FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jenna Hammond, New Moms
Robert Friant, CSH 212-986-2966, x245
CHICAGO, March 15, 2019 – Community members joined nonprofit New Moms and its development partners today for the grand opening of the organization’s Oak Park Center and Clare Place, a 21,700-square-foot facility that features 18 permanent supportive homes for young families, as well as office, community education and program space that will allow New Moms to expand the breadth and depth of its service offering in Chicago’s western suburbs. The grand opening was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony that included remarks by State Sen. Don Harmon, the assistant majority leader of the Illinois State Senate, and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, among others.
New Moms, an organization with a unique model recognized throughout the United States, offers comprehensive support that meets the specific needs of young parents and their children to help them reach their full potential and create strong families. The organization will provide family support programming on the ground floor of the Oak Park Center, which was funded by the James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation. This programming will include doula support, home visiting, parent support groups and parent education workshops, among other services.
The residential component of the building, Clare Place, will be housed on the second, third and fourth floors. Containing one- and two-bedroom apartments, Clare Place will provide families with safe, stable housing and onsite supportive services focused on education, life skills, health and well-being. In honor of the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, Clare Place is named for St. Clare of Assisi, an early follower of St. Francis who devoted her life to helping those living in poverty.
Apartments available at Clare Place are permanent supportive units and, once housed there, families will be able to live in their homes for as long as needed to achieve long-term stability. Permanent supportive housing is an evidence-based solution to homelessness which combines housing with case management and supportive services focused on education, employment, life skills, health and well-being.
“For more than 35 years, New Moms’ mission has been to interrupt the cycle of poverty for young moms and their children by offering life-changing housing, job training and family support services,” said Laura Zumdahl, President & CEO of New Moms. “This building represents one of our most significant milestones to date, and we are excited to expand our capacity to provide holistic services that result in deep and lasting change for the families we serve.”
New Moms broke ground on the facility in April 2018 after securing the final round of funding necessary to complete the project. The Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), one of the project’s key development partners, provided a pre-construction loan that allowed New Moms to bring the facility to fruition.
“CSH proudly invested in this model for community collaboration because we see it as something much bigger than helping women and their children find safety and stability in real homes of their own,” said Deborah De Santis, President and CEO of CSH. “We believe what New Moms is creating at Oak Park Center and Clare Place will transform lives and the surrounding neighborhoods in ways that will do more than ensure families simply survive; it will give them a real chance and opportunities to thrive for many years to come.”
In addition to CSH, New Moms Oak Park Center and Clare Place was made possible by a diverse group of partners in the public and private sectors, including: James P. and Brenda S. Grusecki Family Foundation, Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, an anonymous private foundation, Applegate & Thorne-Thomsen, Cuore e Mani Foundation, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, IFF, Illinois Housing Development Authority, Lightengale Group, McBride Kelley Baurer, McShane Construction, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Topfer Family Foundation, and numerous individual donors who contributed to New Moms’ capital campaign.
About New Moms
Since 1983, New Moms has been the leading Chicagoland agency specializing in outreach and services to young moms experiencing poverty and homelessness. New Moms provides a continuum of services designed to interrupt the cycle of poverty for two generations by offering support in the most important areas of the life of a family – stable housing, job training, and family support. For additional information, please visit newmoms.org.
CSH is the national champion for supportive housing, demonstrating its potential to improve the lives of very vulnerable individuals and families by helping communities create over 335,000 real homes for people who desperately need them. In addition to affordable supportive housing, CSH funding, expertise and advocacy have generated nearly $1 billion in community investment and local economic activity. By advancing supportive housing as a platform for stability and services, CSH is maximizing public resources and ensuring healthy communities. Visit us at www.csh.org.