Encourage equitable transit-oriented development

Elevated Chicago awards more than $400,000 in grants to 14 community-based nonprofit groups to launch a range of equity projects near transit stations to encourage equitable transit-oriented development

Fourteen community-based nonprofit organizations in Chicago are the first recipients of grants from Elevated Chicago and Enterprise Community Partners as part of a new initiative that intends to strengthen racial equity, prosperity and resiliency in neighborhoods by using transit-oriented development as the catalyst for progress and change.

The initiative, Elevated Chicago, is a growing collaborative that is leading community-based transformations in areas around the city’s train system. It’s working to create opportunity and connections for residents by focusing on four key areas: racial equity; health; climate change and environmental issues; and arts and culture.

Enterprise Community Partners, a national organization that supports the development of well-designed, affordable and diverse communities, is a founder partner of Elevated Chicago. Since 2014, its Chicago office has provided $2.5 million dollars in grants to the Chicago region.

Elevated Chicago’s work has started around seven transit stations along the CTA’s Green, Pink and Blue lines: 63rd/Cottage (Green); 55th/Garfield (Green); 51st (Green); Kedzie (Green); California (Pink); Logan Square (Blue); and Kedzie/Homan Square (Blue). The first two cohorts of grant recipients are listed below:

Capacity-building grants: A total of $330,000 in funding has been awarded to community development organizations to build their capacity, advance transit-oriented development and carry out affordable housing activities that address the needs of low-income households.

  • Garfield Park Community Council and IFF, to lead real estate efforts and community engagement activities around the Blue Line’s Kedzie-Homan Square train station and the Green Line’s Kedzie station.
  • Latinos Progresando, to lead community engagement and stakeholder collaboration around the Pink Line’s California station and to advance the development of a community center along Cermak Road.

Activation grants: A total of $100,000 in funding has been awarded to nonprofit organizations for projects that will create awareness, learning opportunities, community participation and public interest around the Elevated Chicago mission of promoting more equitable, healthy, sustainable, and culturally vibrant communities at and around the prioritized transit stations.

  • Black Girls Break Bread, to create focused and nuanced programming to promote the social and emotional wellness of Black women and girls at all seven transit stations.
  • Latinos Progresando, to launch ACTivate Marshall Square, a collaborative, multi-faceted community engagement strategy that includes beautification, movement, and creative, conservation-focused activities for children and families that live and work around the Pink Line’s California station.
  • Openlands, to encourage residents to improve their community’s health and climate residency by hosting a tree planting within a half mile of the Pink Line’s California station, and provide technical assistance to community-based partners.
  • Safer Foundation, to implement a program to train participants as cultural docents and create custom woodworking designs culturally specific to communities near the Blue and Green lines’ Kedzie stations.
  • University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life, to partner with the KLEO Center on two program series that will build a strategic community coalition to activate Garfield Boulevard between Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Michigan Ave near the Green Line’s 55th Street station.
  • Urban Juncture Foundation, to present a series of planning dinners and unique celebrations to promote equity and wellness among residents who live near the Green Line’s 51st Street station.

Elevated Chicago is funded by the Strong, Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC), a national initiative calling for cities and regions to find creative solutions in the built environment that produce positive outcomes for racial equity, human health and climate resilience. SPARCC is a partnership of Enterprise Community Partners, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Low Income Investment Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Funding for SPARCC is provided by the Ford Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For more information, visit www.sparcchub.org. For more information on Elevated Chicago, visit www.cct.org/Elevated-chicago.

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