CHA launches JobsPlus program at Dearborn Homes that connects residents to opportunities
Office of Communications – Chicago Housing Authority
Matthew Aguilar: (312) 935-2646; (312) 523-7067; email@example.com
CHICAGO (Feb. 19, 2021) – The Chicago Housing Authority launched its JobsPlus program at Dearborn Homes virtually Wednesday, officially kicking off a program that supports residents with employment, education and financial services. It was made possible through a $2.8 million grant CHA received last year from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Speakers included CHA CEO Tracey Scott; HUD Deputy Regional Administrator James Cunningham; HUD Illinois PIH Director Williams Dawson, III; 3rd Ward Ald. Pat Dowell and Local Advisory Council (LAC) President Carol Wallace. Speakers from partner organizations included Karin Norington-Reaves, CEO of the Chicago-Cook Workforce Partnership; and Christa Hamilton, CEO for Centers for New Horizons.
“With the JobsPlus program starting here today, residents will continue the journey to self-sufficiency,” CEO Scott said. “We talk about economic self-sufficiency. But it’s also the pride of reaching goals and having the ability to make a change in your life. Dearborn residents will be provided services and connected with employer linkages, job placement and financial literacy as they strive toward their goals and their dreams.”
CHA was one of nine Public Housing Authorities (PHA’s) that received a total of $20 million in JobsPlus grants from HUD last year to help public housing families increase their earned income and become self-sufficient.
“We are proud to make this award to CHA,” Cunningham said. “They had success with the first JobsPlus grant at Altgeld Gardens, and we are looking forward to similar results for Dearborn Homes.”
HUD’s investment will leverage an additional $4,355,700 working alongside key partners City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago Department of Family & Support Services, Chicago Park District, Chicago-Cook Workforce Partnership, Centers for New Horizons, FamilyWorks and East Lake Management.
Ethiah Williams obtained a job with Metropolitan Family Services, a social service agency, as a result of the JobsPlus program at Altgeld Gardens.
“It was an amazing program,” she said. “I gained experience and training. I gained work experience. It truly helped the entire community get back to work. So I am excited to see it kicking off in another development in Chicago, and I’m excited about letting residents know about this opportunity.”
Dearborn Homes has 1,622 residents - 574 of which are work-able adults. The program will provide a comprehensive menu of available employment and workforce development resources onsite, including job readiness training, workforce preparation workshops, networking events, job clubs, education and literacy services, computer/technology resources, business and employer partners, transitional jobs and employment placement services programs. Additionally, the program will utilize the Transforming Impossible to Possible (TIP) model to provide a strength-based, trauma-informed approach to service.
The JobsPlus program expands on a successful HUD demonstration model that combines traditional employment, training, and job placement services with a rent incentive and investment in building community support for work.
Altgeld Gardens was awarded a $3 million JobsPlus grant in 2015 that closed out in September 2019. More than 500 Altgeld residents were placed in jobs as a result of the grant. And 59 percent of the work-able residents were employed – an 11 percent increase over four years compared to the start of the program.