Archive for the ‘Housing’ Category

If you want to know how Chicago got to be the way it is, these are two books you must read:

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Now and then a book comes along that might in time touch the public and educate social commentators, policymakers, and politicians about a glaring wrong that we have been living with that we also somehow don’t know how to face. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander is such a work”
The New York Review of Books

Family Properties by Beryl Satter

“How the struggle over race and real estate transformed Chicago and urban America.”

Here are two organizations to remember if/when you are looking for help, especially on the South Side. The first organization is called is Sunshine Gospel Ministries. Find more information at:

http://www.sunshinegospel.org/

The second is Friends for Youth. While FFY is a citywide organization, it has an outreach on the South Side at 63rd and cottage Grove. Find out more at:

http://chicagofriendsforyouth.org/Mission.html

Are you a woman involved in gangs, drugs, or sex trafficking and looking for help? New life for Girls may be exactly the right place for you. New Life for Girls has served women in need since 1972. With five local induction centers (including Chicago) and a Pennsylvania Training Center, this may be the place to turn to when you feel beaten, hopeless, and have no one to trust. Many women have been helped through the work of New Life For Girls and you could be the next one to find new life.

New Life for Girls is a non-profit, Christian, non-denominational, long-term residential facility for women over 18. The program specializes in helping women who are struggling with life-controlling issues such as drug & alcohol addictions, depression, cutting disorders, gambling addictions, abuse issues, etc. There is no charge for food, clothing and shelter while the women are at the facility. The main goal is to help them transform their lives into productive, abundant and happy ones.

The Chicago New Life for Girls induction center is located at 6743 N. Ashland Ave, and their phone number is 773.764.3363. Find out more about their work at their website:

http://www.newlifeforgirlschicago.webs.com/

Here is information on a program that might prove helpful for those recovering from substance abuse. Located in Blue Island (IL), Guildhaus  has been working with recovering substance abusers for 25 years. The center may be worth a look so here’s the website:

http://guildhaus.net/

OK, this is how I want you to think about responding to this post. Think about the world and all the goals you’ve set for yourself. What do you want to be? What do you want to accomplish). Where would you like to be and what would you like to be doing in five years?  Write it down. Do you think that the goals, hopes, and/or dreams you’ve just jotted down are possible?  Want to have a car, home, job, wife, or kids? Do you want to have a chance to get a better education or do some travelling? Want to help some other people who are down and out too?  Well, let me tell you this, God puts those dreams in your head, and if God puts those dreams there, it’s because he wants to fulfil those dreams. Not only that, he is able to fulfill them, and much more. If you are a Christian, you worship a God is bigger than anything you can imagine. He is the God “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20). OK, here’s the kicker. Remember all those goals and dreams you just jotted down? Well God wants to do a lot more than you thought about just then.

A few years ago, I met Anthony.  He was a Spanish Lord from Humboldt Park that I had written to while he was incarcerated in Logan Correctional Center.  Those letters led to us getting together to talk after his release. When we first met, Anthony was sleeping on a backroom floor in another Gs apartment. He didn’t have a whole lot to look forward to at that moment in time.  I remember in one of our first talks, I asked him about what he wanted out of  life. He mentioned that he’d like to have an apartment of his own some day, maybe get his driver’s licence and eventually buy a car. That way, he could drive around the hood and help people he saw in need of help. Well, that was a nice vision, but way too small. Anthony eventually committed his life to Jesus and good things began to happen. Anthony now has an apartment he shares with Amanda and his son Vincent. A second child, a little girl, is on the way! Anthony works 50-60 hours a week and not only has a car, but also has use of a company car. He certainly helps old friends from the hood, but has also traveled to Turkey and Nicaragua. In Turkey he helped on an archaeological excavation and in Nicaragua he worked with the poor and destitute.  God has given Anthony way more than he imagined just two years ago as we sat and talked. On top of that, he’s only 22, so can you imagine what God has in store for him the next 60 years of his life? Way more than he or I can begin to image right now. That prospect is very exciting.

Now translate Anthony’s experience into your life. Go ahead, think about it. God wants to do the same thing for you that he did for Anthony. If you think about the dreams you wrote down and think about how God has expanded Anthony’s vision, you might be able to get an idea of what God will do in YOUR life. The message I want to leave you with here is to think big and never underestimate what God can do in your life. He is the creator of the universe and in control of all things. His ability to do more than you can think or imagine is beyond doubt and displayed in the lives of believers all over the world! So sit down, write down, kneel down, and look up. Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God just waiting to expand your horizons and do more in your life than you can ever imagine. Are you game?

