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Accomplishments

As the originating lead agency for the LISC Chicago New Communities Program, the Garfield Park Community Council has successfully facilitated over $8 million in community investment and developed a wide variety of programs in partnership with community residents, all tied to four major target areas - housing, business development, wellness, and public safety.

Accomplishments include:

  • Served as a Community Partner in the creation of The Hatchery, a large-scale food incubator that will bring jobs, training and investment to East Garfield Park in 2018. 
  • Launched the bimonthly Garfield Park Neighborhood Market, which brings locally-grown fresh produce and goods to the neighborhood June - October.
  • Created the Garfield Park Garden Network, which includes 30 community gardens and a year-round greenhouse for more than 10 West Side resident-led garden groups;
  • Launched of the Garfield Park Housing Center, which focuses on landlord/tenant issues as well as foreclosure prevention initiatives in partnership with city-wide housing organizations. Since 2010, the Housing Center has assisted 1,216 landlords and tenants and offered 30 workshops attended by 896 concerned property managers and tenants. The Housing Center has also offered assistance to 669 families faced with renting an apartment in a foreclosed property
  • Secured paid internships for more than 400 community teens through a year-round and summer jobs program supported by the City of Chicago.
  • In partnership with the Safer Foundation, created a landscaping training program focused on ex-offenders returning to the Garfield Park neighborhood through a $1.3 million grant from the City;
  • Helped establish Inspiration Kitchen, an award -winning local restaurant that also provides food service training to residents;
  • Helped spearhead the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, a stimulus-funded City project to rehab formerly foreclosed homes for purchase by local residents. GPCC staff worked with a local developer to sell the City's first set of West Side homes under the program;
  • Created a walking club that has resulted in over 20,000 miles being walked since 2007 and sponsored farmers markets within the community to encourage the purchase of locally-grown produce.

In addition, the GPCC has provided technical assistance and support on the following projects:

  • Worked on the educational plan, construction bid and provided a grant to recruit the first class at the $50 million Westinghouse High School in 2009;
  • Supported the opening of the Alaine Locke Community Learning Center, a preK-8 charter school located in the Kedzie corridor. The GPCC provided $20,000 in seed funding through LISC for early childhood education supplies, as well as adult education programming available for school parents;
  • Facilitated the creation and installation of five large and visible public murals by professional artists and local teens through grant support from the City's Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs