Check out the results of our Community Impact Survey! These results will change and so will our response to those expressed needs. If you have not filled out the survey, please fill it out and share with your fellow community members!
We are pleased to share with you the results of the first COVID-19 NLEN client survey, prepared by Director of Evaluation, Adam Levine.
Frontline employees and program directors wanted to better understand, challenge or confirm assumptions about the impact that program modifications have had on U-Turn Permitted job readiness program and READI, participants, as a result of COVID-19.
As we seek to expand the pathways in how to serve the most vulnerable in our community, we will utilize this survey and other feedback tools to further inform how we deliver programs and services today and tomorrow, after the pandemic.
Here a few initial highlights:
73% said this was their first e-Learning experience
73% said they had all the necessary technology they needed
• Computers/laptop were the most in-need technology
About one-quarter prefer e-Learning (28) | nearly half prefer in-person (49%)
Aspects of e-Learning people like:
• Convenience | flexibility | accessibility | something new | reduced costs (transportation) | being at home | off the streets | freeing up time (transportation)
Aspects of e-Learning people don’t like:
• Human connection and interaction | Less individual focus | not being in the classroom | network
Connectivity issues | less depth of conversation | getting ‘up and going’ | privacy concerns
The Chicago Furniture Bank is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to provide dignity, stability and comfort to Chicagoans moving into supportive housing by allowing them to handpick furnishings for their entire home.
Since opening in July of 2018, the CFB has furnished 1,550 homes for 4,100 people, distributing 28,000 pieces of furniture (800 tons). We currently furnish 8 homes per day and have 22 full-time employees (75% being hired through nonprofit workforce development agencies). The CFB is a rapidly growing organization that plans to continue to expand into 2020.
As a young and growing organization, they are looking for a person for an executive role who is passionate about the mission and wants to continue to improve/grow the organization.
To learn more:
Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot called out Chicagoans to share ideas for making Chicago better. Amongst the many submissions, the NLCCC/NLEN memo policy was picked and highlighted in the following WBEZ article.
DATE: Thu, Nov 3, 2016
TIME: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
PLACE: 2621 W 16th St
Did you know that at least nine major TV programs current seasons were filmed in Chicago? This includes well known programs such as Chicago Fire, Empire and Sense8. Film and Televisioin are big business in Chicago.
Join us at Cinespace Chicago Studios, home to these shows and learn more about the industry firsthand from these local experts.
We’ll be joined by the heads of the Chicago Film Office, Illinois Film Office and Cinespace.
The event is a joint production of the Michigan Ross Club of Chicago, the U of M Club of Greater Chicago and the Independent Filmmaker Project Chicago.
Networking starts at 6pm with the panel starting at 630pm. Light refreshments will be served. Tickets are $20.
Panelists:Christine Dudley (Director Illinois Film Office), Rich Moskal (Director Chicago Film Office), Alex Pissios (Founder/CEO Cinespace Chicago Film Studios)
Don’t forget to come out to our panel discussion on community benefits agreements. The discussion will take place on November 9, 2016, from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm. at the Lawndale Community Church, 3827 West Ogden Avenue.
Panelists will provide a very brief overview of their experiences and we will open the floor for a lively question, answer and comment period from our audience.
You will learn what a community benefits agreement is, the pros and cons; when they may be appropriate, and hear from people who are actively working on them in the city of Chicago. Our panelists will include attorneys and activists who will share challenges working on such projects as the Whole Foods store in Englewood, the USX development in South Shore, the Obama Presidential Library in Jackson Park, and the Illinois Medical District. We will also hear an alternative view from UCAN in North Lawndale.
For further information, contact Audrey Dunford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We thank the Austin Weekly News for publishing the following letter to the editor. Photo credit: Second City Cop Blog.
The Mayor has proposed the new $100 million Community Catalyst Fund designed to invest in businesses in communities that are most in need. A governing board consisting of the City of Chicago CFO, City Treasurer, Commissioner of Planning and Development, and four mayoral appointees will establish investment criteria and policies with input from an advisory council consisting of two aldermen and three community representatives. The targeted communities and manner in which investment decisions will be made are yet to be determined.
We, the members of the North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council (NLCCC), support the overall concept of the Community Catalyst Fund, and would encourage the team responsible for the implementation to solicit further input from local communities as the program is finalized. This will only strengthen the program.
NLCCC is a group of North Lawndale stakeholders, including nearly 300 community-based organizations, business owners, elected officials and individuals that have come together to guide our community’s first comprehensive planning and implementation process since 1958. We believe that there should be representation from Chicago’s West Side on the Community Catalyst Fund (“the Fund”) governing board as well as the advisory council. In times past, the West Side has been excluded from a number of the City’s innovative economic development programs, and we are under-represented on the governing boards for various City commissions. It is important that communities that are in most need also have a voice at the policy level to ensure that programs are responsive and deliver the maximum impact.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to small business development, and every establishment is different. The Fund should take a comprehensive approach that will tap into a variety of public and private resources to provide a broad array of financial products and services to small businesses that are at varying stages of development, from start-up to mature. Examples include low interest micro-loans, New Markets Tax Credits, mezzanine debt and equity investments with longer investment horizons. At the same time, the Fund should provide funding for community-based CDFI’s (community development financial institutions), SBA-certified Small Business Development Centers and other intermediaries to provide technical assistance to small businesses seeking funding in order to minimize investment risk.
