Category Archives: Community Development

These groups are active in promoting community based improvements such as residential, retail and redevelopment.

Civic Consulting Alliance

Civic Consulting Logo

The Civic Consulting Alliance (CCA) is a not-for-profit consulting firm working to improve government in the City of Chicago and our region. CCA provides general management consulting services (strategic planning, operational improvements, and organizational design) using a combination of CCA staff consultants, client employees, and consultants “on loan” from Chicago’s top private sector corporations and consulting firms.

The Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago, local philanthropic organizations, and members of our Board support CCA financially and with loaned resources.  As a result, CCA delivers its valuable services at no cost to our clients.

CCA establishes its goals and projects on a regular basis by reviewing emerging issues with its Board and aligning project prospects with the needs of local government agencies and available resources. Examples of engagements include:
Chicago Transit Authority: Capital Improvement Program Redesign (1998)
Chicago Housing Authority: Plan for Transformation Organization Redesign (2001)
Chicago Park District: City-wide Programming Strategy (2003)
Chicago Public Schools: Renaissance 2010 Strategic Planning (2004-2005)
City of Chicago Mayor’s Office and Office of Budget and Management (joint): City-wide Performance Management (2005-2006)
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning: start-up strategy and
operational support (2005-2006)
Since its inception, CCA projects have saved the City of Chicago and its sister agencies more than $1 billion. Projects have also led to numerous service improvements, enabling government to run more effectively and improving the everyday lives of citizens.

Because CCA focuses solely on local government agencies, we provide continuity that maximizes the impact of our partners’ “on loan” resources.  The result is high leverage for loaned resources, making CCA an attractive partner for corporations that want to make a difference in Chicago.  Over the past year alone, partners contributed $3 million in services to the City and sister agencies through CCA.

In September 1985, Mayor Harold Washington asked the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, comprised primarily of the chief executives form Chicago’s largest corporations, to evaluate the financial health of the City. In response, the Civic Committee and Chicago United established the Financial Planning Committee, bringing together more than 70 executives to study the budget, evaluate long-range financial prospects, and make recommendations for strengthening the financial condition of the City. In 1987, the Financial Research and Advisory Committee (FRAC) organized to implement and improve upon these recommendations. In 2005, FRAC became the Civic Consulting Alliance — a name that reflects both the wider range of issues CCA takes on today, and the unique approach to working with partners across the civic landscape.

21 South Clark Street
Suite 3120
Chicago, IL 60603-2006
312-853-9169 (Fax)


The Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago

Civic Committee Logo

We are the civic arm of The Commercial Club of Chicago — one the oldest organizations representing the business, professional, educational and cultural leaders of the Chicago region. The Civic Committee is comprised of senior executives in the Chicago region’s leading institutions and is dedicated to improving Chicago as a place to live, work, and conduct business.

In 1983, The Commercial Club of Chicago commissioned an unprecedented study into the economic well-being of the Chicago metropolitan area. The study concluded that Chicago was experiencing a gradual erosion of its economic vitality. In response, The Commercial Club formed its Civic Committee to examine the various problems that affected the metropolitan area at the time and to devise a long-term strategic plan for addressing these problems.
Today, the Civic Committee functions as a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to stimulate and encourage the growth of the area’s economy and its ability to provide for its people.

The Civic Committee pursues economic development in its broadest sense by supporting efforts to improve the general business environment – the structure and processes of the local economy – so that businesses can prosper and generate jobs.

The Civic Committee also works to protect and improve those parts of the local environment on which employers depend: sound and effective local government services, superior transportation and communication networks, strong education and training systems, excellent health care delivery and reasonable local tax and regulatory structures.

The Civic Committee gives special attention to efforts and plans that relate to the entire Chicago metropolitan area in the belief that the City of Chicago and its surrounding territory constitute a single and interdependent economic region.

In pursuing these goals, the Civic Committee seeks out partnerships with other public and private sector organizations so as to minimize duplication of efforts and to utilize the strength of coalitions representing different constituencies.

21 South Clark Street
Suite 3120
Chicago, IL 60603-2006
312-853-1209 (Fax)

Every Block A Village

Every Block a Village Logo

The Every Block A Village Online project will address serious health and safety problems in Chicago’s Austin community, an area with a historically high crime rate and poor health indicators. The West Suburban Hospital Medical Center will provide 57 “citizen leaders” with WebTV units and Internet access in their homes so they can obtain and distribute health and safety information to the community residents. The citizen leaders have already been selected and are currently working with the Beat 1524 police to help step-up community policing efforts. Community residents will also have greater access to community health resources through a Network Training Site, a 24-hour health information telephone service and a Wellness Center home page, an email site where physicians can be queried regarding health concerns.

Project Significance

Austin is an economically depressed community on Chicago’s west side. Rates of illness, including AIDS and tuberculosis, are all higher in Austin than in Chicago as a whole. This is a community with tremendous need for a communications infrastructure that reaches people with critical health and crime-fighting information.

