Claretian Associates is grateful for your support this Giving Tuesday and throughout the year. Please donate to Claretian Associates to continue our work with local youth, seniors and families. Our programs are not possible without generous donors like you.
Claretian Associates CEO Angela Hurlock Honored at the Enterprise 40th Anniversary National Conference
CEO Angela Hurlock was honored at The Impactful 40 honorees at the Enterprise 40th Anniversary National Conference. Enterprise is honored 40 individuals who have helped break boundaries and strengthen communities over the past 40 years. Read more about Angela as an honoree here.
Annual Trauma-Informed Symposium
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network held a virtual Trauma-Informed Symposium, Bruised But Not Broken, attended by 182 people. The keynote speaker was Sonia Toledo from Dignity for Children, Inc. Each day featured a different topic including the impact of trauma within schools, economic divestment on mental health, trauma on persons with disabilities, and post-traumatic stress. The University of Chicago hosted a Community Grand Rounds on the second day.
This is the fifth year the South Chicago Neighborhood Network held the trauma-informed Symposium. “It's important that we continue to hold these workshops in order to learn more about trauma to assist community members and ourselves in our work, and be resilient,” said Program Manager Tiarra Owens. The symposium helps SCNN to determine the trainings or workshops that should be offered in the community.
Each day of the symposium was recorded and videos are available here. Next year, SCNN hopes to have the symposium in person.
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network (SCNN), UNITY Squad held the first annual Harvest Fest in the multipurpose event space at the SALUD Center. 65 children, youth and community members attended. Youth participated in potato sack races, two legged races, and pumpkin decorating. Resource vendors attended including South Shore Works, Red Cross, Family Rescue, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Food Nutrias Extension Program. Attendees enjoyed music from a live DJ and sandwiches from local restaurant.
The South Chicago SALUD Center Seniors had a Harvest Fest. Oak Street Health provided music from a local guitarist. Seniors enjoyed their time together while eating pizza, listening to music and dancing.
A tenant has moved into the first completed New Home on 92nd Brandon. The New Home on Burley will be completed and occupied within the next month. Bidding will begin soon for the New Home on 91st and Brandon. A general contractor has been selected for the SACRED development. Claretian Associates is preparing their permitting process and hopes to break ground in late summer 2023.
Rest In Peace Michelle Thomas
Michelle Thomas, Program Manager for Safe Passage passed away suddenly on Nov. 9 2022. Michelle worked for Claretian Associates for 14 years. Throughout Michelle’s time at Claretian Associates, she worked for Safe Passage as a Community Watcher, Base Operator, and Program Coordinator and most recently was promoted to Program Manager. Michelle had a warm personality and a contagious laughter. Our hearts go out to Michelle’s family at this difficult time. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Promotions at Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P)
Claretian Associates welcomes James Sims as the new CP4P Program Manager and Suncheka Henderson as CP4P Case Manager and Victims Advocate. CP4P is a street outreach program which works with high-risk individuals to prevent and intervene violence.
Learn more about James and Suncheka at CP4P and their past experience below.
As CP4P Program Manager, James builds relationships with local dignitaries such as congressman, alderman, and police commanders in order to work together and reduce violence. James started as a violence interrupter with Cure Violence (Cease Fire), who at the time partnered with Claretian Associates in the South Shore neighborhood. “When I first started, I was on the fence about the position. As the first year went on, I saw myself show passion for this work [violence prevention],” said James.
James became a violence interrupter because he wanted to be a better role model for his children. “I had to be a better father, role model and to some people in the community, a better big brother,” said James.
In 2019, Claretian Associates partnered with Metropolitan Family Services for CP4P and James applied for a Case Manager position. “I wanted to do more to help, so I applied for the case manager position,” said James. During that time James went back to school for Social Work at Northeastern University. James motivated himself to return to school to show his CP4P participants that it was possible to get an education.
James graduated in 2020 from the Metropolitan Peace Academy, an 18-week training program for professionals already in the field of outreach work, and earned the Professionalism Award because of his hard work and dedication while in the training program and returning to school for his bachelor’s degree.
Later on, James became a Supervisor for CP4P and was promoted afterwards to CP4P Program Coordinator and most recently to CP4P Program Manager. “I bring motivation and leadership to the team. I build leaders amongst the team,” said James.
Suncheka started volunteering with Cure Violence and later on with CP4P before she became an outreach worker in 2020. As case manager, Suncheka connects and refers clients/participants to resources. Suncheka also enrolls clients/participants in educational and job readiness programs.
