Illinois gov. Pat Quinn publicly announced a $2 million commitment for construction of a supportive housing and community center in Humboldt Park. Quinn spoke Nov. 1 in front of the future facility, located adjacent to La Casa Norte's main office located at 3533 W. North Ave.
This pledge of state capital funds is part of an $18 million facility that La Casa Norte plans to build to serve youth and families confronting homelessness.
"This investment will promote local economic development and make sure that everyone has a safe place to turn when they are in need," Governor Quinn said in a statement released by his office. The statement added that the announcement is part of Governor Quinn's efforts to tackle homelessness, support affordable housing options, and advance economic development in the area.
The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless assisted in securing funding through advocacy efforts in collaboration with its Youth Committee of 44 service providers, and the Chicago Task Force on Homeless Youth. Working together to create more permanent housing options for unaccompanied youth in Illinois, advocates asked the governor's office to consider state capital funds to create housing for older youth who are homeless.
La Casa Norte's future facility plans tooffer 25 units of supportive housing in addition to a federally qualified health center, a drop-in and anti-violence program for youth who are homeless, technology and job readiness training, nutrition services, and a food pantry. "With this project, we aim to provide the necessary support systems that youth and families need to be safe, healthy, educated and productive members of our communities," Executive Director Sol Flores says.
The facility is expected to generate 175 jobs, 125 during its construction and 50 as services are implemented into the community. Construction is expected to start in 2015 and the entire cost of the project nears close to $18 million dollars.
"We thank Governor Quinn for believing in La Casa Norte and our ability to make a positive impact on residents of Chicago and throughout the State," Floressays.
"We hope this will be the beginning of a partnership with the Governor's Office to provide more capital resources for housing for this highly vulnerable population," said Ed Shurna, Executive Director of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
LaCasa Norte was founded in 2002 and has served more than 22,000 individuals who were at-risk or experiencing homelessness. The agencyoffers bi-lingual and culturally competent housing and support to youth and families throughout 43 zip codes in Chicago.
La Casa Norte's mission is to serve youth and families confronting homelessness and is the largest provider of services to youth experiencing homelessness in the city.