Summer Youth Programming
Youth Summer Programming Continues at the SALUD Center!
Learn more about summer youth programming below.
Youth experienced their first peace circle of the summer with two 4th District Chicago Police Officers. “It's important for us to build relationships with officers of the community,” said Program Manager Tiarra Owens. The youth are preparing for their final project, a mock trail based off the movie Fruitvale Station. The mock trial is a method for youth to better understand and navigate the legal system. Community officials will be a part of the mock trial. The Cook County District Attorney's Office is facilitating sessions with the youth on how to create a mock trial.
UNITY Squad had a field trip to the Chicago Botanic Gardens. Youth and Family Program Coordinator Pamesha Robinson planned this trip because of their gardening at the SALUD Center with senior residents. “We want our youth to see a different experience and see things outside of their community,” said Pamesha. UNITY Squad experienced a butterfly sanctuary, where they immersed themselves in a habitat filled with live butterflies. Youth learned about the life cycle of butterflies and had a variety of butterfly species land on them. “They only knew about the monarch butterfly and were able to see about over 60 different types of butterflies,” said Pamesha. UNITY Squad is scheduled to have more field trips before the summer program finishes.
Tech Corp solicited local and Ohio based businesses who were interested in expanding their websites. Youths were placed in groups and matched with business owners. Youth learned how to create websites utilizing HTLM (HyperText Markup Language) to create the websites.
Youth will be completing their websites and present proposals to their class to solicit feedback. The youth will meet one final time with their business owners before presenting the completed website.
All of the business are local or in tech related fields in Ohio, where Tech Corps offices are located. Business owners remotely engaged with the youth. “We choose businesses that had computer science professionals because they might actually be a web designer in real life and have experience working with clients and in teams. These individuals can share their real-world experiences and provide the students with professional development through their simulated exchange,” Tech Corp Program Manager Jeremy Rembert.
Tech Corps provides the business owners with a mock business profile. “One of the businesses is Pup Walkers, a dog walking business. We will have a real-life tech professional pretending to be an owner of a dog walking business. The owners work with web development teams, who are the Tech Corps students,” said Jeremy. The youths meet to discuss the website design, color scheme, pictures, content, and more.
This is the second year Claretian Associates and Tech Corps partnered for summer youth programming. “The coding skills the students are learning can be applied to a number of things in real life. Even in history and science, there is a digital component. The skills they are learning here are the elementary building blocks that can be paired with their interests,” said Jeremy.
The South Chicago SALUD Center Seniors had a game day in the community room. The social services team changed gear from bingo to checkers, dominos, Jenga, Trivia Pursuit, and cards games. Game day was held to be more inclusive with all the residents because bingo is highly attended by women. The seniors enjoyed an afternoon of games, pizza, and socializing.
SALUD Fitness Center Memberships
See how the SALUD Fitness Center can help you live a healthy and happy lifestyle. Come workout in our spacious gym and learn how to use various exercise machines. Talk with our Health and Wellness Coordinator, Maurice Garrett, to get started. Monthly memberships are available for an affordable cost of $14.99. Take advantage of our 3-month summer sale of $39.99. For more information contact the SALUD Fitness Center at email@example.com
National Night Out 2023
Join the Chicago Police 4th District in celebrating 40 years of National Night Out on Tuesday, August 1st. The event will be held at Eggers Grove Nature Preserve from 4:00 P.M. - 9:00 PM. National Night Out supports police and community partnerships in all neighborhoods. The event offers entertainment and activities and more. We hope to see you there!
Health and Wellness Back-to-School Event
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network (SCNN) and partners will host the annual Health and Wellness Back-to-School Event on Friday, August 11th. The event will run from 10:00 A.M. - 2:30 P.M. on the block of 91st and Brandon. There will be a bookbag giveaway, games for kids, music, food, and more. SCNN is still accepting donations of school supplies, snacks, and applications for resource vendors. For more information contact Program Manager Tiarra Owens at firstname.lastname@example.org
Finance and Budgeting Workshop
Claretian Associates and Center for Changing Lives collaborated to host a finance and budgeting workshop for residents and community members. Attendees learned the importance of budgeting while living on a fixed income. There will be a second workshop at the SALUD Center on Thursday, August 17, at 12:30 P.M. Register here.
New Hires at Claretian Associates
Claretian Associates welcomes Clintesha Briner as Resident Service Assistant to the resident services team. Clintesha is responsible for the engagement of the residents and activities. She will be planning holiday parties, senior trips, and more.
