After almost 30 years at its current location in the Chicago’s West Loop. The Chicago Christian Industrial League will officially relocated to the Lawndale community this August.
The faith-based, non-profit organization, currently located at 123 S. Green Street was established in 1909 on the Near West Side to serve the poor and homeless.
The new facility at 2750 W. Roosevelt will expand its capacity to help individuals in need.
“The ground-breaking occurred last April, and the project was intended to be a 15-month construction project so we are right on schedule,” said Judy McIntyre, the organization’s executive director.
When it first opened nearly a century ago The Chicago Christian Industrial League functioned as a “rescue mission. The “industrial” portion of its name reflects the organization’s belief that work was a key solution to productive independence, according to its mission.
The faith-based league provides counseling and case management in a residential setting, an array of programs that provide training in technical, academic, interpersonal and employment skills.
One of the differences in new building is that all of the programs and offices will be under the same roof, allowing easier access and convenience between care providers and recipients.
“The facility will be 100 square feet in length and it will have the capacity to aid over 300 homeless individuals looking to obtain the treatment and training necessary to rebuild their lives,” said McIntyre.
The new facility will also have a ‘green roof’, which in many cases involve planted soil and in others, actual garden elements such as plants. A number of Chicago buildings use this system, which is considered aesthetically and environmentally safe. Many of the organization’s programs will also be expanded.
“We will have a more comprehensive woman’s program at the new facility,” said Felix Matlock, director of Program Services. “Seeing that the women who come to us often have different needs than men, we provide services regarding child care, domesticviolence recovery and Psychological services to help them better handle the hardship that their lives have endured.”
The project costs an estimated $28 million. Much of the funding is from HUD, the federal Department of Housing, the Steans Family Foundation, which donates only to out-reach programs in the Lawndale community, and Shorebank.
Much of the money has already been obtained. There is, though, some $8.5 million needed to be raised, McIntyre said.
“I will acknowledge it is a concern,” she said of the shortfall, “however, I am optimistic that there will be no delay.”
For more information about The Chicago Christian Industrial League, visit their web site at www.theleague.org or call 312/421.0588.