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CHICAGO — Seniors on the city’s south side have a great opportunity for some extra help this week, thanks to State Rep. Lamont J. Robinson.
The state representative is having his fall Senior Appreciation Fair this Friday, Oct. 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Paul G. Stewart Center (400 E. 41st St., Chicago). Highlights from the event flyer include:
- Free produce and pantry items
- Hot meals and treats
- Free COVID-19 testing and vaccinations
- Onsite voter registration
- Gift card giveaways
- Entertainment and dancing, including a DJ
Many area elected leaders, businesses and civic organizations are supporting Rep. Robinson’s efforts by joining him as co-hosts for the event. Learn more at his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RepLa….
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Chicago, IL|Neighbor Post|
New Danish Consul General Visits The Danish Home of Chicago
The Danish Home of Chicago’s President/CEO Scott L. Swanson and The Danish Home Foundation’s Development Manager Linda Steffensen recently hosted the new Chicago Danish Consul General Frank Hansen and his wife, Jane, for a delicious luncheon of Danish open-faced sandwiches and a tour of The Danish Home to meet the residents and to see the remodeling improvements and building expansion plans.
Frank Hansen started his official posting as the new Danish Consul General in Chicago and Head of the Energy Team in North America on August 1.
He brings great experience from the manufacturing industry and wind energy sector. His previous positions include Managing Director at Danfoss IXA, CEO at Nadiro A/S, and CEO at CT OFFSHORE.
The new Danish Consul General in Chicago has an international background in the maritime segment within sales and service. For 15 years, Frank worked at MAN Diesel & Turbo in various positions as Service Manager in Singapore, General Manager in Los Angeles, Managing Director in Copenhagen.
Frank Hansen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Technology Management and Marine Engineering from Svendborg Marine Engineering Academy, Denmark. Frank has studied General Management at UCLA, Marketing Management at Macquarie University of Management in Singapore, and graduated from MAN Diesel & Turbo with various leadership programs at Saïd Business School, Oxford, and INSEAD, Paris.
The Danish Home of Chicago and The Danish Home Foundation welcome Frank and Jane Hansen and their family to Chicago!
Chicago, IL|Neighbor Post|
A STRATEGY FOR INCREASING FUNDING AND IMPROVING COORDINATION AMONG CHICAGO’S ANTI-VIOLENCE INTERVENTION PROGRAMS SO THEY CAN REDUCE THE EPIDEMIC THAT’S THREATENING THE CITY’S FUTURE
The gun violence on Chicago’s South and West sides shocked us when it occurred, almost daily, over the summer; saddened us when we learned, tragically, about the innocent victims, many of them children; and depressed us when we saw that police, despite numerous revised approaches, were unable to stop the bloodbath.
Mayor Lightfoot aptly labeled the horrific summer carnage “brutal,” but she and others also pointed to an estimable silver lining inside the blood-soaked city fabric: Bold, ambitious and promising intervention strategies.
Strategies that don’t involve thousands of additional police officers who can’t prevent violence, mostly show up after shootings and don’t arrest more than a handful of perpetrators because too many understandably fearful and distrustful witnesses won’t cooperate.
Or heavily-armed National Guard soldiers stationed on every dangerous South and West Side street corner, a total non-starter.
What the intervention programs do involve is hands-on, face-to-face connections with the bad and potentially bad actors—most of them young men of color—responsible for most of the violence.
Experts estimate their number at 20,000 in a city of 2.7 million, or one of every 135 residents, which is scary in and of itself.
Some of them reject or ignore interventionist offers of social, psychological, educational and employment help—guidance is probably a better word— but others welcome a chance to trade the life-threatening realities of drugs, guns and gangs for a challenging road to a safer, more productive future.
The city’s main intervention groups are Chicago CRED, led by former Chicago Public Schools CEO and Obama administration Education Secretary Arne Duncan; READI Chicago, headed by executive director Eddie Bocanegra; and Communities Partnering 4 Peace, a Metropolitan Family Services program.
Their primary funding comes from corporations, foundations and private philanthropy, but some also receive government dollars.
In addition, the Lightfoot administration and the Chicago Police Department have intervention programs paid for with city, state and federal tax dollars, and those funding sources will increase in 2022.
Arne Duncan of Chicago CRED is quick to praise the spirit of collaboration among the intervention groups, nonprofit and governmental, but he has two laments: They’re only reaching about ten percent of the target group because they can’t afford to hire enough intervention workers; and there’s no single individual—no “czar”—to coordinate an effective collaborative strategy that maximizes resources and minimizes missteps.
My solution is simple: Mayor Lightfoot should make Duncan, who has a wealth of administrative and leadership experience in the public and nonprofit worlds, the Violence Prevention Coordinator—the “czar,” if you will—with a mandate to bring all the stakeholders together to formulate intervention strategies, guess-estimate their cost, and identify funding sources.
One cost estimate for a comprehensive and effective intervention initiative—“flooding the zone,” to borrow a sports analogy—is 2 billion dollars over five years, about four times the amount that’s currently spent on the programs.
