By William S. Bike
Editor’s note: At press time, future events listed in Around the Neighborhood still were scheduled, but changes are happening on a daily basis due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Check websites or call before going out in case organizers have postponed or canceled events.
The City of Chicago Shared Cost Sidewalk helps people obtain new sidewalks by sharing the cost of sidewalk repair with the City. The cost per square foot charged to property owners is well below what a private contractor would charge. Senior citizens and persons with disabilities may qualify for a further discounted rate. If you applied for the program in previous years but were too late to be accepted, you must apply again in 2021. Applications will be accepted by calling 311, through the City’s service request website at https://311.chicago.gov, or through the free CHI311 mobile apps on iOS Apple and Android.
BENTON HOUSE INFO
At Benton House, 3052 S. Gratten Ave., find out about public benefits such as supplemental nutrition assistance and citizenship application help. Call (773) 927-6420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Boulevard of Chicago at 3456 W. Franklin Blvd. provides medical respite care and housing services for homeless adults discharged from area hospitals. Call (773) 533-6013 or log on to www.blvd.org.
Bright Star Community Outreach and Bright Star Church provide resources related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including rental assistance and utilities support. They also have a trauma helpline and provide professional development, emotional support, and child and family services. Log on to brightstarcommunityoutreach.com. Donations welcome. The church is located at 4518 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
Residents who want to share their thoughts or require assistance on coronavirus or any issue in the community can reach the office of State Rep Kam Buckner (D-26th) at (773) 924-1755 or by email at Buckner@Illinois26.com.
JOURNEY OF THE SOUL
Chabad Jewish Center of the South Loop is presenting classes on the Journey of the Soul, a look at life and death, on Zoom each Tuesday from 7:45 to 8:45 p.m. through March 9. Email email@example.com, call (773) 412-5189, or log on to www.JewishSouthLoop.com.
The Catholic Charities call center helps callers with a variety of needs and connects them toprograms within Catholic Charities or other agencies.
The organization offers meals to go at St. Vincent Center, 721 N. LaSalle St., Monday through Friday at 4 p.m. No pre-registration required.
Catholic Charities operates several food pantries.
A counseling/support hotline is available at (312) 948-6951. Catholic Charities also offers professional counseling at (312) 644-7725.
Log on to catholiccharities.net, call (312) 655-7700, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
NURSE CONSORTIUM NEWS
The Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium helps foreign-educated nurses attain licensure in Illinois.
National Council Licensure Examination predictor tests are available to demonstrate probability of passing the nursing exam.
The organization’s website at www.chicagobilingualnurse.org also lists jobs available for nurses. For more information, call (773) 838-1870.
The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services reports that Community Services Block Grant Scholarships are available for those enrolled or planning to enroll in college or vocational training. Contact Jenny Schuler at email@example.com or (312) 746-7291.
The Chicago Department of Transportation announced it will replace the 43rd Street overpass over Lake Shore Drive and railroad tracks with a new overpass that will not have stairs and be handicapped- and bicycle-accessible. Officials expect the new overpass to open in late 2022, with a project cost of $31.5 million and 80% of funding from Federal funds and 30% from the State.
The Chicago Public Schools administration has established a Healthy CPS Hotline at (773) 533-KIDS (5437) and CPS Parent Tech Support Hotline at (773) 417-1060. Or, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
City of Chicago emergency rental assistance is available for people suffering financial hardship. Call 311 or use a search engine to find City of Chicago Family & Support Services online.
Community Organizing and Family Issues, 2245 S. Michigan Ave., (312) 226-5141, organizes and trains parents to win improvements in schools and communities and in how to create organizations and programs. See cofionline.org.
LATE FEES WAIVED
The Cook County Board of Commissioners waived the 1.5% per month late fees on both of the property tax installments due in 2021. Now, no late fees apply to the first installment until Monday, May 3, and no late fees on the second installment until Friday, Oct. 1. To see your bill and make a full or partial payment, go to cookcountytreasurer.com and select the blue box that says Pay Online for Free.
Cook County officials and partners launched Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt, a new, county-wide initiative to help residents resolve eviction, foreclosure, debt, and tax deed issues. Services are provided pro bono for Cook County residents without legal representation and are offered to tenants facing eviction, landlords dealing with an eviction, debtors being sued for unpaid debts, creditors wishing to sue on the basis of unpaid debts, and residents who have defaulted on property tax payments or mortgage foreclosure payments. Learn more by visiting www.cookcountylegalaid.org.
DE LA SALLE NEWS
The National High School Baseball Coaches Association chose De La Salle Institute recent graduate Ben Hernandez for its Region 4 All-American Team. The Kansas City Royals drafted Hernandez in 2020.
LeeVonn Overton was chosen as a Meteor of the Month. Overton is enrolled in the Honors Program and ranks in the top 15% of the Class of 2022.
Dimitri Gutierrez was chosen as a Meteor of the Month. Gutierrez is active in the football, baseball, and wrestling teams as well as Theatre 100 and the Chess, French, Investment, and Fashion Clubs.
Twenty De La Salle students participated in the Benedictine University Model United Nations conference, held virtually. Cristian Meyer won Best Conference Position Paper for his written work in the Social and Humanitarian Council. Meyer also played an integral role in getting his resolution passed in his committee as he assumed the lead in all conference debates and execution of the resolution process.
The freshman and sophomore theology classes worked with the Joy of Sox organization to organize a sock drive for the homeless, sorting and bagging socks for delivery to local charitable organizations. The students collected 1,211 pairs of socks, with 132 for children, 304 for women, and 775 for men.
De La Salle is at 3434 S. Michigan Ave. Call (312) 842-7355 or log on to www.dls.org.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR IMMIGRANTS
TheDream.US,a program for immigrant youth, announced its new scholarship round for the 2021-22 academic year. The organization’s expanded eligibility criteria opens applications to DREAMers who have DACA or temporary protected status or who came to the country before Nov. 1, 2015, and otherwise meet DACA eligibility criteria. Apply at https://thedream.us/scholarships/.
First Defense Legal Aid, located at 5100 W. Harrison St., provides representation to people in custody, informs people of their rights, and organizes volunteers to help.
For more information, call (800) 529-7374.
The following food pantries provide groceries and meals to those who need them.
Chosen Tabernacle Full Gospel, 4310 S. Champlain Ave., Thursday, 1 to 3 p.m., (888) 834-9414.
Church of St. Paul and the Redeemer, 4945 S. Dorchester Ave., Wednesday, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., (773) 624-3185.
Hyde Park SDA Soup Kitchen, 4608 S. Drexel Blvd., Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., (773) 373-2909.
Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, 4242 S. Cottage Grove Ave., Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., (773) 548-7500.
Kenwood UCC Soup Kitchen, 4608 S. Greenwood Ave., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 9:30 to 10 a.m. and noon to 1 p.m., (773) 373-2861.
Operation Pull Grant Memorial, 4017 S. Drexel Blvd., Tuesday, 1 to 3 p.m., (773) 285-5819.
GLESSNER HOUSE NEWS
Glessner House, 1800 S. Prairie Ave., will host two Zoom events to celebrate Black History Month. On Friday, Feb. 12, at 12:30 p.m., William Tyre will give a talk on Bishop Louis Henry Ford, one of Chicago’s most influential spiritual leaders who, for more than three decades, served as caretaker of Chicago’s oldest building, Clarke House. Tickets are $10 per person. On Sunday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m., Christopher Reed, Chicago’s “dean of black history,” will present a program on educator and activist Booker T. Washington; this event is free, but reservations are required. Log on to www.glessnerhouse.org.
The Grant Park Advisory Council holds meetings on the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. For more information, log on to www.facebook.com/ChicagoGPAC/?modal=admin_todo_tour.
Greater Bridgeport Mutual Aid, a network of more than 150 volunteers, has organized to provide free grocery delivery, direct people to resources and information through a telephone hotline, provide digital enrichment for students during remote learning, and do neighbor support check-ins. The network serves the Bridgeport, Chinatown, Armour Square, and Canaryville neighborhoods. Services are available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Cantonese. Request services on the group’s website at www.gbmachicago.org or by calling or texting the group’s hotline at (312) 818-1393. Donations are welcome by emailing GBMA through the organization’s website.
