“Auburn Gresham and North Lawndale are getting $11 million in funding for two health-focused projects as part of Invest South/West. The funding will allow an Auburn Gresham development group and Mount Sinai Hospital System to build separate health-focused centers on the South and West sides. Officials said they hope the centers will allow residents increased access to health care and will revitalize the communities, which have suffered from years of disinvestment.
Auburn Gresham is getting $4 million to build the Healthy Lifestyle Hub at 839 W. 79th St. The Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation is leading the project, which will turn a long-vacant building into a community hub that provides health care to residents. Residents will be able to go to the hub for physical, oral and mental health care.
“‘This healthy hub will be here decades to come, and that’s what we’re looking for,’ Maurice Cox, commissioner of planning and development, said at a Monday press conference announcing the grants. “The fact that it’s owned by a Black development corporation that will be here for as long as the work is to be done, it’s a way for us to increase Black wealth in a neighborhood that we care so deeply about.”
Carlos Nelson, CEO of the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation, said ‘this disinvestment was rampant, has been rampant. Buildings became derelict and demolished. Other buildings sat vacant for years. This is what systemic and structural racism will do. We’re standing on the representation of systemic and structural racism. For generations, our families, our children … have moved through our community with vacant lots and vacant buildings as the backdrop of our existence.’
“‘Lightfoot said the mission of Invest South/West is to address ‘structural inequities’ in the neighborhoods, and the health centers will help address lifespan discrepancies and chronic health conditions for people on the South and West sides. The initiative is focused on getting city money and resources to fund improvements to retail, transportation, public space and other sectors in 10 neighborhoods that have seen disinvestment include Auburn Gresham, North Lawndale, Austin, Englewood, Humboldt Park, Quad Communities, New City, Roseland, South Chicago, and South Shore.” (Bauer, 2/29/20)
Auburn Gresham, North Lawndale Getting $11 Million For New Health Centers; Officials hope the centers will allow residents increased access to health care and will revitalize the communities, which have suffered from years of disinvestment, Kelly Bauer, Block Club Chicago, 6/29/20