Suncheka is a CP4P Victim Advocate as well. As CP4P Victim Advocate, she supports victims of gun violence and their families. “I connect with victims and their families and offer them different services,” said Suncheka.
Suncheka became involved in violence prevention work because of the passing of her oldest cousin. “He was my oldest male cousin; he was 21 years old. I lost him due to gun violence,” said Suncheka. Since then, Suncheka always wanted to be a part of an organization that prevented violence.
Aside from working for CP4P, Suncheka has her own organization, Let Your Sun Shyne. In her organization she has coordinated meal distributions, clothes drives, tutoring and more. Suncheka thought her position at CP4P was tailor-made for her because of her own community service. Suncheka hopes to bring a fresh outlook and new ideas to her position, and a change to the community.
Center for Changing Lives Co-locates to the SALUD Center
Center for Changing Lives (CCL) has moved into the SALUD Center offices. CCL is a nonprofit financial opportunity center and a HUD approved housing counseling agency, located in the Logan Square neighborhood and now a has co-location at the SALUD Center. CCL is one of 14 financial opportunity centers in the city, but only two are fully bilingual. “For CCL it's really important that all of our material and programming is linguistically and culturally relevant. Every service we offer can be received in either English or Spanish,” said CCL Director of Resource Development Paula Cripps-Vallejo.
CCL rooted on the Northwest side of Chicago since 1989. For many years CCL has serviced the Latino and Black/African American community and advocated to ensure systemic barriers are removed. CCL offers coaching three main areas: financial with HUD approved housing counseling, employment coaching, and resource developing coaching. One of their newest areas is small business and entrepreneur coaching since 2021. “Our three overall goals are to work with community to achieve economic vitality, community wellbeing, and Black and Brown solidarity,” said Paula.
CCL and Claretian Associates will be partnering to serve and ensure community members in South Chicago and other neighboring communities, have resources to reach their goals. “We are excited to take roots on the Southeast to serve the Latino and African American community even more vibrantly in Chicago,” said Paula.
In 2020 CCL and Claretian Associates partnered to provide rental assistance and financial awareness to community members. CCL and Claretian Associates are collaborating to have a resume building workshop at the SALUD Center. Learn more about CCL here.
Claretian Associates and Center for Changing Lives will have Resume Building Workshop on October 27 at 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the SALUD Center. Learn how to create an outstanding resume, cover letter, and more. Lunch will also be provided. For more information contact Youth and Family Coordinator Pamesha Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org Register here.
On October 28, the South Chicago Neighborhood Network, UNITY Squad youth program will have a Harvest Fest at the SALUD Center in the multi-purpose event space. Join UNITY Squad for potato sack racing, pumpkin decorating, smores, music, food, raffles and more. For more information contact Youth and Family Coordinator Pamesha Robinson at email@example.com
The free yoga classes have concluded at the SALUD Center. The South Chicago Neighborhood Network and Yoga Care partnered for six weeks to offer free yoga classes on Saturdays. Each class was designed to have a different theme. Chair Yoga had the most attendees for the remaining three weeks of yoga. In the future SCNN would like to continue offering free yoga classes.
The South Chicago SALUD Center Seniors received a donation of books and DVDs from Girl Scout Troop 60758. Girl Scout Stephanie Lopez completed a service project of collecting books and DVDs and chose to donate to the seniors of the SALUD Center. The community room now has books and DVDs for the residents to check out.
The New Home on 92nd and Brandon is completed. The second New Home development is near completion. The Peloton and Precore equipment were installed in the fitness center. Claretian Associates is working on plans to open the fitness center.
UNITY Squad Afterschool Programming
UNITY Squad is still recruiting for Squad Up afterschool programming. Youth ages 13-18 are welcomed every Tuesday and Thursday from 4 p.m.- 5 p.m. For the next six weeks youth will receive nutrient classes from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Youth will learn and make healthy snacks. For more information contact Youth and Family Coordinator Pamesha Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The SALUD Center offers senior walking every Wednesday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the multipurpose event space, at no cost. For more information contact SALUD Center Program Manager April Morris at email@example.com.
Claretian Associates CEO Angela Hurlock Honoree at the Enterprise 40th Anniversary National Conference
CEO Angela Hurlock will be one of The Impactful 40 honorees at the Enterprise 40th Anniversary National Conference. Enterprise is honoring 40 Indvidual's who have helped break boundaries and strengthen communities over the past 40 years. Read more about Angela as an honoree here.