Two billion is roughly $100,000 for each of the 20,000 violent, potentially violent or at-risk young people.
One hundred thousand, Crain’s columnist Greg Hinz sagely notes, is about the cost of one year’s tuition, room and board, and expenses at an elite university.
So visualize Duncan (or whomever) convening a series of meetings that includes representatives from city, county, state and federal governments; and from business, civic, labor, religious and community organizations.
Why such a large and diverse group when the bulk of the violence is confined to a dozen or so of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods?
Because, quite simply, its impact affects all of us by making the city an unattractive place to live, work, play and raise a family.
It seems to me that Chicago is at an inflection point, a moment where we either step up and go all in to reduce the violence, or watch our beloved city become more and more ungovernable, and unlivable.
To me, and I hope to most of you, the choice is easy.
Andy Shaw is a veteran Chicago journalist and good government advocate. He would love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to share them by email: Andyshawchicago@gmail.com.
Chicago, IL|Neighbor Post|
The National Fire Protection Association® and State Farm® team up to remind Illinois residents to “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety™” during Fire Prevention Week™
State Farm made more than $70,000 in grants, designated for use in Illinois, to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety.” This year’s campaign, October 3-9, works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe.
“What do the sounds mean? Is there a beep or a chirp coming out of your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm? Knowing the difference can save you, your home, and your family,” said Lorraine Carli, Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy at NFPA.
State Farm agents are working with their local fire departments to encourage all residents to embrace the 2021 Fire Prevention Week theme. As such, State Farm recently donated Fire Prevention Week kits to hundreds of fire departments across the State of Illinois which included posters, promotional items, magnets and children’s activities.
“It’s important to learn the different sounds of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” said Rasheed Merritt, Assistant Vice President Corporate Responsibility. “When an alarm makes noise—a beeping sound or a chirping sound—you must take action! Make sure everyone in the home understands the sounds of the alarms and knows how to respond.”
The following safety tips are recommended to help you “Learn the Sounds of Fire Safety”:
• A continuous set of three loud beeps—beep, beep, beep—means smoke or fire. Get out, call 9-1-1, and
• A single chirp every 30 or 60 seconds means the battery is low and must be changed.
• All smoke alarms must be replaced after 10 years.
• Chirping that continues after the battery has been replaced means the alarm is at the end of its life and
the unit must be replaced.
• Make sure your smoke and CO alarms meet the needs of all your family members, including those with sensory or physical disabilities.
For more general information about Fire Prevention Week and fire prevention in general, visit www.fpw.org.
Chicago, IL|Local News Tip|
President Toni Preckwinkle Announces $75M for Additional Round of
Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance
CHICAGO — (October 1, 2021)—Today, President Preckwinkle, County Board Commissioners Donna Miller, Brandon Johnson, and Frank J. Aguilar, the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development, and the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) announced another round of Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA 2) to support residents of suburban Cook County who are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability due to the pandemic.
The program will dedicate an additional $75M, funded through the American Rescue Plan, to provide emergency rental assistance to both tenants and landlords, with prioritization preference given to suburban Cook County’s most vulnerable residents. The program will begin accepting applications on Monday, October 4, 2021, and will remain open until Friday, October 29, 2021.
“This is a crucial extension of our Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which has provided aid to nearly 8,000 tenants and landlords during this difficult time. It was a top priority for the County to continue this program and make critical improvements, such as covering relocation, security deposits, and other housing-related expenses that our residents so desperately need,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
Designed to prevent and relieve housing instability for suburban Cook County renters and landlords who have experienced financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ERA 2 can help with up to 18 months of rental assistance. The program will cover past and current utility expenses, or other related housing expenses including relocation costs, security deposits, processing fees, and temporary housing solutions. In addition, under ERA 2, public housing residents and families with Housing Choice Vouchers are eligible to apply for assistance with their portion of rent.
“Because the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on our most vulnerable residents, ERA 2 allows residents and landlords who have received rental assistance from Cook County’s ERA 1 program to apply for an additional three months of assistance,” states Xochitl Flores, Bureau Chief of Economic Development of Cook County. “This program has been instrumental in providing direct rental assistance, preventing evictions, and helping ensure our residents can maintain a stable home, even in the face of unprecedented financial hardships caused by the pandemic.”
To qualify for assistance under ERA 2, applicants must live in suburban Cook County and rent their place of residence. They must have a current or future obligation to pay rent, utilities, and/or other housing-related expenses and have a household annual income at or below established requirements (ranging from $52,200 for single-person households up to $98,450 for eight-person households). Additionally, applicants must have proof of financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic such as losing income, working fewer hours, being furloughed, needing to stay home because of risk of infection or to care for a child, or incurring significant costs during COVID-19.
Beyond meeting the eligibility requirements, priority will be given to eligible households that have received an eviction notice, households where at least one member has been unemployed for 90 days prior to applying, households where an individual pays more than 50% of income on rent, and households that are considered overcrowded. Priority applications will be processed before non-priority applications.
