From a Box to a Home
For Jose, the line between prosperity and poverty proved to be razor thin. After years of gainful employment in the construction industry, he began to develop an intense pain. That pain became so severe that, in short order, he could no longer continue to work – within months he lost his home and was forced to take shelter in a cardboard box near Six Corners.
Today, Jose no longer needs to worry about finding a roof over his head. Over the summer, he became the newest resident of Full Circle Communities’ 2611 Sawyer Single Room Occupancy.
Located in Logan Square, 2611 Sawyer was the first SRO preserved under Chicago’s new SRO Preservation Ordinance. Acquired in February of 2016, the thirty-four unit building houses some of Chicago’s most disadvantaged residents, all of whom earn less than 50% of the area’s median income.
Full Circle Communities understands that securing affordable housing is only half of the proverbial battle – ensuring that residents remain housed is perhaps even more important. To that end, 75% of their revenue is dedicated to essential programs and services ensuring residents such as Jose remain housed.
The residents of 2611 Sawyer can count on organizations like Sarah’s Circle, Thresholds, Night Ministries, and Hands to Help Ministries to assist them with a myriad of services, including health screenings and financial assistance. For Jose, the support of Hands to Help has been invaluable – they connected him with disability benefits and provided his initial referral to 2611 Sawyer. Furthermore, when he was robbed a few days before he was set to move, Hands to Help gave him financial assistance to ensure the move would not be put in jeopardy.
The move was a success, and Jose could not be happier in his new home. His room is fully furnished, and he has access to laundry facilities and a community garden on site. Most critically, space is provided for residents to meet with supportive services staff, so Jose will be able to continue his outreach worker from Hands to Help on a regular basis.
To imagine such an astonishing transformation in such a short amount of time will, for many readers, seem unthinkable. Thanks to Full Circle Communities, such transformations are not only possible, but they happen every day. Stories like Jose’s are a powerful testament to the boons affordable housing can provide to the communities they serve.