In the last days of 2003, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich authorized the release of $22.3 million in state
grant funds for six capital projects to the City of Chicago, including the Center on Halsted.
One year ago,
Blagojevich froze all capital projects so that a review could be made of the appropriateness of each initiative
and the feasibility of canceling some of the initiatives. His advisors reviewed proposals by members of the
Illinois General Assembly on the basis of permanent job creation, public health and safety and educational
'We are very pleased that these long-promised funds have now been released,' said
Morris Floyd, Center Project Director. 'It positions us to move ahead with our design process and look forward
realistically to a ground breaking in 2004.'
The Center received a $2.5 million payment on their $5 million
state grant, and they received the first and second payments, totalling just under $1.2 million, from their $1.5
million grant, Floyd said.
The Center, 3604 N. Halsted, 'will serve as a new service location for Horizons, a
social-service agency dedicated to the gay, lesbian, and bisexual community in the greater Chicagoland area.
The facility will house Horizons' offices, meeting rooms, and other specialized spaces necessary to operate
Horizons' social-service programs. Sen. [ Emil ] Jones sponsored $5 million for the grant and the remaining
$1.5 [ million ] is through the Governor's Office,' Blagojevich's office said in a press release. Other grantees
receiving funding were Chicago State University/Convocation Center; The Pilsen YMCA; Southwest Women
Working Together ( $850,000 for the 26-year-old, non-profit social-service organization that has assisted more
than 145,000 women, children, and community members on Chicago's South Side ) ; and the Pediatric
Intensive Care Unit at Children's Memorial Hospital.
Also receiving funding was AIDS Care$3.5 million to
establish a center on the West Side of Chicago. AIDS Care will use the funds, along with federal and local
matching dollars, to construct affordable housing for people living with AIDS. Last month Blagojevich
announced he was adding $1 million in state funds to the $2 million already budgeted this fiscal year for the
effort. The governor also was successful in getting approval from the General Assembly to spend $5.1 million
in new federal funds for the state's AIDS Drug Assistance Program ( ADAP ) .
Illinois has recorded 30,057
cases of AIDS since 1981 and, of those diagnosed with the disease, 16,442, or nearly 55 percent, have died.
Illinois has the seventh highest total of AIDS cases in the nation.