The project will explore the impact of giving local leaders the networking tools to track critical health and public safety information. Several health-related factors that impact the progress of the program will be measured. For example, with respect to pregnancy, it will track low birth weight, maternal medical complications, and the trimester period at which prenatal care is initiated. In addition, the project will track the visit rate to the hospital’s Emergency Department, and measure whether the annual rate in major crimes continues to decrease.


The Westside Health Authority (WHA), will work in partnership with the PCC Community Wellness Center, West Suburban Hospital (WSH), and Loyola’s Center for Urban Research and Learning.

Mr. Christopher Masi M.D. 
Erie at Austin
Oak Park, IL 60302
phone: (708) 524-8600 

Human Resources Development Institute, Inc.


Human Resources Development Institute, Inc. (HRDI) is a community-based behavioral health and human services organization. HRDI is a non-profit agency which was founded in 1974 by a group of community health advocates on the South Side of Chicago concerned with mental health and substance abuse problems plaguing their communities. These advocates successfully structured culturally-specific programs to address those problems. Today, HRDI is a leading provider of behavioral and community healthcare services in Illinois, serving nearly 15,000 clients annually, and offering more than 40 programs at over 20 sites throughout the Chicagoland area Mississippi, Alabama, Nevada and Pennsylvania. HRDI provides services in mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, community health and comprehensive case management, prevention and education, criminal justice, educational,and children and family services.

222 South Jefferson Street
Chicago, Illinois 60661
(312) 441-9009
7(312) 441-9019

Chicago Coalition for Information Access

Our fundamental tenent is collaboration: As a non-profit organization, we are working towards cooperative, strategic partnerships among members: to be a table for many diverse organizations in partnership towards planning and implementing information infrastructure development in the region, and to be a catalyst for change by bringing together a diversity of individuals representing public and private organizations on a regular basis. We feel that one of the best ways to strengthen the Chicago region economically and educationally is to bring the multifaceted communities together in civic networking efforts.

Since forming in the third quarter of 1993, we have regularly met as a general body to both educate our membership about issues pertaining to the NII and to plan public events. On Freedom of Information Day (3/16/94), we held a public forum on the NII at the Harold Washington Library, attended by over 350 people. This meeting, which also included a live demonstration of “Surfing the Net”, illustrated both the broad appeal, and concern voiced by the public, about the ways new technologies will impact our society.

Our Goals:

Assure democratic freedoms such as freedom to communicate, protection of privacy, civic participation, including access to information about our government and public institutions.

Help our public institutions develop affordable access points to ensure full public access.

Pursue institutions for sponsorship of civic networks and community computer centers. These access points must be convenient to all local residents, including persons with disabilities and persons with non-traditional schedules.

Support efforts that seek to create collaborative mechanisms within Community Based Organizations that will afford cooperative learning sites.

Facilitate local organizing efforts and encourage full participation of new and existing community groups and other expressions of popular interest, need and support.

Develop and encourage legislative initiatives that advance our aims and provide material support for these goals.





3411 W. Diversey

Suite 1

Chicago IL, 60647

Phone:  312-384-8827

Chicago Area Project


Overview of CO

The Community Organizing (CO) is directly involved with community development, which is the ultimate goal of all CAP-funded programs. This is the historic objective established by CAP founder Clifford R. Shaw.

CO provides primary organizing assistance to targeted new and existing neighborhood residents and groups; is the lead organizer for agency expansion efforts; and facilitates the development of local, city, and state-wide joint-venture collaborations/partnerships. Offering effective assistance in organizing local residents and identifying local leadership remains central to the CO’s central mission. In this way, communities can take ownership of their own empowerment and its maintenance.

Chicago Area Project
55 E. Jackson, Suite #900
Chicago, IL 60604
Tel. 312.663.3574
Fax: 312.663.5873

A Safe Haven













A Safe Haven is a private organization that specializes in housing for individuals recovering from alcoholism and substance abuse. A Safe Haven is a licensed operator of residential housing in the Midwestern States. A Safe Haven was founded on the simple vision — to create recovery home living that champions the quality of life that surrounds people that support and understand the steps required to achieve meaningful recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Today. This agency is one of the most effective and innovative providers of recovery home services in the

At A Safe Haven the belief is that no two people are alike. The services each resident requires are never exactly the same. This is called individual-centered approach to recovery. Safe Haven believes in working with other quality community based programs. The agency works with outside 12 Step programs, childcare services, jobs training, medical services, community referral sources, treatment providers, government agencies, families education programs, non-profit organizations. The key is to help the resident build a life long network to stay in recovery.


180 W.

Suite 1000

Chicago, IL

Phone: 312-372-6707

Fax: 312-372-6706



Illinois: 312-372-3820


Lakeview Action Coalition

LAC logo

The Lakeview Action Coalition (LAC) is a non-profit, multi-issue community organization. The Coalition is made up of 40 institutional members, including religious congregations, non-profit agencies, banks, business associations, a credit union and a senior citizens caucus. These diverse institutions are stakeholders in the Chicago communities of Lakeview and North Center.