Clintesha will be assisting Resident Services Manager Wendy Steward to coordinate events for the multi families and seniors. Clintesha will continue to plan regular activities for the seniors like bingo and resource workshops and organize shopping trips for the seniors.
Prior to Claretian Associates, Clintesha worked as a customer service representative. Clintesha also worked as a CNA at nursing homes and senior nursing facilities. Clintesha is certified to lay brick. She is a second-year student at Phoenix University Online and is studying Health Care Business Administration. As Resident Service Coordinator, Clintesha hopes to bring the residents happiness through engagement.
Chicago Neighborhood Development Award
Claretian Associates in partnership with the Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) is pleased to announce that we have been awarded the Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award for the preservation of the South Chicago SALUD Center and Senior Housing. The Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards hosted by LISC Chicago was held on Thursday, June 22, 2023, at the Geraghty. We are grateful to our team who made this project a reality! Learn more about our award here.
Health and Wellness Back to School Event
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network (SCNN) and partners will host an annual Health and Wellness Back to School event on Friday, August 11. The event will take place at 91st and Brandon. A bookbag giveaway and other goodies will be offered. This is the third year SCNN and partners will be hosting this event. “It's a way for us to connect with community residents and help families get ready for the start of the school year,” said Program Manager Tiarra Owens. SCNN is now accepting donations of school supplies, snacks for kids and applications for resource vendors. For more information contact Tiarra at email@example.com
Re-grand opening of SALUD Fitness Center
Claretian Associates recently hosted a re-grand opening of the SALUD Fitness Center. The event offered raffles, snacks, and music. Attendees who attended were entered into a raffle to win prizes and participated in fitness bingo. Participants were introduced to the Peloton spin bikes and other exercise equipment donated to the SALUD Center.
Two fitness events were held to introduce the community to the SALUD Fitness Center. At each event attendees played fitness bingo to familiarize themselves with the workout equipment. Each attendee received stickers on their bingo sheet for exercising on the equipment listed. Staff members provided guidance to attendees on how to utilize the exercise equipment.
The second fitness event was held for Claretian Associates’ Violence Prevention Program, Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P). Outreach workers and their participants were introduced to the exercise equipment and learned how to perform basic stretches before exercising.
The Peloton Spin Bikes are the highlight of the fitness center. In February of 2022, Peloton donated $100,000 in exercise equipment, program subscriptions and grant support to Claretian Associates. Earlier this year, Claretian Associates had a soft opening for the fitness center and hired a health and wellness coordinator. Last month, the YMCA donated weight room equipment. “I want people in the community to say, ‘Hey let’s go get fit at the SALUD,” said SALUD Program Manager April Morris.
When the South Chicago YMCA closed, Claretian Associates and Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) partnered to acquire the building. Since then, community meetings have been held to receive feedback for the vision of the SALUD Center. A common theme from the community feedback was the need to bring the Fitness Center back online. “We brought the fitness center back due to community response to get healthy,” said SALUD Center Program Manager April Morris.
The Fitness Center is open Monday – Saturday with a paid membership. Health and Wellness Coordinator Maurice Garrett is available to guide and assist SALUD Fitness Center members. For more information on the SALUD Fitness Center contact April at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fitness Center Membership Available
The SALUD Fitness Center is now fully open and running a membership Summer Sale. A 3-month membership is $39.99. Starting in September, regular membership will be $14.99 per month. You must be 18 years old to join. Fitness Center hours are 8AM – 5 PM Monday through Friday but stays open until 8 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Saturday and Holiday hours are 8 AM to 1 PM. A day passes will only cost $10. Come check us out!
The Fitness Center offers a wide range of equipment weights to a variety of cardio equipment. Peloton spin bikes are available to take self-guided spin class. Not sure how or where to start? Health and Wellness Coordinator, Maurice Garrett, is available to guide and assist. For more information contact the SALUD Fitness Center at email@example.com
Summer Youth Programming
Summer Youth Programming has begun at the SALUD Center!
The seniors at Villa Guadalupe Senior Services and the South Chicago SALUD Center attended presentations on Domestic Violence during Violence Prevention Week. Program Coordinator, Pamesha Robinson, presented to the seniors and provided them with information on awareness of elder abuse. Our elderly are a vulnerable population and every person, no matter how old, deserves to be safe from harm from those who live with them, care for them, or have daily contact with them.
Older people today are more visible, active, and independent than ever before. As the population of older Americans grows, it’s necessary to ensure they have appropriate care resources. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in 10 people aged 60 and older who live at home experience abuse, including mistreatment and exploitation.
