TWO YEAR CELEBRATION
Come virtually tour our new building for the second year anniversary of The Collective! Saturday, Nov 21 take a peek inside with our Collective coaches & graduates. $40 tickets. All proceeds go to 150k renovation goal!
You can also contribute towards the renovations and furnishings of our 3 flat on Argyle! You can visit the registry here: https://www.zola.com/registry/collectivechicago
PRESS RELEASE - 11.16.20
FOR THOSE JUST JOINING US, WELCOME!
Innovative Housing Program Acquires New Space in Uptown
Chicago, IL - A new transitional housing program is “disrupting homelessness with dignity” in Chicago. After two years of operating a small pilot program with 4 beds, Collective Chicago is expanding to occupy a 4-flat apartment building in Uptown. To celebrate this milestone, they are hosting a virtual tour of their new building and their planned renovations on Saturday, Nov 21.
The nonprofit uses an unconventional model where long term residents live alongside formerly homeless young men in the same space, which is already showing excellent results. In 2019, 4 out of 5 residents moved from homelessness to stable housing with full-time work, after an average 6 month stay at the Collective. During that time, they earned a total of $24,500 through new employment.
At the core of the model: a community of young men, seeking to do life alongside each other and grow together. Their most recent graduate, Chris, came to Collective Chicago after recovering from being the victim of gun violence in Chicago’s west side, expecting to drop out of high school. This year, he graduated high school with multiple college offers. In his words, “I wouldn’t say the Collective is temporary housing. I’d say it’s people that are taking you in as their own, like a family. Even though you might not have been in there for very long, you feel like you’re a part of something. You feel like you’re family.”
According to Adam Gianforte, Director of Programming, another key building block is the physical space. Walking into the Collective feels less like walking into a nonprofit than it does a home. “When the space you live in is not just stable, but beautiful, it gives you a sense of pride in your home,” Gianforte explains.“And that sense of dignity is a catalyst for success in other areas of your life. That’s why we are so excited about remodeling our new building.” Another graduate, George, shares how this space impacted him, “[Collective Chicago] helped me be independent. I had been escorting and depending on other people’s
money and physically just using my own body as collateral. Now I’m able to love myself more. I’m able to hold dear the things that are precious to me and I’m able to value life more than I did before.”
While restorative community is at the core of Collective Chicago’s design, the approach is holistic. Incoming residents receive help with maintaining consistent employment, therapy, and physical fitness habits while gaining experience in skills like budgeting and cooking. Part of the collective approach involves partnering with well-established organizations in the area. For mental health care, residents have
access to Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare and the Chicago Psychological Health Center. For physical fitness, there is PXM CrossFit. It’s a community that takes a wrap-around approach that is strengths-based and trauma-informed.