Please share your mission.
Our mission is to empower our neighbors to become catalysts of and participants in a flourishing Southside Chicago community.
Describe how your organization lives/realizes its mission.
Hope Works Community Development is dedicated to the community first. Woodlawn is a historically bustling African-American community that housed 81,000 people in the 1960’s. It is now estimated to have a population of 26,000 and is overwhelmed with generational poverty, gang-related violence, and unemployment. 41% of Woodlawn households earn less than $15,000 annually. 72% of households are renter-occupied, and over 22% of units in the neighborhood are vacant. 22% of residents, are unemployed; 3 times the average national unemployment rate. There are 62 serious felonies per 1,000 people, more than 1.5 times the crime rate of Chicago. One of the top reasons for incarceration and violence is joblessness. If more community members have access to jobs, the neighborhood of Woodlawn can continue to heal. That access can be hard to come by, and we want to be a trusted resource for Woodlawn residents to connect their job skills to job opportunities. Many individuals in the neighborhood don’t know how to design a resume or do not have access to a computer to send a required electronic application. Hope Works is in a unique position to facilitate economic opportunity and drive growth. With our ArtWorks program, our students are able to create opportunities for themselves by cultivating new skills. We have seen how eager our clients are to pursue opportunities and our newest program presents a pathway for these students to discipline themselves and learn a new craft.