La Casa Norte to Reach Even More Individuals

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local News

By: Ashmar Mandou

The future of La Casa Norte shines even brighter after it was announced at a press conference on September 9th that construction plans for affordable house housing and community center are underway.

Situated in the Humboldt Park Community, the new La Casa Norte facility will feature 25 new affordable housing units and a community center with wraparound services dedicated to serve homeless families, youth and disabled individuals experiencing or on the precipice of homelessness.

“We are so incredibly honored to walk alongside young people and families as they fight to end homelessness in their lives. The new center will provide resources, dignity and safety in the heart of the community. This is a victorious day for Chicago, as we put our most vulnerable residents first, in a position to heal, survive and thrive” said Sol Flores, executive director of La Casa Norte. This new center is expected to open in 2018 and will serve approximately 2,000 individuals each year with supports to prevent and eliminate homelessness among youth and families.

“We as a City are committed to addressing homelessness in a holistic, comprehensive and compassionate manner because Chicago cannot thrive until each and every one of our residents are thriving,” said Mayor Emanuel, who spoke at the press conference. “I want to thank La Casa Norte for being a strong partner and for their ongoing commitment to supporting youth and our most vulnerable residents. This new center will be a great asset for the community as it helps ensure that every Chicagoan has a place to call home and the tools to build a bright future.”

The new five-story mix-used development by La Casa Norte will establish Pierce House, providing 25 Supportive Housing Units (studios, 1- and 2-bedroom units) for youth and families that are homeless. All residential units will be affordable and made exclusively available to households earning no more than 30 percent of the area median income. The community center will provide youth and families to access the following services: a youth drop-in center, Community Healthcare Center, Café and Food Pantry, housing location and prevention services.

The upcoming center will also house La Casa Norte’s offices and administrative center, a large community meeting space, and an art gallery. The lower level will offer space for adult education classes, a clothing closet, and other services for the homeless. La Casa Norte currently operates five other regional locations serving approximately 2,000 individuals each year. La Casa Norte was also joined by Alderman Roberto Maldonado, Alderman Jose Moreno, and members of the community to kick-off the celebration. The new La Casa Norte Center, which will eventually assume a double lot located at 3533 W. North Avenue, will strengthen existing supports for the Humboldt Park community while also accentuating a long line of recent redevelopment projects on the thriving North Avenue corridor. The $18.5 million project includes nearly $8 million in assistance by the City, in the form of $3.5 million in TIF funding and a $4 million loan. In total, the project will create eight permanent and 26 temporary construction jobs.

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