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.