An energetic crowd of more than 200 North Lawndale residents, elected officials and others were on hand on Sept. 12 as youth service organization UCAN held a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new state-of-the-art $34.4 million campus in North Lawndale at 3605 W. Fillmore St. Participants included (from left): John Nichols, vice chairman, Marmon Group; Illinois. Rep. Arthur Turner Jr.; Felicia Davis, executive director of Public Engagement, City of Chicago; Tom Vanden Berk, UCAN CEO; Frank Clark, chairman of the UCAN Campaign Cabinet and former CEO and chairman of ComEd; Amy Rule, wife of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; Illinois Deputy Governor Cristal Thomas; Ald. Michael Chandler (24th); Andrew J. Mooney, commissioner, Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development; Illinois Sen. Patricia Van Pelt; Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele; George Drost, UCAN donor and life trustee; Karen Schneider, UCAN donor; and Judith C. Rice, UCAN Governing Board member and former senior vice president/head of Community Affairs & Economic Development, BMO Harris Bank.
When completed in late 2014, the campus will comprise a Therapeutic Youth Home and a Program Center/Headquarters Building on the 7.5-acre site that formerly housed the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog plant. The campus is designed to advance the healing of youth who have suffered trauma, violence and loss. The campus will also be home to UCAN’s bold new solution to the violence plaguing Chicago’s communities.
UCAN helps youth who have suffered trauma become future leaders by providing a consistent presence, meaningful programming, and unrivaled diversity. Founded in 1869, it is one of Chicago’s oldest, yet most innovative, social service agencies. UCAN serves almost 14,000 children, youth and families annually with more than 30 trauma-informed programs including residential treatment, counseling, foster care, transitional living, workforce development, violence prevention programming and youth leadership development. To learn more, visit www.ucanchicago.org.