Claretian Associates held a community meeting to provide a status update on SACRED (Sustainable Affordable Commercial Real Estate Development). In partnership with Interfaith Housing Development Corporation, Claretian Associates is developing an 81-Unit affordable housing development at the corner of 92 and Burley Avenue. The unit will have studios, 4 bedrooms and 6,000 sq.ft. of commercial space. Read more about the development here.
The meeting was a presentation of floor plans and to receive feedback from the community about potential interior designs. SACRED will have a parking lot and private outdoor space for the residents. SCARED will be designed for young people, all the way to grand families. The plan is to break ground next year, 2024. “I think it's great that a project of this size is coming to 92nd and Burley. It’s the continuation of new and better things to come to the neighborhood,” said Real Estate Project Manager Mikael David.
Chicago Air Quality
Chicago continues to be affected by the Canadian Wildfires. Claretian Associates received a report from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) asking residents to exercise care. Sensitive populations, including individuals with heart or lung disease, older adults, pregnant people, and young children should avoid outdoor activities and take precautions to protect themselves from exposure. For more information on the air quality and to stay updated see here.
Claretian Associates is highlighting Sherman Morisette and Shirley Burgess Morisette, a couple who have been utilizing the SALUD Fitness Center for over four months. “Sherman and Shirley motivate and support each other in their effort to get fit,” said Health and Wellness Coordinator Maurice Garrett.
Sherman is a faithful client of Maurice Garrett, Health and Wellness Coordinator for the SALUD Fitness Center. “He was my first client,” said Maurice. As a resident at South Chicago SALUD Center, Sherman first heard about the fitness center after receiving a flyer. “I enjoy the Peloton bikes, treadmill, and weights. They are all great benefits,” said Sherman.
Sherman invited Shirley to start exercising with him at the fitness center. “She was hesitant at first, but she enjoyed working out with Maurice,” said Sherman. He wanted Shirley to get away from her everyday routine and do something relaxing for herself.
Sherman and Shirley participate in the morning senior exercise class. “What motivated me to exercise was my husband, Sherman,” said Shirley. What also motivated Shirley to join her husband in exercising was her health. “I have high blood pressure and stage three kidney failure. I was on the borderline of being a diabetic,” said Shirley. Sherman told Shirley exercising together was not going to be hard. “I went down to the gym; I met Maurice and recognized some people. Now it's like my second home,” said Shirley.
Since exercising at the fitness center, Shirley does not feel as stressed as before and her blood pressure has lowered too. “At the age of 71, exercising is really helping,” said Shirley. Sherman and Shirley have built new friendships while attending the fitness center. “You meet new friends, you are encouraged, motivated and you feel stress-free. I would recommend this 120% to anybody,” said Shirley.
Sherman not only exercises with the seniors in the mornings, but he also participates in the bootcamp on Thursdays at 5:30 pm. Sherman has been exercising for a decade and utilizing the fitness center has helped him with mobility and flexibility.
Sherman and Shirley credit Maurice for their health improvements. “We have one of the best instructors and we are very fortunate to have him as a trainer,” said Sherman. Maurice is a personal fitness trainer, certified spin instructor, and nutritionist.
Shirley likes to exercise on the treadmill, bikes, and the stepper. “When I’m on the bike, I’m talking to the ladies, and I forget that I’m exercising,” said Shirley. The seniors can join the senior exercise class Monday through Thursday at 11 am.
Communities Partnering 4 Peace Light in the Night
CP4P will have a series of Light in the Night events this Spring and Summer. Light in the Nights are events where the CP4P team will provide a safe space for the community, with games, music, food, and more. Light in the Night events are held in public spaces and sometimes near hotspots. Case Managers are present with resources for the community. The next Light in the Night events will be on Friday, May 26 on 78th & Saginaw and Saturday, May 27, on 75th & Coles.
Join us for a community meeting on the status update of SACRED (Sustainable Affordable Commercial Real Estate Development) on Thursday, June 1, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the SALUD Center. SACRED will be 78 units of affordable housing located on the southwest corner of East 92nd Street and South Burley Avenue.
Join us for the Fitness Center Kickoff on Thursday, June 1, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the SALUD Center. There will be music and raffles. For more information, contact April Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chat and Chew
Join the South Chicago Neighborhood Network and community partners for a Chat and Chew, a conversation on Human Trafficking Wednesday, June 14 from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Register here.
Meeting with the Alderman Peter Chico
Uniting Our Voice, Our Vote, Our Power Coalition held a meeting at the SALUD Center with the new 10th Ward Alderman Peter Chico. The Coalition, who organized the local 10th ward nonpartisan forums, introduced the alderman to their organizations and presented their work.
