and high-school students. Through community organizing, parent leaders have succeeded in hiring of a qualified Spanish teacher, improved school safety and involved low-income parents in civic engagement.

Chicago Workers Collaborative organizes low-wage temporary laborers to protect their rights, fighting anti-worker and anti-immigrant activities of employers while strengthening protections for temporary agency workers. CWC has raised labor standards in Illinois through grassroots campaigns that led to the passage of seven new laws, including the toughest temp-labor and wagetheft laws in the country.

The Illinois Hunger Coalition is the only statewide anti-hunger organization working to end hunger and address its underlying causes. To this end, IHC organizes lowincome leaders in communities of color through member food pantries, churches, universities and colleges and social-service organizations.

The Parish Peace Project works for peace, economic justice, civil and immigrant rights and the full inclusion of marginalized persons in society. The mission is to combine ministry, community organizing and restorative justice as an alternative to violence for youth and young adults in Chicago.

St. Pius V Parish’s HOPE works with female victims of domestic violence, their children, male abusers committed to turning away from violence, couples, parents and others. HOPE is also a resource and model for other churches organizing around domestic violence and has created a network of 55 parishes around the archdiocese working against domestic violence.

Enlace Chicago fosters a physically safe and healthy environment in Little Village by championing opportunities for educational advancement and economic development. A key part of Enlace’s work is the Little Village Quality of Life Plan, which outlines eight strategic areas for the organization to work on. (See page 28)

The Chicago Housing Initiative was founded in 2007 to amplify the power of low-income residents to preserve and expand subsidized rental housing, promote community stabilization and advance racial and economic inclusion. It works on the Keeping the Promise Ordinance to address the Chicago Housing Authority’s failure to use available housing resources to help families access stable affordable housing in a neighborhood of their choice.

South Side Community Federal Credit Union is a community reinvestment bank owned and operated completely by community members and provides housing, financial literacy and health services. SSCFCU was established in 2003 as a not-for-profit community development financial institution that serves a predominantly African-American base of 2,000, who are part of its membership, and has $3.9 million in assets.

St. Elizabeth’s Credit Union works to remove the stranglehold payday loan institutions have on low-income South Side communities by providing low-interest loans. For the past 71 years, St. Elizabeth Credit Union has provided financial resources for the well-being of its members living in the Bronzeville community of Chicago.

IIRON is a grassroots organization of community groups, congregations, students and individual members across the Chicago region. IIRON began in 2006 to help ordinary people, particularly low-income people, become powerful leaders who will shape a positive future. For the past three years, IIRON’s chapter in the Bridgeport community worked and succeeded in reinstating bus service along 31st Street.

The Missionaries of the Precious Blood started their Ministry of Reconciliation in 2002 to respond to violence and conflict in the Chicago area. The ministry embraces a restorative justice philosophy and has used peacemaking circles as the primary method for engaging and transforming the community. The ministry has worked with other like-minded organizations to create Community Restorative Justice Hubs, and in 2013, began a Leadership Circle of other restorative justice organizations. Working directly with those impacted by racism, mass incarceration and extreme sentencing of juveniles, the ministry has formed youth and adults to speak out for policy change.

ARISE Chicago builds partnerships between faith communities and workers to fight workplace exploitation through education, organizing and advocating for public-policy changes. Founded in 1991 by clergy, it has won massive campaigns for workers’ rights including recovering $6.7 million in compensation. They have also created a unique trilingual Workers’ Rights Manual that has been pivotal in the leadership development of Polish and Latino workers throughout Chicago.

Organizing Neighborhoods for Equality Northside (ONE Northside) was created in 2013 from a merger of Lakeview Action Coalition and the Organization of the Northeast. ONE Northside is a mixed-income, multi-ethnic, intergenerational organization that unites diverse communities and works to transform the North Side around issues such as affordable housing, education, economic justice, mental health, health care, violence prevention and youth issues.

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos Immigrant Workers’ Project was founded on the Southeast Side of Chicago in 2008 by community members who witnessed the collective damage created by unfair labor practices. They are the only worker center in South Chicago that organizes and supports marginalized communities to interrupt cycles of poverty and injustices in the workplace. CTU has assisted in the recovery of nearly $1 million in wages and are currently working toward creating a women-owned catering cooperative.

Jane Addams Senior Caucus is a multi-issue, grassroots organization led by seniors to create a world where all seniors can age with dignity and safety, free of ageism, racism and other forms of oppression. For the past 39 years, the caucus has given marginalized seniors a voice through community organizing and advocacy. Members participate in seniorspecific and larger campaigns for institutional change to address issues of injustice, especially affordable housing, living wages and the preservation of social services for seniors and persons with disabilities.

Lake County Center for Independent Living is a not-for-profit, non-residential cross-disability organization that promotes the independent living philosophy, works for a fully accessible society and empowers people with disabilities to lead self-directed lives as valued members of the community. Founded in 1990 by and for people with disabilities, LCCIL has created immense community support, focusing on systemic change to address physical and attitudinal barriers.

Metropolitan Tenants Organization’s evolved out of Chicago’s need for a citywide organization to represent tenants and build tenant leaders. MTO is the largest organizer of tenants and tenant associations in Chicago. A few of MTO’s programs include the Tenants’ Rights Hotline, the Affordable Housing Preservation Program and the Healthy Homes Program, which serve more than 15,000 renters annually. (See Tenants’ rights, education tackled through CCHD funds)


  • immigration
  • catholic campaign for human development
  • workers rights
  • disability rights
  • restorative justice

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