Gun violence is only a symptom of Chicago’s bigger problem

  • September 16, 2015
  • Senior Housing

    Bethel New Life offers affordable housing services that enrich the lives of seniors and enhance their independence and enjoyment of life. Over 220 seniors call a Bethel affordable housing property home!

    STEM Programs

    Digital STEMSEL (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Social Enterprise Learning) is Bethel’s engaging, project-based summer and after-school program, now offered at several schools on Chicago’s West Side.

    Digital STEMSEL gives high school students an opportunity to learn engineering concepts through programming microchips while creating projects that apply to real world situations. Through project-based learning, students begin to be equipped with technical knowledge they can apply to their lives and an education that will drive them to future success.

    Students complete six to eight hands-on projects that range from a simple alarm system to more complex temperature controllers and musical buzzers. Using the cumulative knowledge they’ve gained, the student may create a fully functional game they can play with friends. Students are challenged and encouraged to take initiative and be creative using their new skills to design new inventions, improve current tools and solve real world problems through enrichment and extension activities.

    The lessons learned in the Digital STEMSEL program introduce students to concepts that can spark their interest in college fields of study such as electrical engineering, computer engineering, engineering technology, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering technology. It also broadens students’ opportunities to consider aerospace, civil, mechanical, environmental, and computer hardware engineering as careers.

    Brain Train

    Overview

    Bethel New Life’s Brain Train helps students who are behind in reading catch up with their peers. Discovering that you can read and enjoying school for the first time are priceless experiences.

    Bethel New Life’s Brain Train uses precision-teaching methods to help students in grades K-3 improve their reading fluency and comprehension. Based on decades of research, the program helps students learn faster, improve their reading comprehension, and read on grade level or above.The Brain Train:

    • Identifies students who do not qualify for special education services.
    • Assigns specific skills to master that build upon previously mastered skills.
    • Evaluates students daily to assess progress.
    • Encourages students with constant feedback loops.
    • Maintains program sustainability by equipping parents, teachers, and school administrators.

    Results

    The Brain Train has demonstrated success in a variety of school settings and formats within the Chicago Public School system. This year, the Brain Train came to Spencer Elementary and has helped 34 students learn to read. After only ten weeks, 100 percent of students gained at least one grade level in reading; and 40percent gained three or more grade levels.

    The program has proven to be a highly-effective, systematic approach to improving the educational foundation for all learners to excel in school.

    Bring the Brain Train to Your School

    Brain Train is an extremely cost effective educational enhancement service for helping students build and retain skills. Bethel partners with schools and tailors the format to meet the needs of the school.
    Bethel also hires parent assistants from the school community to work with the students, creating jobs for engaged parents.

    The Brain Train is offered at three different levels of intervention:

    • The typical individualized pull-out model (most intensive) serves 20 students at a time throughout the semester. Students work in pairs with a trained parent assistant for 20-minute sessions, four days per week.
    • The classroom push-in model (moderate intensity) serves 20 to 30 students in the classroom. Groups of 3-5 students work with a trained parent assistant for 15-minute sessions, three days per week.
    • The summer session is designed to help students build and retain their skills, especially 2nd graders going into 3rd grade.
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    Right Start for Families

    Right Start for Families is a program designed tosupport family well-being and healthy child development, for families of children aged 0-3 years old. Our parent educators help parents learn basic parenting skills, increase parent/child interactions and actively engage in the mental, social and emotional development of their children.
    Through the Right Start program, Parent Educators perform home visits to high-risk families. Our parent educators help parents learn how to actively engage with their children to support growth and learning, educate families about healthy eating and nutrition for developing children, and help parents with early detection of child/infant developmental delays to ensure they’re developing into healthy, curious children.
    Each year, Bethel’s Right Start program supports 85 families through:

    • Parenting education support via in-home visits
    • Nutrition education
    • Monthly family group meetings
    • Educational outings for parents and children

    Primary caregivers with at least one child three years old or younger are eligible for these free services.

    Education

    Without help, the gap between children living in poverty and other children widens and limits life opportunities. Poverty disadvantages a child even before he or she is born. Persistent poverty has been demonstrated to affect a child’s ability to learn. On average, children living in poverty enter school with a 10 point IQ deficit compared to other children. They demonstrate academic performance levels that are 60 percent lower entering school and have a deficit of more than 30 million words by the time they reach school. Bethel’s investments in education, particularly early childhood education, are designed to make sure that place of birth does not determine success in life.

    Approach

    Bethel New Life is a different kind of Investment Company, investing in people and communities to bring about community transformation. By making smart, strategic investments, Bethel and our community residents are transforming Chicago’s West Side into a place where people want to live, work, raise a family and retire.

    Our work focuses primarily on the communities of Austin, East and West Garfield Park, Humboldt Park and the northern most areas of North Lawndale. These communities make up the largest neighborhood area in the Chicago region and are home to over 210,000 people, four city council wards, two state legislative districts and one congressional district.

    Bethel’s core investments are in creating opportunities to bring individuals and families out of poverty, strengthening the West Side economy, and building the community’s capacity to benefit from investments through assuring that policies and systems exist that support healthy communities.