The Coalition updated Alderman Chico on their work. “We wanted to introduce the new alderperson to this amazing network of community members that each do their best and do one of many parts of the work that needs to be done in the neighborhood like South Chicago,” said Crystal Vance Guerra, Program Manager of Special Service Area 5.
The Coalition now has established a monthly meeting with Alderman Chico to keep him updated about their work, so that everybody can work together.
Career and Trade Fair
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network and community partners hosted a Career and Trade Fair on Thursday, May 4, 2023. Companies such as Amazon, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), and community organizations were available to answer questions about various job opportunities.
The idea for the career and trade fair was sprouted at the Metropolitan Family Services board meeting. Program Manager Tiarra Owens, who serves on the board, and its other community partners realized that nobody was applying for their job listings. “There are a lot of opportunities right here in South Chicago and many don’t know about them,” said Tiarra.
A factor that was unfolded based upon a community assessment performed by Metropolitan Family Services; South Chicago has the highest unemployment rate in the city. Some of the factors of the high unemployment rate are childcare, transportation, and not having the right attire. “From the results, we did our best to plan a career and trade fair to cater to the needs of the community members,” said Tiarra.
A clothing drive for new or gently used business clothes was organized with Claretian Associates, Metropolitan Family Services, and Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P). “We collected over 250 articles of clothing from community residents and organizations,” said Tiarra. Suits, dresses, shoes, and other items were donated. Attendees were able to check out the hiring companies and “shop” for business attire.
The South Chicago Neighborhood Network and community partners would like to thank everybody for the clothing donations. “We also want to thank all vendors because without them it isn't possible to host these community events,” said Tiarra.
New Hires at Claretian Associates
Claretian Associates welcomes Sara Calzada as the new CP4P Victim Advocate and Monique Thurman as Program Coordinator for Empowering Black Futures Initiative.
Read more about Sara’s and Monique’s experiences below.
Victim Advocate Sara Calzada
As Victim Advocate, Sara connects with the victim and the family as a whole. “We are looking to make sure they have everything they need to come back as a family after a traumatizing incident,” said Sara. Sara was a manager for 10 years in the dentistry field. Prior to starting at CP4P, Sara worked in urgent care as a manager as well. “I take pride in all my customer service. I look at everybody as an individual not as a number,” said Sara.
Sara became interested in victim advocacy because of her mother, who is a victim advocate for the Chicago Police Department. Sara sat with her mother during a victims’ consultation and was amazed at how her mother cared for the victim who had lost her son to gun violence. “I felt like my mom had her back. That was everything to me. I called her a superhero after that,” said Sara.
After sitting in the victim's compensation, Sara wanted to help and learn more. “The fact that this mom is grieving for a child, and I have children, it kind of hit home.” Sara learned about the qualifications for being a victim advocate from her mother and did her research as well.
Sara received a call from her mother about the CP4P victim advocate position. “I took the leap of faith,” said Sara. Since Sara started with CP4P, she has connected the team with her alma mater No Adults Left Behind Educational High School. This connection now serves as a resource for CP4P participants.
Sara hopes to bring more collaboration at CP4P and be a light at the end of the tunnel, “Going into areas that have been forgotten and showing that we care,” said Sara.
EBA Program Coordinator Monique Thurman
The EBA Program Coordinator is a newly created position at Claretian Associates in partnership with Fifth Third Bank. The EBA Program is designed to promote prosperous black-owned businesses. “Part of the initiative is to revitalize Commercial Avenue, to assist business store owners in growing their businesses or to open a business in the community,” said Monique. One of the goals of the EBF Program is to create more equitable connected systems.
Monique is working on getting a memorandum of understanding signed with all the partners. “It's a document that keeps everybody on the same page with respect to the EBF Initiative. It will highlight what partners will bring to the table with the expectations of being able to fulfill the obligations to the Black community,” said Monique. Monique is also working on an event aimed at fixing credit. The event will focus on helping individuals with credit building, offering credit counseling, and more.
Monique worked for Lurie Children's Hospital for over 15 years. Monique was a program coordinator for the City of Country Club Hills and worked for their police department. Later, Monique was asked by the Mayor of Country Club Hills to return to her formal position as program coordinator.
Prior to starting at Claretian Associates, Monique worked as a program coordinator at a domestic violence shelter. Monique is also an entrepreneur; she has her own catering business. Monique earned her bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship and has a master's in educational leadership.
Monique wants to bring a sense of relatability. “I can relate to some barriers that the community members are going through, such as wanting to be a homeowner,” said Monique. For more information the on EBF program contact Monique at email@example.com.