NWSHC has a 10 year commitment to older adults, organizing on issues that impact their quality of life and independence.
The Northwest Side Housing Center (NWSHC) is a community-based, non-profit organization that engages, educates and empowers the community to improve housing for all. We accomplish our mission through housing counseling, financial education, community organizing, outreach, advocacy and supportive services. We focus on affordable housing, quality education and issues affecting older adults.
The Northwest Side Housing Center is a 501c3 non-profit HUD-Certified Housing Counseling Agency that provides FREE foreclosure prevention and loan modification services to homeowners. The NWSHC is a proud member of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC). The Northwest Side Housing Center is also a community organizing agency that organizes around three issues; housing, education, and older adults.
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As the cars speed past, whirring through the intersection so quickly they’re merely a blur, a distant bell rings, signaling the end of classes to the students at Peter T. Reinberg Elementary School.
The intersection, at Central and Newport Ave., is a cause of concern to parents at the school, who say there are too many close calls where students and parents are almost struck by the cars zooming through.
Betty Ayala, the parent of a Reinberg first grader, said she sees how dangerous the spot can be when she walks her son to school in the mornings.
“The cars, they don’t stop for nothing,” she said.
The Northwest Side Housing Center is organizing around the safety hazard, and enlists concerned parents to help cross students in the mornings and afternoons before and after school. Reinberg currently provides a removable “slow down” sign, but parents are asking that a permanent sign be installed by the Department of Transportation.
“That’s not working, they don’t stop.” Ayala said of the sign. “They’ll keep going.”
Concepts like credit scores, interest rates, debit cards, and budgeting often baffle most adults. But for a group of Chicago Public School Seniors, these terms are no longer scary and complex, but rather necessary and meant to be shared.
Nine Schurz High School students participated in the Northwest Side Housing Center/BuildOn financial education internship this fall. During the eight week internship, students learned about federal school loans, managing and planning budgets, interest rates, credit, and applying for college scholarships.
Students broke into smaller groups and took the knowledge they learned during the internship to create presentations for 6th and 8th graders at local elementary schools. They presented their customized educational curriculum at Peter Reinberg and Mary Lyon Elementary schools.
“I’m about to teach you how to pay for college,” one of the student presenters proclaimed to the crowd.
Decades after Elsa Chavez moved from her native Venezuela and became an America citizen, she suddenly found herself quite alone.
Chavez said many of her friends had perished in old age, she and her husband divorced years ago, and her son continued his seventh year of waiting for a visa to work and live in America. Her only family member in the United States, her brother, lives all the way in New Jersey.
As rheumatoid arthritis took a toll on her petite frame, she said she had difficulty walking, getting around, and even carrying half a gallon of milk. It was then when Chavez contacted the Northwest Side Housing Center, signing up to be the organization’s first Local Elderly Transportation Service (Let’s Ride) participant.
“I didn’t have any problems,” she said about her first ride. “I didn’t expect it was going to be that good.”
Chavez said she enjoys the program for more than the convenience of the rides. It gives her an opportunity to get out of the house, to enjoy conversations with others, and a distraction from worrying about health and personal problems, she said.
“You never know what it is to live alone without any family or friends,” she said. “People at the housing center have become my best friends.”
The Northwest Side Housing Center annual fundraising effort kicked off this month as the organization continues to grow to meet the needs in the community. An anonymous funder has pledged to match donations if the Housing Center is able to raise at least $20,000 by December 31, 2013. Please help reach this amazing milestone by making a 100 percent tax deductible donation before the year ends. All donations go directly to support the programs and activities of the NWSHC – programs that prevent foreclosure, involve parents in Chicago Public Schools, eradicate unsafe and insecure vacant properties in residential neighborhoods, and teach money management. See and support the staff that make this great work possible by watching the annual appeal video and donating today.
The breaking foreclosure news on the Chicago Tribune’s website announced a 59 percent decrease in foreclosure filings since this time last year. Although RealtyTrac’s numbers sound promising, here on the northwest side of Chicago we hardly feel this supposed reality.
At the housing center we continue to see a steady number of families who are struggling with foreclosure and fighting to keep their homes. Around the Belmont-Cragin neighborhood there are blocks with up to three vacant houses, some secured and others in states of serious disrepair. And even more, we see families returning years after receiving loan modifications who are at risk of foreclosure all over again.
Although many pockets of the city’s real estate markets have flourished, areas like ours are stuck in the same situation as when the housing bubble burst. Numbers can be deceiving, and in this scenario it fails to represent the situation in Chicago as a whole.