Residents Team Up to Spruce Up West Humboldt during NHS of Chicago’s 24th Annual NeighborWorks Day
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Chicago -- On Saturday, June 4, over 100 volunteers from Neighborhood Housing Services corporate partners teamed up with 30 homeowners and their families on the 500 and 600 blocks of North Drake in West Humboldt Park to paint porches, plant flowers, trim hedges and spread mulch. Volunteers and homeowners alike worked side by side in 90 plus degree heat through most of day to complete the block transformations as part of NHS of Chicago’s 24th Annual NeighborWorks Day.
The two blocks of Drake, extending north from beautiful Franklin Boulevard, were chosen for NeighborWorks® Day to support the long time neighborhood improvement efforts of Annie Jones, block leader on 500 North Drake, and Flourine Jones and her husband, block leaders on the 600 block of North Drake. For the Jones’, NeighborWorks® Day will have lasting effects in bringing to fruition their vision of what their blocks can be.
“I have strived for years to make my block a block where people don’t want to move away, and I believe we are having success; NeighborWorks® Day was a great help, especially to our seniors, and I will continue my work to make my block a place I can enjoy for what years I have left,” said Annie Jones.
Flourine Jones added, “The next day at Sunday mass, neighbors from nearby blocks commented that everyone should take a walk down Drake to see the improvements.” She stressed that NeighborWorks® provided encouragement to all the neighbors and was pleased that the block cleanup will be visible long past NeighborWork® s Day.
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Alderman Walter Burnett and State Representative Derrick Smith toured the blocks and visited with families to find ways to build upon their success and share the lessons learned with other parts of the community. (Alderman Burnett also attended the annual block club meeting hosted by Ms. Annie Jones the following Saturday.)
At the same time, community volunteers from NHS, West Humboldt Park Development Council, CLOCC (Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children),and Alderman Burnett’s office hosted the West Humboldt Park Farmer’s Market and Bazaar in the parking lot of West Humboldt NHS on Chicago Avenue. The Farmer’s Market’s stated goal is to promote healthy eating, create opportunities to bring residents together and change the way Chicago Avenue is perceived. Hundreds stopped by to shop, learn and connect with neighbors; in addition, the Chicago Conservation Corps presented a workshop on building a “Sustainable Backyard.”
Thank you to our long time corporate partners, Travelers Insurance and MB Financial and new or returning partners – Madison Capital Funding, Metropolitan Capital Bank, Pan American Bank, Nationwide Insurance and Century 21. Special recognition goes to the West Humboldt Neighborhood Advisory Council, especially to Nita Hailey-Gamble and Renee Watson for giving of their Saturday mornings to convince homeowners to participate, and James Webb, owner of “A Stroke of Genius” painting, who helped us make sure we got the paint projects done right. And lastly, thank you to Ms. Annie Jones and Ms. Flourine Jones for your leadership and confidence in NHS.
The NHS West Humboldt Park office, 3601 W. Chicago Avenue, offers homebuyer counseling and classes, fixed-rate lending services, including loans for construction rehab, and other resources to help Chicagoans Buy, Fix and Keep their Homes. For more information, call 773-533-5570, or visit www.nhschicago.org
Posted in Community Development