NWSHC has a 10 year commitment to older adults, organizing on issues that impact their quality of life and independence.
The Northwest Side Housing Center (NWSHC) is a community-based, non-profit organization that engages, educates and empowers the community to improve housing for all. We accomplish our mission through housing counseling, financial education, community organizing, outreach, advocacy and supportive services. We focus on affordable housing, quality education and issues affecting older adults.
The Northwest Side Housing Center is a 501c3 non-profit HUD-Certified Housing Counseling Agency that provides FREE foreclosure prevention and loan modification services to homeowners. The NWSHC is a proud member of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC). The Northwest Side Housing Center is also a community organizing agency that organizes around three issues; housing, education, and older adults.
NEWS & UPDATES
A new Consumer Finance and Protection Bureau report shows a confusing atmosphere for people in need of financial education. Nonprofit organizations, like the Northwest Side Housing Center, are often the only place that provides financal education with no strings attached. Read the article here.
Linda is a five year resident at Monteclare, a building for low-income seniors in the northwest side of Chicago. Linda is the Secretary of the Monteclare Steering Committee, a group that meets to discuss issues in the building and demand action by the building managers.
Linda said she enjoys her time here, her thoughts interrupted more than once by a friendly “hello, how are you dear” from out in the hallway.
“I know everybody and everybody knows me,” she said.
Linda, who has five children of her own, said the people at Monteclare are just like her family. She said she looks out for them, just like they look out for her.
“I don’t see color when I talk to people, I don’t see nationality or nothing like that,” Linda said. “I just see people."
Linda said she watched as the building switched from new managers, and listens to the problems of her elderly peers, always promising to push the issue, even though it may take some time for it to be fixed. For example, she said, it has been three years since she requested the installation of door guards that would make her wheelchair more accessible through doorways. But, Linda said, sometimes you just have to wait and be persistent.
“We’re elderly people,” she said. “We have aches and pains not only in our bodies but in our minds because people tend to take advantage.”
As the cars speed past, whirring through the intersection so quickly they’re merely a blur, a distant bell rings, signaling the end of classes to the students at Peter T. Reinberg Elementary School.
The intersection, at Central and Newport Ave., is a cause of concern to parents at the school, who say there are too many close calls where students and parents are almost struck by the cars zooming through.
Betty Ayala, the parent of a Reinberg first grader, said she sees how dangerous the spot can be when she walks her son to school in the mornings.
“The cars, they don’t stop for nothing,” she said.
The Northwest Side Housing Center is organizing around the safety hazard, and enlists concerned parents to help cross students in the mornings and afternoons before and after school. Reinberg currently provides a removable “slow down” sign, but parents are asking that a permanent sign be installed by the Department of Transportation.
“That’s not working, they don’t stop.” Ayala said of the sign. “They’ll keep going.”
Concepts like credit scores, interest rates, debit cards, and budgeting often baffle most adults. But for a group of Chicago Public School Seniors, these terms are no longer scary and complex, but rather necessary and meant to be shared.
Nine Schurz High School students participated in the Northwest Side Housing Center/BuildOn financial education internship this fall. During the eight week internship, students learned about federal school loans, managing and planning budgets, interest rates, credit, and applying for college scholarships.
Students broke into smaller groups and took the knowledge they learned during the internship to create presentations for 6th and 8th graders at local elementary schools. They presented their customized educational curriculum at Peter Reinberg and Mary Lyon Elementary schools.
“I’m about to teach you how to pay for college,” one of the student presenters proclaimed to the crowd.
Decades after Elsa Chavez moved from her native Venezuela and became an America citizen, she suddenly found herself quite alone.
Chavez said many of her friends had perished in old age, she and her husband divorced years ago, and her son continued his seventh year of waiting for a visa to work and live in America. Her only family member in the United States, her brother, lives all the way in New Jersey.
As rheumatoid arthritis took a toll on her petite frame, she said she had difficulty walking, getting around, and even carrying half a gallon of milk. It was then when Chavez contacted the Northwest Side Housing Center, signing up to be the organization’s first Local Elderly Transportation Service (Let’s Ride) participant.
“I didn’t have any problems,” she said about her first ride. “I didn’t expect it was going to be that good.”
Chavez said she enjoys the program for more than the convenience of the rides. It gives her an opportunity to get out of the house, to enjoy conversations with others, and a distraction from worrying about health and personal problems, she said.
“You never know what it is to live alone without any family or friends,” she said. “People at the housing center have become my best friends.”