St. Jude League Community Development is dedicated to helping people and improving their daily lives through our community development programs. We 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.
Community development starts by 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 partner 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. Our programs 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 can be miraculous: Violence rates drop, school attendance rates increase, and more people live with hope. Here are some of the community development programs that St. Jude League Community-Based Development partners with:
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 is a singular resource for affordable housing in the South Chicago region. It aspires to create a community that is affordable, safe, and equitable, and it fosters a sense of safety and community. It has created over 240 affordable homes and apartments in a 12-block area and has simultaneously worked with other community partners to undertake housing development projects and services that have enriched the lives of Southeast Chicago residents. It 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 geographic area into a 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, we have an average of 100 volunteers that work on food security, gardening and community clean-up events
- Claretian Associates works with over 15 local & regional partners 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. The 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 partnership with the Preservation of Affordable Housing to acquire 101 affordable senior rental apartments at 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.
Gabe’s Place is a youth and young adult leadership development program offering summer school and camps to children in grades K-5. Gabe’s Place provides a summer curriculum and camp experience with learning in the morning focused on math, language arts, and music exploration with typical summer camp activities in the afternoon, led by San Gabriel Mission High School students.
The Parent-Child Center
The Parent-Child Center of Rutland County helps people transform their lives with whole-family services delivered through community programming. RCPCC programs include early childhood education, early intervention and literacy, nutritional programs, and parenting classes in order to support children by supporting the whole family.
Parenting 4 Non-Violence
Parenting 4 Non-Violence (P4NV) has been serving communities in Illinois since 2012, building community capacity for violence prevention and empowering parents in order to strengthen youth, families, and communities by building up parent-child relationships. P4NV provides education and support for parents to raise children in emotionally healthy ways, so that their children can thrive personally, socially, and academically.
Jovenes, Inc. helps youth ages 18-25 in southeast Los Angeles County end the cycle of homelessness and unlock their potential by addressing their needs for housing, healthcare, education, employment, and trauma recovery. Jovenes, Inc.’s Immigrants with Disabilities Project seeks to learn about the realities, challenges, and needs of Latinx immigrants living with disabilities in the U.S. in order to better support them.
The Quinn Center of St. Eulalia
The Quinn Center of St. Eulalia is a social outreach ministry that addresses social justice concerns in the diverse community of Proviso near Chicago. The Quinn Center collaborates with local organizations to provide the community with programs aimed to promote educational advancement, community development, social justice, and improvement of the overall well-being of youth, adults, and seniors. Learn more here.
Office of Human Dignity & Solidarity of the Archdiocese of Chicago
The Office of Human Dignity & Solidarity of the Archdiocese of Chicago recognizes the dignity of all life and stands in solidarity with people who are marginalized. The Office coordinates opportunities for service, worship, leadership development, and social justice actions addressing domestic violence, immigration, poverty, and other community development efforts.
Coalition for Spiritual & Public Leadership
The Coalition for Spiritual & Public Leadership is a not-for-profit, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, grassroots-led coalition that enlists parishes, institutions, and communities to address racial, social, economic, and environmental injustices. The Coalition provides trainings for faith leaders and their congregations to cultivate a new generation of leaders who will help improve their communities. Learn more here.
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, or United Workers’ Center is a grass-roots community-organizing group and worker’s center founded by low-income workers in the South Side and southeast suburbs of Chicago. CTU strives to build worker power, especially for immigrant workers, through advancing systemic change that promotes social justice and stabilizes low-income immigrant communities and communities of color.