The Fund’s board should develop investment criteria that are more flexible than conventional financing while safeguarding investor capital, and prioritize projects that will create jobs and provide incentives for hiring residents of the communities in which the projects are located. There should also be accountability to ensure that jobs that are promised materialize. Finally, the Fund should consider clustering public works projects to enhance its investments and spur additional private investment in high need areas.
We look forward to an investment fund that will catalyze investment on the West Side, and high-need communities around the City of Chicago.
— North Lawndale Coordinating Committee Exec. Subcommittee
Valerie F. Leonard, Rodney Brown and Dr. Dennis Deer, Members
Photo credit: Chicago Reporter
The City Council is hosting their annual budget hearings over the next couple weeks. We encourage you to review the preliminary budget and to attend budget hearings and provide public comment during the public hearing on November 1st. Alderman Michael Scott, Jr. , Alderman George Cardenas, Alderman Jason Ervin and Alderman Ricardo Munoz, whose wards have some portion of the North Lawndale community, are all on the City Council Budget Committee. Please feel free to share your concerns with them as well.
City of Chicago Budget Books
Meeting and Hearing Schedule
We thank Herman Davis, Regional Vice President for Liberty Bank, for sharing content from The Liberty Line, a publication of Liberty Bank.
It’s a question that bothers many parents who have opened 529 college savings funds for their kids, or are considering doing so: What happens to my money if my child doesn’t go to college? Fortunately, 529 funds aren’t a “use-it-or-lose-it” proposition. Even if your child decides not to attend college, you have more options for your 529 savings funds than you might expect.
Benefits of a 529 Savings Fund
A 529 fund is a tax-advantaged account you can establish to invest money for your child’s (or other relative’s) college education. You can open 529 accounts at many banks and investment firms, and have numerous options for investing your money.
Some states offer state tax deductions for 529 account deposits. And in most cases, you won’t owe state taxes on your account withdrawals and investment earnings, either. However, the main benefit of such plans is that withdrawals and earnings are exempt from federal taxes — so long as the money is used to pay for what the IRS considers “qualified” college expenses.
“Qualified” college expenses typically include tuition, mandatory fees, books, supplies, computers, and room and board up to the amount the college lists in its “cost of attendance” list.
5 Other Ways to Use 529 Savings Funds
If you’re worried that your child may follow a path that doesn’t include college, here are several options for the money in your 529 account:
1. Let another college-bound relative use it. This entails changing your plan’s beneficiary — the person who will use the money to pay education expenses — to another family member. This could be another child (such as your niece or grandson) or a close adult relative, or his or her spouse (such as your sister or brother-in-law).
2. Use the money yourself. Have you or your spouse considered returning to college or getting an advanced degree? If you name yourself or your spouse as the new 529 fund beneficiary, you can use the money for qualified higher-education expenses.
3. Be patient. Your child may still decide to go to college after first spending some time in the workforce. Unless your plan restricts how long the account may remain open, you typically can leave the funds invested for years. They’ll be ready to use if your child has a change of heart later on.
4. Think outside the box. Higher education includes more than traditional colleges and universities. Your child can also use 529 funds to pay for technical and other qualifying professional schools — as long as the institution participates in financial aid programs sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. You may be surprised to learn that professional golf academies and other unusual programs sometimes qualify!
5. Withdraw the money — at a price. You’re always allowed to take out the money and close your 529 account. The catch is that you’ll pay federal and state taxes on any account contributions, plus a 10% tax penalty on any earnings. (The penalty is for not using the money for higher education.)
If withdrawal is your only viable option, consider removing the money in a year when you’re in a lower tax bracket (such as during retirement). In the unfortunate event that your beneficiary dies or becomes disabled and can’t use the funds for college, you can withdraw the money without paying the extra 10% penalty. However, you’ll still owe taxes on contributions and earnings.
As you can see, 529 plan account holders never “lose” money because their child decides against college. Ask your banker or a college financial aid representative if you have more questions about 529 college savings funds.
Do you know developers in Chicago who have a demonstrated track record working with low income minority communities who have entered into legally binding community benefits agreements? If so, please share their names and contact information. NLCCC will be hosting a panel discussion on community benefits agreements, featuring an attorney, developer and community activists who have successfully worked on community benefits agreements in Chicago. I will share their information with the committee working on the program.
Thanks in advance.
Valerie F. Leonard