Our Chicago: Recovery in Chicago's Black & Latinx neighborhoods

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two years ago, the Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago launched the Chicago Community Covid-19 Response Fund.

The goal is to raise money for non-profits providing emergency services to people most impacted by the pandemic.

$35 million went to more than 400 organizations. Now, the focus has shifted to recovery, especially in Chicago's Black and Latinx neighborhoods.

Gloria Castillo is the director of We Rise Together, an initiative of the Chicago Community Trust. She said it's important that the money they invest goes to people in the neighborhoods they're working to help.

"People in the community know what is good for them. They know the amenities they need, the know the services they need. And we kind of have a mantra that we really listen to and believe in and invest in people and communities," Castillo said.

Sean Garrett, president and CEO of the United Way of Metro Chicago, said people in the neighborhoods have embraced that.

"They've created plans, they've created coalitions, they've brought in resources to help bring their plans to life. One example that we're very proud of and Gloria and her team have been part of this as well is in Auburn Gresham. Right along the 79th Street corridor, they're taking a building that was vacant for more than 40 years, they're turning it into a healthcare hub that will have a bank, it will have a cafe, it will be part of bringing vibrancy back to a major corridor of our city, that's all driven by the community itself," Garrett said.

Our Chicago: Part 2


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Quality of Life Initiative Teamwork Englewood Executive Director Cecile De Mello discussed recovery efforts as the COVID-19 pandemic eases.



Teamwork Englewood has received funding from both the Chicago Community Trust and the United Way of Metro Chicago. People in the neighborhood developed a Quality of Life Initiative Teamwork Englewood. Executive Director Cecile De Mello said now that the pandemic is easing, "we're asking residents and stakeholders, 'what do you think we should be focusing on now? Where are there new opportunities? And what is no longer relevant from the world we had in 2016? And what are our new realities we need to hit headstrong around in 2022?'"
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