Dismanling Racism by Joseph Barndt, Author.  Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Books, 1991.Here is a book about racism in America, written “for white people and about white people . . . by a white person.”Joseph Barndt, defining racism as “prejudice plus power,” asserts that efforts against racism have often been incorrectly focused on minority populations rather than the majority. “The cause of racism is in the white society. The effects are felt in the communities of color,” he writes. Rather than attempting to soften the effects, we need to attack the cause.

The book examines individual, institutional, and cultural racism, and includes a section on racism and the church—with particular attention to the European American traditions inherited by white congregations, which Barndt refers to provocatively as a contemporary “circumcision crowd.” The author asks congregations to incorporate multicultural aspects in its worship before the congregation becomes multicultural and to work to achieve a pluralistic, not racist, witness to the world.

and consider that…

 “At the center of the Christian faith is the reminder that the time is
always right to do the right thing,” Turner said. “The church can and must
provide moral leadership that helps move the world’s nations into people of
transformation. The church has the capacity to transform itself to be an
agent of change, but this only happens when the church is engaged in the
struggle for justice.”

                                                                                                            -Rev. Otis Turner, 1996

 

Here is a wonderful program in Hoffman Estates that serves homeless and at-risk moms and their.  These are moms in need of need of housing, support, serving, and most importantly, hope. Its a very worthwhile program in need of both moral and financial support. You can find further information at the following website.

http://www.fhcmoms.org/

Arloa Sutter is the Founder and Executive Director of Breakthrough Urban Ministries. Breakthrough restores broken networks by providing neighborhood-based holistic services to individuals and families in Chicago’s East Garfield Park community. For more information on Arloa Sutter and Breakthrough Urban Ministries please go to:

http://www.breakthrough.org/

and

http://arloasutter.com/

Breaking Ground is a faith community characterized by grace and truth that seeks and develops those who desire to become instruments of lasting change in their community.

Vision
Breaking Ground is a mission-driven not for profit organization building strong inner city communities through self-sustaining entrepreneurial programs and services.  We are a comprehensive community development corporation focused on transforming low income individuals and their communities by offering integrated real estate development, homeownership assistance, job training, and direct employment, along with client-centered services.

Find information about this transformative ministry at:

www.breakingground.net

 Each year the Lake County Jail releases approximately 1,000 women back into our community.  Ninety percent are single moms; 59% do not have high school diplomas, 47% are homeless (or have no positive, crime free place to return to) and only 20% had minimum wage jobs prior to incarceration.   Without positive intervention many of these ladies will return to the street economy drugs and prostitution to survive.  

The House That Grace Built provides intervention for these women at the critical time of being released from jail and provides them with options that include a safe place to live, job and office skills training, personal and spiritual growth and development, parenting skills, financial management and coping skills that will allow them to become self-sufficient and independent of the welfare system. See the website at:
  

http://www.thehousethatgracebuilt.com/

A list of Illinois resources from the Billy Graham Center for incarcerated and recently released individuals trying to straighten out their lives. Find more at:

http://www.bgcprisonministries.com/index.php?id=108&state=IL

Here is a list of resources for men and women who are in jail, facing release, trying to find a job, and/or looking for vocational training.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Billy Graham Center Institute for Prison Ministries: http://www.bgcprisonministries.com

Jewish Vocational Serviceshttp://www.jvschicago.org/ 

Prison Fellowship: http://prisonfellowship.org/pf_resources

Wayside Cross Ministries (transitional housing): http://www.waysidecross.org

Administer Justice (legal,tax, and reconciliation services): http://www.administerjustice.org/

Adonai House (housing): timlindquistwwjd@yahoo.com or phone 630.479.1612

Safer Foundation (employment): http://www.saferfoundation.org

More than 1.7 million children across the USA have a parent in U.S. prisons, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The number of children with a father in prison grew by 77% from 1991 through mid-2007. And those children are two to three more times likely to wind up behind bars themselves, says Christopher Wildeman, a University of Michigan sociologist who has studied the effects of imprisoned parents.

To try to snap that trend, Angola and other prisons across the country sponsor two programs aimed at reconnecting prison dads with their children: Returning Hearts, a day-long carnival-like celebration where inmates spend eight hours with their kids, and Malachi Dads, a year-long training session that uses Bible passages to help improve inmates’ parenting skills. To find out more, see the links below:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2010-06-17-prison-dads_N.htm?csp=34news

http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2008/summer/12.13.html

http://www.pfi.org/cot/prison/offender/spiritual-care/lifeline-malachi-dads-awana-usa/?searchterm=None

http://awanalifeline.org/