Landlords and tenants in suburban Cook Country who wish to apply for ERA 2 funding can do so by visiting Cook County Covid-19 Emergency Rental Assistance at https://www.cookcountyil.gov/service/covid-19-recovery-rental-assistance-program. All applications are open on October 4 and will be accepted until October 29, 2021. For additional information, visit the Cook County Bureau of Economic Development at https://www.cookcountyil.gov/bureau-of-economic-development, or call (833) 221-9821. Help is available in multiple languages. Residents and landlords dealing with issues surrounding evictions and debt are also encouraged to contact Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt (CCLAHD) at www.cookcountylegalaid.org or by calling 855-956-5763 to get free legal aid and mediation services to help resolve issues.
Chicago, IL|Neighbor Post|
Apollo’s Fire introduces new performance and educational program in Chicagoland this October 2021
Celebrating its 30th anniversary season, Apollo’s Fire, the internationally acclaimed, GRAMMY®-winning period-instrument orchestra led by renowned conductor and harpsichordist Jeannette Sorrell, officially adopts Chicago as its second home with the launch of its Windy City Series: A Journey of Discovery in late October 2021. With a year-long theme of "A Journey of Discovery," the series offers concerts in Chicago and Evanston, and will include a post-concert CD release party in October for the ensemble’s latest album, “Vivaldi The Four Seasons,” with acclaimed violinist Francisco Fullana. (The CD is officially released October 22.)
The series includes five concerts:
2 performances of the "Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – rediscovered" in October;
one performance of "Virtuoso Bach and Vivaldi" in January 2022 (with Fullana re-joining the orchestra for Bach’s Violin Concerto in D Minor);
2 performances of "Mozart and the Chevalier" in May 2022 – a program featuring works by Mozart and Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint – Georges, with Chicago violinist Rachel Barton Pine and soprano Sonya Headlam in their Apollo’s Fire debuts.
In conjunction with its performance series, Apollo’s Fire makes a substantial commitment to education initiatives in Greater Chicago. At the invitation of the superintendent of Matteson school district #162, Artistic Director Jeannette Sorrell will lead Apollo’s Fire and high school students of Southland College Prep High School in a festive "side-by-side" concert on Tuesday, October 26, at the high school. The collaborative concert kicks off a new Beginning Strings program led by Apollo’s Fire in the predominantly African American school district. Designed by Sorrell, the Beginning Strings program is inspired by the El Sistema model and also by the model of Vivaldi’s orchestra of orphan youth in 18th-century Venice. Further details on the program will be released in late October. Apollo’s Fire also plans to work with students at the Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston.
“It’s an honor to become part of a community with such strong roots in the arts,” stated Ms. Sorrel. “Having performed 5 times in Greater Chicago in the last 5 years – at Ravinia, the University of Chicago and Northwestern – we are thrilled now to commit to Chicago as our second home. Through this series, we look forward to bringing new audiences to early music and classical music in general, as we break down the barriers that make people shy away from classical music."
Apollo’s Fire has one of the nation’s three largest audiences for baroque music, and is a popular ensemble on YouTube, with over 8 million views of their videos.
For more information on Apollo’s FIre, visit their website at https://apollosfire.org
Chicago, IL|Neighbor Post|
L.I.FT. Aurora dba Culture Shock in Aurora, IL wins a $25,000 grant.
In just 10 days in August, more than 125,000 people cast more than 3 Million votes in support of their favorite causes. As a result, 40 communities, in 18 states, including L.I.FT. Aurora dba Culture Shock in Aurora, IL, will be getting an assist from State Farm®. State Farm is proud to announce the Top 40 vote-getting causes that have won $25,000 grants to improve their communities.
State Farm Neighborhood Assist® is a crowd-sourced philanthropic grant program that empowers communities
to identify issues in their neighborhoods. Non-profits affiliated with each of the top 40 causes receive grants to address them.
L.I.F.T. Aurora will use the money to offer FREE arts programs and events to the community as well as providing space for local “creative” and grassroots organizations to create and share their work.
“State Farm recognizes the good neighbor spirit in the organizations that will be implementing these community improvement projects,” said Rasheed Merritt, Assistant Vice President at State Farm. “We are proud to support their efforts.”
Two thousand cause submissions were accepted in June at www.neighborhoodassist.com. The State Farm Review Committee selected the Top 200 finalists and public voting determined the Top 40. In the ten years of the program, more than 380 causes have received a total of $10 million to enact change in their communities.
For a complete list of this year’s top 40 causes, please visit: www.neighborhoodassist.com.
Chicago, IL|Neighbor Post|
Lucasfilm Animation employee and a robotics team in Chicago share how they’re improving the world through the power of neurodiversity.
A Lucasfilm Animation employee and a robotics team share how we’re improving the world through the power of neurodiversity. Julie Kogura’s job at Lucasfilm Animation turned her learning disability into an asset, and The Bionic Wolves share how their differences enable them to help others through STEM and robotics. Galactic Builders was created in collaboration with FIRST, the world’s leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
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October 13, 2021 at 09:17AM