GWTP JOB TRAINING
Greater West Town Partnership, 500 N. Sacramento Blvd.,offers job placement and training programs in wood products manufacturing and shipping and receiving. Call (312) 563-9570.
Harmony Community Church, 1908 S. Millard Ave., has converted its sanctuary into a community center for youth programs and events. The church offers reading, tutoring, fine art, music, and dance programs. It also has a food pantry, and church leaders hope to serve warm meals in the future. Call (773) 762-9673.
The Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus has re-elected State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-3rd) as majority caucus chair. For more information, contact Halie Owens at email@example.com.
HALL OF FAMER
Marc Davis, a South Loop resident, recently was elected to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association hall of fame for his career as a referee. Davis is a 1986 graduate of Saint Ignatius College Prep and a National Basketball Association referee.
HRHotSeat Chicago is a free monthly online meetup of more than 1,600 human resources practitioners, service providers, students, and Chicago-area professionals in job transition who come together to expand networks and solve problems. Visit www.HRHotSeat.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a calendar of upcoming events.
The Illinois Coalition of Community Blood Centers encourages people to give blood. Contact Vitalant at www.vitalant.org or (877) 258-4835 to schedule a donation time. For more information, log on to www.illlinoisbloodcenters.com.
CUTS AND BEATS
Hyde Park Art Center is hosting a solo exhibition, Cuts and Beats, by Chicago artist and educator Cecil McDonald Jr. from now through Sunday, March 7. The exhibition of photomontages, which includes superimposing modern photos over century-old sheet music, is designed to make viewers consider the complicated histories between America and African Americans and subvert racist representation of Black artists from history. The center is at 5050 S. Cornell Ave. Call (773) 324-5520 or log on to www.hydeparkart.org.
Internet Essentials makes it possible for people receiving public assistance to qualify for low-cost internet service. Log on to internetessentials.com.
LADIES OF VIRTUE
Ladies of Virtue, 1245 S. Michigan Ave., (877) 565-7121, provides mentoring and leadership and empowering experiences, including help with school applications, for girls ages nine through 18 from underserved communities. Log on to lovchicago.org.
Latino Union of Chicago collaborates with low-income workers to improve their social and economic conditions through employment opportunities. Log on to latinounion.org or call (312) 491-9044. For those looking to hire workers, call (773) 588-2641.
The Lawyers Committee for Better Housing provides eligible renters with supportive services and free legal aid. The LCBH also offers Rennie the Chatbot at rentervention.com to help with people’s housing problems. The LCBH is located at 33 N. LaSalle St. Call (312) 347-7600 or log on to www.lcbh.org.
STAY TUNED TO THE ZOO
Lincoln Park Zoo has a new YouTube series, Stay Tuned to the Zoo.
Watch the first episode at youtube.com/lincolnparkzoo. New episodes post on the zoo’s YouTube channel every Tuesday and Thursday throughout its temporary closure through Thursday, March 4. Despite the current closure, Lincoln Park Zoo members will have the chance to visit on a members only weekend Feb. 27 and 28. Log on to lpzoo.org/membership for more information.
MATH EDUCATOR HONORED
Doug O’Roark, executive director of Math Circles of Chicago, won $25,000 from the National Museum of Mathematics, the only math museum in North America, for creating the single best math lesson plan for students in a competition against math teachers worldwide. He is the first math educator from Illinois to win this award. Math Circles of Chicago provides free programs outside of regular school hours at Back of the Yards College Prep, St. Barbara’s Catholic Elementary School in Bridgeport, Gads Hill Center in Pilsen, and other locations.
Mujeres Latinas en Accion empowers Latinas through service and advocacy. Their domestic violence crisis hotline is (312) 738-5358 and their rape crisis hotline is (888) 293-2080. Mujeres is located at 2124 W. 21st Pl. Call (773) 890-7676.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Chicago offers support groups and other resources for individuals who may need help. Call (833) 626-4244 or visit www.namichicago.org.
The National Immigrant Justice Center, 224 S. Michigan Ave., provides comprehensive legal services to low-income immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. It will continue to do intakes over the phone during the coronavirus crisis. Call (312) 660-1370 or log on to www.immigrantjustice.org.