Michelle Thomas new Safe Passage Program Manager
Claretian Associates welcomes Michelle Thomas as the new Safe Passage Program Manager. Michelle will supervise Safe Passage Community Watchers at six local Chicago Public Schools. Michelle has been with the Claretian Associates team since 2009.
Michelle started at Claretian Associates as a Community Watcher for Safe Passage. The Safe Passage Program provides a safe passage for students going and coming from school. She was approached by the office clerk at Bowen High School because she was an involved parent. Afterwards, Michelle was promoted to a Safe Passage Base Operator for three years and later she became the Team Lead for two years. Then she was promoted to Safe Passage Program Coordinator.
When Claretian Associates provided rental assistance through the Chicago Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP), Michelle transitioned to an ERAP Intake Specialist. Once ERAP concluded Michelle applied and became a Case Manager for Claretian Associates violence intervention program, Communities Partner 4 Peace (CP4P). Now Michelle will manage the Safe Passage Program. “I’m looking forward to being more hands on,” said Michelle.
UNITY Squad Afterschool Programming “Squad Up”
UNITY Squad will have Squad Up afterschool programming on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. at the SALUD Center for 13-18 years old. “This year we want youth to squad up for change. We want friends to gather and come to our afterschool space to learn about how they can make positive and affective change,” said Youth and Family Coordinator Pamesha Robinson.
During Squad Up afterschool programming youth will learn to become chance agents in their community. Pamesha will have organizations present to youth about family structure, school fatigue, bullying prevention, teen dating aspects, and more. Youth will meet in the SALUD Center Teen Drop-In Space for more information contact Pamesh at firstname.lastname@example.org
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network will have a Harvest Festival on October 28, at the SALUD Center from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. at the SALUD Center multi-purpose event space. Fun Autumn activities will take place like potato sack races and making smores. There will be food, raffles, games, and music. For more information contact Youth and Family Coordinator Pamesha Robinson at email@example.com
Yoga Classes at the SALUD Center
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network in partnership with Yoga Care is offering free yoga classes at the SALUD Center on Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. Yoga mats are provided. “I think it's important that we learn healthier ways to cope with stress. Mindfulness is a good coping mechanism to introduce to people,” said Program Manager Tiarra Owens. Registration is not required, but it is encouraged. For more information contact Tiarra at firstname.lastname@example.org Register here.
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network Trauma-Informed Symposium
The annual South Chicago Neighborhood Network Trauma-Informed Symposium, Bruised But Not Broken, will take place October 24 through October 27 virtually. The symposium is a trauma informed conference where community members and providers come together to discuss and learn about different ways to make a better trauma informed community. For more information contact Program Manager Tiarra Owens at email@example.com. Register here.
Back-to-School and Wellness Fair
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network (SCNN), Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P), and PlayStreets held the annual Back-to-School and Wellness Fair on August 18 at 9108 South Brandon. Advocate Aurora Heath provided the fair with three mobile health vans, Child Safety and Prevention, Immunization, and Blood Pressure. In partnership with United Way of Metro Chicago, Advocate Aurora Health, and PlayStreets, SCNN provided 350 school backpacks.
PlayStreets in collaboration with CP4P provided a safe space and food for community members. PlayStreets had outdoor games, a bouncy house, and family friendly music. The Advocate Aurora Health Immunization van provided 20 back-to-school health physicals. Community members also received take home COVID-19 tests from Chicago Family Health Center. In total 40 resource vendors attended.
Program Manager Tiarra Owens wanted community members to be aware of resources in their own neighborhood. “I think it's important for community members to see that there are other community organizations in their neighborhood that provide resources. It gives organizations the chance to network as well,” said Tiarra.
The South Chicago SALUD Center Seniors and Villa Gaudalupe Seniors held luncheons for Hispanic Heritage Month. The luncheons were catered by local South Chicago restaurants. During the summer UNITY Squad youth members and seniors gardened together in the SALUD Center garden beds. The vegetables were pulled and distributed during the monthly food giveaway. “The seniors can enjoy the vegetables that they grew,” said Social Services Coordinator Wendy Steward.
The New Homes have passed final inspections and will soon have occupancy. The Peloton and Precore equipment were delivered and installed in the fitness center. Currently Claretian Associates is in discussions with partners to help run and operate the fitness center and pool.