Adequate, affordable housing is an essential component in maintaining healthy households, strengthening communities, establishing bonds among neighbors, creating the expectation for effective schools, and building healthy business districts. The needs in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods are often greater than what the federal, state, and local governments are able to provide.
Claretian Associates (CA) is a vital and nationally recognized resource for affordable housing in the South Chicago region. CA aspires to create a community that is affordable, safe, and equitable. It has created over 250 affordable homes and apartments in a 12-block area and has simultaneously worked with other community advocates to undertake housing development projects and services that have enriched the lives of Southeast Chicago residents. CA has also developed and sold over 40 single-family homes through the city’s New Homes for Chicago program and plans to develop an additional 89 units in the coming years. Claretian Associates has transformed a once desolate and impoverished geographic area into a resilient and thriving community.
Other notable impacts:
- Since 2010, over 600 Chicago residents employed in youth and safety programs
- The Safe Passages program lead a 99% decrease in school fights at participating schools from 2017-2019.
- Each year, CA engages with more than 100 volunteers that work on food security, gardening and community clean-up events
- Claretian Associates actively works with over 15 local & regional advocates in our south Chicago neighborhood network
Claretian Associates owns and/or manages:
An apartment complex offering affordable living for seniors aged 55 and older. Villa Guadalupe’s mission is to enhance the quality of life of local seniors by providing affordable housing and support services within a secure environment. “Villa” has been in operation for more than 20 years and has helped stabilize a changing community. It provides access to health services, social programs, and case management at no cost to the residents, in the hopes of providing life-enhancing services to seniors in South Chicago. Seniors can also participate in recreational programs such as dance and exercise classes, holiday events, jewelry-making classes, daytrips, and connecting with nearby schools for programs involving multiple generations.
Villa Guadalupe also runs the Senior Center within the Victory Centre of South Chicago. Located two blocks away, the Center offers affordable meals, activities, and classes for seniors on every weekday.
Casa Kirk consists of 29 apartments ranging in size from 2 to 4 bedrooms. Monthly rents range from $900 to $1100 with subsidies available for some units. Casa Kirk Apartments features large apartments with ample storage space, gated parking, laundry facilities, outdoor playground, cable ready units and building management
Rehab South Chicago Apartments consists of eight apartments ranging in size from 2-4 bedrooms. Amenities include onsite laundry facilities, a large backyard and roomy back porches.
9100 South Burley Apartments is an affordable multi-family housing development and part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. It has 7 units with 2 and/or 3 bedrooms and is a drug-free, smoke-free, pet-free living environment. Appliances include an in-unit washer and dryer. It is a newly renovated building with the latest sustainable and environmentally friendly features.
Claretian Associates established a collaboration with the Preservation of Affordable Housing to acquire 101 affordable senior rental apartments at Salud Center, the former South Chicago YMCA. After some redevelopment, the South Chicago Senior Homes and Salud Center opened to the public in 2021. The Salud Center consists of 100+ units of affordable senior housing and promotes resident health, including prevention of illnesses and injuries, coordination of health/behavioral care and other critical social services (e.g. case management), and delivery of nutritious food.
St. Jude League Community Development is dedicated to helping people improve their daily lives through community development programs. We focus on supporting Claretian-led programs that work to create safe neighborhoods where people can live with dignity and care for one another, even amid the many urban challenges in high-poverty areas.
Successful community development starts by accompanying, welcoming and greeting others with a friendly “hello.” It is essential to enter into conversations of purpose about why people should care for their communities. The needs of our communities are many, so we collaborate with a wide range of programs to serve various age and language groups. We engage local leaders and provide leadership development programs to mentor new leaders in the neighborhood. Programs we support encompass housing, sports, community building, and violence prevention. These programs foster healthy role models, involvement in positive community activities, and access to an environment that promotes constructive coping skills.
The results are profound and, at times, miraculous: Violence rates drop, school attendance rates increase, and more people live with hope.