Property ownership plays a vital and complex role in our society and in what it means to live and thrive in Chicago. The Foundation purchases properties across the city as a direct and tangible investment into communities and the organizations that serve and enrich them. Partner organizations call these places home for nominal rent – they have full control over the space and build them out to suit their needs. Other properties may provide affordable housing.
This strategy aims to help those organizations advance their missions and reach higher levels of functioning. They can have major impact without the need of multi-year and laborious capital campaigns, the burden of rent, or imposing gentrification.
Partner Organization: Albany Park Theater Project
Albany Park Theater Project will utilize this former fireproof storage building to stage their site-specific work ‘Port of Entry’. The production will be devised and performed by Albany Park youth, and will explore real-life immigration stories and home-making practices of more than a century of Albany Park residents.
Back of the Yards
This property was purchased to provide permanent housing to two families. The building was renovated by participants of Precious Blood’s programming. The property was ceded to Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation in December 2021.
This former convenience store was transformed by Precious Blood to extend their programming and serve as a meeting place the community.
Partner Organization: Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation
Precious Blood Ministry works to restore human dignity through hospitality, hope and healing. They work as agents of reconciliation to: build relationships among youth and families impacted by violence and/or conflict, create safe spaces where people can experience radical hospitality, hope and healing, and promote a restorative justice approach to conflict and build a sense of community.
Partner Organization: Onward Neighborhood House
Onward Neighborhood House will expand their operations at this location. They focus on child, youth, and adult education programming, workforce development opportunities, and direct services (physical/mental health and food provision) for their West side community.
Partner Organization: B.I.G. Baseball Academy
B.I.G. Baseball Academy intends to build a baseball themed community center, that will feature 2 youth size baseball fields and an indoor after-school center that will feature batting cages and an indoor playing area.
Motor Row District
Partner Organization: ConTextos
ConTextos is transforming the space into a citywide hub for the healing arts, bringing together their Authors, their families and friends, and other like-minded individuals to access programming, community building and opportunities. The majority of those served by ConTextos have been affected by violence, gangs and the legal system. For many of their clients, travel is difficult as they have to navigate unsafe territories. This location provides a reachable and safe place.
Partner Organization(s): Kuumba Lynx, small businesses, and more
The Foundation purchased this building located in the Uptown neighborhood in 2018 with the goal of preserving affordable housing, small business, and a handsome building in the face of a tidal wave of development in the area that displaced many long-term residents. The Foundation works with partner agencies that place families in the residential units at affordable rents. Its commercial units house a successful local small business and one of the Foundation’s grantees, Kuumba Lynx. The property now is also the hub for our new Food Rescue Project as well as the location of our main office. It is an exemplar of the Foundation’s larger ambitions of investing in communities, preserving affordable housing, and saving historic buildings from destruction.
West Humboldt Park
Partner Organization: The Bloc
The Bloc cultivates the love of boxing to share transformational resources with youth and communities on Chicago’s West Side including after school study, pantry and other services.
Partner Organization: Side Street Studio Arts
In the heart of downtown Elgin and backing up to the Fox River, this space will allow Side Street Studio Arts greater exhibition and performance opportunities, the ability to have their education and advocacy programs under one roof, and offer greater accessibility for all.
Partner Organization: Impact Behavioral Health Partners
Impact Behavioral Health Partners uses this building to provide permanent housing for their clients with dignity and respect.
Two Rivers, Wisconsin:
Organization: Hamilton Woodtype & Printing Museum
The Foundation purchased the building and the collection and is amortizing it back to Hamilton Woodtype over a span of fifteen years.