OUR LADY OF THE HOLY FAMILY NEWS
Our Lady of the Holy Family, 1334 W. Flournoy St., holds Sunday Masses at 9 a.m. in English and 11 a.m. in Spanish. Saturday evening Mass is at 5 p.m.; Mondays, Mass is at 6 p.m., followed by the Rosary; Tuesday through Thursday Masses are at 8 a.m. in the chapel at 1335 W. Harrison St.; and Friday mass is at 6 p.m. followed by adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and reconciliation service. Reservations required for weekend services.
Call (312) 243-7400, email email@example.com or log on to www.olhfchi.org.
The Pilsen Neighbors Community Council is seeking applications for the Guadalupe A. Reyes Fiesta del Sol Scholarship Program. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m., Friday, April 16. Applicants must be of Latino heritage, enrolled in a college or university, and have a 2.5 or higher grade point average. Students must live in the area between 16th and 79th Streets and Cicero Avenue and Canal Street. The scholarship is open to citizens, DACA recipients, and undocumented students. See www.fiestadelsol.org/scholarship/.
SOCIAL HEALTH INITIATIVE
The Pilsen Social Health Initiative at 1850 S. Throop St. offers a food pantry, thrift store, and onsite social worker. See www.pilsensocialhealthinitiative.com/. Call (773) 812-3150.
AG RAOUL NEWS
Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced a settlement with Dish Network over calls made to people on the Do Not Call Registry. Illinois will receive more than $13 million as part of the settlement.
Raoul’s office is partnering with the FBI to establish the Attorney General’s Task Force on Unemployment Insurance Benefits Fraud. The task force for the first time allows officials to deploy State and Federal resources on a large scale to combat unemployment insurance benefits fraud.
For more information, call (217) 785-5726.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii will host virtual Bible study on Zoom covering the Gospel of St. Mark on the Wednesdays of Feb. 24, March 10 and 24, and April 7 and 21 at 7 p.m. To register, go to www.ourladyofpompeii.org/blog/pilgrimages/.
The shrine is accepting candle intentions. See https://www.givecentral.org/location/78/event/26977.
The shrine is at 1224 W. Lexington St. Call (312) 421-3757.
State Representative Lamont J. Robinson (D-5th) wants to hear what residents think are the most important issues in the community. Contact him at (773) 924-4614 or at his office at 5048 S. Indiana Ave.
SAINT IGNATIUS NEWS
At Saint Ignatius College Prep, the San Ignacio Society and the Association of Latin-American Students held a holiday drive in partnership with Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez and local nonprofit organizations to give clothing and other items to Pilsen seniors and families in need.
The school is located at 1076 W. Roosevelt Rd. Log on to www.ignatius.org or call (312) 421-5900.
Local residents Josue A. Garcia, Elizabeth Jovanovic, and Paul Rios made the dean’s list at Southern Illinois University.
BE IN A VIDEO
South Side Stage is looking for community members to be part of its Kickstarter fundraising campaign video. South Side Stage is a new theatre on the South Side committed to building a fundamentally inclusive theatre and artistic community, where no voice is silenced at any stage of the artistic process. If you are interested in filming yourself answering a few questions for their campaign video, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Log on to www.southsidestage.org.
The toll-free TURN Trauma Counseling Helpline, (833) TURN123, operates from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. TURN stands for The Urban Resilience Network, and the helpline assists those experiencing trauma caused by exposure to violence. The organization also provides trained ambassadors to visit community events and schools to educate about trauma.
If your business has experienced substantial economic injury due to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Small Business Association is authorized to issue assistance through a small business economic injury disaster loan program. This program can provide low interest loans of up to $2 million to businesses and private non-profits. See https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
The University of Illinois Chicago established a new research record in fiscal year 2020 with sponsored research awards surpassing the $400 million mark for the first time in the university’s history. Funding came from a variety of sponsors, including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense, and many other Federal and State funding agencies as well as foundations and the private sector.
Send news of events held “around the neighborhood” by the 15th of the month before the month they are to occur to William S. Bike, Around the Neighborhood, Gazette Chicago, 1335 W. Harrison St., Chicago, IL 60607-3318, fax (312) 243-4270, or email email@example.com.