LAC enables its members to act on their values in public life by participating in the decisions that shape our community s future. We fulfill this mission by organizing people around issuesaffecting our members and by developing leaders through training, action and reflection. Since our founding in 1993, we have stood for justice, solidarity and diversity.

LAC’s Affordable Housing Task Force has organized a broad affordable housing campaign over the last few years that has successfully made affordable housing a major issue in the 32nd, 43rd and 44th Wards. The campaign, named “Room For All,” is broad in scope to allow us to build a large affordable housing constituency, and has worked mainly through two avenues:

Preservation of affordable housing through Section 8 and Creation of affordable housing through set-asides.


Health Care has always been an important issue for LAC. In the last three years, LAC has built or renewed relationships with area legislators, many of whom serve on key health committees in Springfield. As part of United Power for Action & Justice, LAC leaders played a front-line role in the campaign to insure 200,000 low-income parents by expanding the state’s KidCare program into “FamilyCare.”

In the last year, clergy from several of our United Church of Christ (UCC) and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) congregations have worked with “debtor” patients to lead the effort through LAC to reform unjust discriminatory pricing and predatory debt collection practices at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital in Lakeview. Discriminatory pricing is the practice of charging people without insurance (and the least ability to pay) higher sticker prices than those with insurance. Predatory debt collection is when hospitals aggressively seek the payments of debts, often at the expense of a family’s livelihood.






3225 N. Sheffield

Chicago, IL 60657

Phone: 773-549-1947 Fax: 773-549-4639

Centers for New Horizons

Centers for New Horizons mission is to develop the capacities of families to become self-reliant, to improve the quality of their lives, and to participate in rebuilding their community.


Centers for New Horizons, affectionately referred to as “Centers” has played a vital role in the transformation of Bronzeville. For the past 35 years it has provided a holistic approach to community development centered on the strengthening of families. The results of Centers’ work has been a burgeoning of energy and momentum to ensure that this historic African American community, known for producing legendary cultural, academic, entrepreneurial and sports heroes, continues to nurture the brilliance that has been part of its legacy as it encounters new challenges and opportunities linked to its renewal.

Marking Our 35th Year of Working with the Community… Centers has:

  • Educated over 20,000 young children
  • Encouraged thousands of youth to stay in and achieve in school.
  • Provided community leadership that generated over $500 MM in capital investment in Bronzeville
  • Supported the employment of thousands of parents, directly employed hundreds of community residents either part of our staff or through job programs.
  • Supported hundreds of fragile families and seniors
  • Spun-off a dozen new nonprofits to expand opportunities for resident leadership and demonstrating the capacity of extremely low income people to organize for their own empowerment.
  • Provided vision and support to citywide coalitions to improve our public schools, ameliorate poverty, increase the supply and the quality of early childhood education, and provide quality affordable housing for low income families.

Through the years, Centers for New Horizons has received some affirming accolades for its work. Centers is a past recipient of the Chicago Community Trust’s James Brown IV award and the SaraLee Foundation’s Spirit Award. In 1994, Dr. Karanja received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work in building Centers. In 2005, Centers received the Bank of America Foundation’s Neighborhood Builders Award. Today, Centers continues as a leader on the cutting edge of best practices in education and innovation in community building, focusing in the present and future, as it always has, on building ‘Kujitegumea” or Self-Reliance in the African American community.






4150 South King Drive

Chicago, IL 60653

Phone: 773-373-5700 Fax: 773-373-0063

Quad Communities Development Corporation

Quad Communities Development Corporation
Quad Communities Development Corp. (QCDC) serves the South Side communities of North Kenwood, Oakland, and portions of Douglas and Grand Boulevard. QCDC’s mission is to convene residents, organizations, businesses, and institutions within the Quad Communities to plan, guide, support, and monitor human infrastructure and community development activities that will create a sustainable, healthy, mixed-income neighborhood. QCDC organizes stakeholders and leverages resources in order to guide and support community development initiatives focusing around four core program areas: Education/Youth Programs – QCDC secured funding from the University of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools to appoint a Cluster Coordinator who supports and provides additional resources to the principals of seven elementary schools within the QCDC service area. Center for Working Families – Together with the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, QCDC secured Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) program funds from the Federal and Regional Transportation Authority and convened 75 area institutions/employers to plan and design a transportation-to-work shuttle service within the Quad Communities. Mixed-Income Housing Program – There are 718 units of federally subsidized housing at risk of expiring in next 5 years. QCDC convened partners, including Chicago Rehab Network and two community organizations to address the issue of expiring federally subsidized affordable housing properties. QCDC has also engaged an experienced not-for-developer to help preserve at-risk affordable housing properties. Cottage Grove Commercial District Revitalization Program – In partnership with the Fourth Ward Aldermanic Office, QCDC setup and staffed the 43rd & Cottage Grove Tax Increment Financing (TIF)Council, which is charged with the task of guiding and overseeing development activities within the TIF District along Cottage Grove Avenue from 39th to 48th street.
Address: Quad Communities Development Corporation
  4659 S. Cottage Grove Avenue
  Chicago, IL 60653
Contact: Bernita Johnson-Gabriel
Phone: (773) 268-7232