In a bid to enhance its involvement in the Rogers Park and Edgewater communities, Loyola University is launching an innovative community partnership that builds on the University’s relationships in the communities with the goal of improving neighborhood schools and businesses and enhancing public safety and public health.
Known as “Lake Shore Community Partners,” the program is an important component of the University’s recently released strategic plan, which includes a renewed commitment to form a true partnership with Rogers Park and Edgewater.
As part of the initiative, leaders from Loyola and the community, working together with me and 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman, identified and committed to four immediate priority areas: education, economic development, public safety and public health.
Through its School of Education, Loyola currently is engaged in 50 initiatives in our local schools, but seeks to do more. It plans to invite local school principals and community organizations to meet and prioritize needs and develop new initiatives that can broaden and deepen Loyola’s involvement in these schools.
Loyola has played a critical role in the remarkable turnaround of Senn High School. I have been working closely with Loyola to emulate its Senn success at Sullivan. I hope to join Loyola and Sullivan High School principal Chad Adams in announcing some exciting new initiatives at Sullivan in the coming months.
Loyola has formed a partnership with the Rogers Park Business Alliance, the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce, myself and Alderman Osterman to launch a local branding and marketing effort to encourage new businesses in both communities, especially in “RogersEdge,” defined as the area where Devon Avenue,Sheridan Road and Broadway intersect.
Additionally, the University plans to support locally-owned businesses by offering all-inclusive, short-term license agreements for small retail spaces housed in the Granada Center along Sheridan Road. Third Coast Comics and Local Goods Chicago are the first two businesses to take advantage of this arrangement. Both businesses will share retail space at 6443 N. Sheridan Road. Third Coast Comics opened last week and Local Goods Chicago will open in early April.
I plan to join Loyola in welcoming both businesses by hosting a combination Follow Me on Friday event and Grand Opening Celebration on Friday, April 8th, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. I hope you can join us!
I joined Loyola last month in kicking off the Partners for Safety initiative with a “State of the Neighborhood Forum” at Loyola’s campus. Commander Roberto Nieves, the chief of Loyola’s Campus Safety, and a representative from the Chicago Transit Authority discussed safety initiatives in in the area and addressed questions from an audience of students and community residents.
Moving forward, this group will continue conversations to strategize and overcome the most pressing barriers to safety in the community and propose tools for educating and informing neighbors about safety initiatives.
The Loyola Community and Family Services Clinic represents the key component of Loyola’s Partners for Health initiative, an interdisciplinary effort to provide low-cost mental health services to families residing in the Rogers Park and Edgewater communities. The clinic, which is housed in the University’s Granada Center on Sheridan Road, was developed by a number of University partners, including the School of Social Work and School of Education.
It will serve as a facility for training externs from the School of Social Work and School of Education. In addition to working in the clinic, these externs will have the opportunity under staff supervision to provide school-based services, such as group therapy and consultations at local schools.
The clinic will open to the public later this month and be fully operational in fall 2016. The University is hosting an Open House at the clinic for members of the public on Thursday, April 7th, from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m. at 6439 N. Sheridan. You will have an opportunity to meet the staff and take a tour of the facility. Refreshments will be provided.
Learn more about the clinic at http://luc.edu/lcfs/.
This is just the beginning. I fully expect additional initiatives and projects to take shape under the Lake Shore Community Partners umbrella. The community will have a number of opportunities to engage with the program, which will soon offer a formal Request for Proposals process to enlist future initiatives to improve the neighborhood.
If you are interested in getting involved with Lake Shore Community Partners, please contact Jennifer Clark, Associate Vice President of Campus and Community Planning, at firstname.lastname@example.org.