    Research has indicated that there are three critical investments that can bring an end to multi-generational poverty:

    1. Education
    2. Living wage jobs
    3. Waiting to have children until married and employed

    Strengthening communities also requires the transformation of policies and systems from those that support concentrated poverty to those that support healthy communities and opportunity.To disrupt the cycle of poverty in our West Side communities, Bethel is making strategic investments in education and economic development and the policies and systems that drive and support them.
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    Partners & Collaborators

    Bethel New Life works with local and national partners in the areas of education, job training, economic development and affordable and safe housing. By working in partnership, we seek to broaden our impact and accelerate change. Some of our key partners and collaborators in our core areas of investment include:

    Economic Development

    • Austin Chamber of Commerce
    • Austin Coming Together
    • Austin Weekly News
    • Breaking Ground
    • Buying2Give
    • City of Chicago
    • Chicago Commons
    • Chicago Community Trust
    • Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
    • Chicago Jobs Council
    • City Colleges of Chicago
    • ComEd
    • Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
    • Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
    • Illinois Department of Corrections
    • Inner City Capital Connections
    • JP Morgan Chase
    • Manufacturing Works
    • North Lawndale Employment Network
    • Phalanx Family Services
    • The Private Bank
    • Skills for Chicagoland’s Future
    • Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
    • University of Illinois Chicago
    • University of Tennessee Center for Literacy, Education and Employment
    • US Bank
    • West Humboldt Park Development Council
    • Westside Health Authority
    • Women’s Business Development Center

    Education

    • After School Matters
    • Austin Childcare Network
    • Austin Coming Together
    • Austin Weekly News
    • Jacob Beidler Elementary School
    • Chicago Public Schools
    • Chicago Violence Reductions Strategies
    • GROW Garfield Revitalizing of Westside
    • Illinois State Board of Education
    • Michelle Clark Academic Preparatory High School
    • Ounce of Prevention
    • Parents as Teachers
    • Spencer Elementary Technology Academy
    • US. Attorney Department of Justice Project Safe Neighborhoods
    • Westinghouse College Prep

    Senior Housing

    • Evergreen Real Estate Services
    • Therapy Providers

    Special Event/Office Space

    Since 1995, Bethel has rented office and retail space to local businesses, promoting wealth creation and retention in the community. We also offer meeting and special event space for community members, organizations, schools, and churches.

    EVENT SPACE

    Planning a special event? Contact Bethel at events@bethelnewlife.org or 773-473-7870 x185.
    The Chapel (1140 N. Lamon, Chicago, IL 60651)
    The historic St. Anne’s Hospital Chapel is available for weddings, celebrations, church services, memorials, and more. The Chapel was designed by Hugh Garden and built in the classic prairie style of the architect’s mentor, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright.

    Chapel Features:

    • 2,500 square feet
    • Stage and dressing area
    • Seats up to 200 people auditorium-style or 100 banquet-style
    • Heated and air-conditioned
    • Handicap accessible
    • On-site security & facilities management
    • Spacious lobby for receptions
    • Tables and chairs available at no extra charge
    Amberg Hall (1140 N. Lamon, Chicago, IL 60651)
    Amberg Hall is an expansive space, often used for wedding receptions and other large scale events. The elevated stage is ideal for presentations and theatrical productions. With plenty of storage and an attached kitchen, this space will satisfy all of your needs. Host your next event or meeting in Amberg Hall.

    Amberg Hall Features:

    • 4,000 square feet
    • A warming kitchen and stage
    • Seats up to 250 people auditorium-style or 168 banquet-style
    • Heated and air-conditioned
    • Handicap accessible
    • On-site security & facilities management
    • Spacious lobby for receptions
    • Tables and chairs available at no extra charge

    Both the Chapel and Amberg Hall are popular rental spaces for:

    • Weddings and receptions
    • Holiday parties
    • Theatrical and musical productions
    • Family reunions
    • Fashion shows
    • Quinceañeras
    • Graduation celebrations
    • Baby showers
    • Workshops
    • Bridal showers
    • Organizational meetings
    • Anniversary celebrations
    • Birthday parties
    • Repasts
    • Weekday business events

    OFFICE & RETAIL SPACE

    Looking for office or retail space? Contact Bethel at officespace@bethelnewlife.org or 773-473-7870 x189.

    Bethel Commercial Center (310 N. Pulaski, Chicago, IL 60624)

    Call us to learn about renting retail or office space at our award-winning environmental building. The 23,000 square foot complex houses ground floor retail space, a full service bank, daycare center, offices and more.

    The Center’s sustainable design includes a rooftop garden to reduce stormwater runoff, solar panels that produce energy, and high-efficiency heating. A bridge also connects the property directly to the Green Line “El” stop at Pulaski.

    In 2010 the Bethel Commercial Center was one of 11 properties in the Americas that received the Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence. It joins Millennium Park as one of only five Chicago developments to receive the prestigious award in the past decade.

    Small Business Center(1140 N. Lamon, Chicago, IL 60651)
    Bethel’s Small Business Center has incubated several West Side businesses and nonprofits. We understand the importance of planting your roots in the community and want to make that choice easy.

    Office Space Features:

    • Secure offices
    • Receptionist on-site from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Discounted rates on our rental halls for building tenants
    • On-site building supervisor
    • Centralized mail and parcel collection and distribution
    • Lobby directory listing
    • Elevator accessibility
    • Multi-purpose area
    • Affordable

    Special Event/Office Space

    Since 1995, Bethel has rented office and retail space to local businesses, promoting wealth creation and retention in the community. We also offer meeting and special event space for community members, organizations, schools, and churches.

    EVENT SPACE

    Planning a special event? Contact Bethel at events@bethelnewlife.org or 773-473-7870 x185.
    The Chapel (1140 N. Lamon, Chicago, IL 60651)
    The historic St. Anne’s Hospital Chapel is available for weddings, celebrations, church services, memorials, and more. The Chapel was designed by Hugh Garden and built in the classic prairie style of the architect’s mentor, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright.

    Chapel Features:

    • 2,500 square feet
    • Stage and dressing area
    • Seats up to 200 people auditorium-style or 100 banquet-style
    • Heated and air-conditioned
    • Handicap accessible
    • On-site security & facilities management
    • Spacious lobby for receptions
    • Tables and chairs available at no extra charge
    Amberg Hall (1140 N. Lamon, Chicago, IL 60651)
    Amberg Hall is an expansive space, often used for wedding receptions and other large scale events. The elevated stage is ideal for presentations and theatrical productions. With plenty of storage and an attached kitchen, this space will satisfy all of your needs. Host your next event or meeting in Amberg Hall.

    Amberg Hall Features:

    • 4,000 square feet
    • A warming kitchen and stage
    • Seats up to 250 people auditorium-style or 168 banquet-style
    • Heated and air-conditioned
    • Handicap accessible
    • On-site security & facilities management
    • Spacious lobby for receptions
    • Tables and chairs available at no extra charge

    Both the Chapel and Amberg Hall are popular rental spaces for:

    • Weddings and receptions
    • Holiday parties
    • Theatrical and musical productions
    • Family reunions
    • Fashion shows
    • Quinceañeras
    • Graduation celebrations
    • Baby showers
    • Workshops
    • Bridal showers
    • Organizational meetings
    • Anniversary celebrations
    • Birthday parties
    • Repasts
    • Weekday business events

    OFFICE & RETAIL SPACE

    Looking for office or retail space? Contact Bethel at officespace@bethelnewlife.org or 773-473-7870 x189.

    Bethel Commercial Center (310 N. Pulaski, Chicago, IL 60624)

    Call us to learn about renting retail or office space at our award-winning environmental building. The 23,000 square foot complex houses ground floor retail space, a full service bank, daycare center, offices and more.

    The Center’s sustainable design includes a rooftop garden to reduce stormwater runoff, solar panels that produce energy, and high-efficiency heating. A bridge also connects the property directly to the Green Line “El” stop at Pulaski.

    In 2010 the Bethel Commercial Center was one of 11 properties in the Americas that received the Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence. It joins Millennium Park as one of only five Chicago developments to receive the prestigious award in the past decade.

    Small Business Center(1140 N. Lamon, Chicago, IL 60651)
    Bethel’s Small Business Center has incubated several West Side businesses and nonprofits. We understand the importance of planting your roots in the community and want to make that choice easy.

    Office Space Features:

    • Secure offices
    • Receptionist on-site from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Discounted rates on our rental halls for building tenants
    • On-site building supervisor
    • Centralized mail and parcel collection and distribution
    • Lobby directory listing
    • Elevator accessibility
    • Multi-purpose area
    • Affordable

    Executive Staff

    Lori R. Vallelunga, Ph.D.

    President & Chief Executive Officer

    lvallelunga@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Saul Cyvas

    Chief Administrative Officer

    scyvas@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Edward A. Coleman

    Vice President, Community Economic Development

    ecoleman@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Manny Carrasquillo, M.A., SPHR

    Chief Human Resources Officer

    mcarrasquillo@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Sara Spoonheim

    Senior Director of External Relations

    sspoonheim@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Executive Staff

    Lori R. Vallelunga, Ph.D.

    President & Chief Executive Officer

    lvallelunga@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Saul Cyvas

    Chief Administrative Officer

    scyvas@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Edward A. Coleman

    Vice President, Community Economic Development

    ecoleman@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Manny Carrasquillo, M.A., SPHR

    Chief Human Resources Officer

    mcarrasquillo@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Sara Spoonheim

    Senior Director of External Relations

    sspoonheim@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Executive Staff

    Lori R. Vallelunga, Ph.D.

    President & Chief Executive Officer

    lvallelunga@bethelnewlife.org
    Full Bio – LinkedIn

    Saul Cyvas

    Chief Administrative Officer

    scyvas@bethelnewlife.org
    Full Bio – LinkedIn

    Edward A. Coleman

    Vice President, Community Economic Development

    ecoleman@bethelnewlife.org
    Full Bio – LinkedIn

    Executive Staff

    Lori R. Vallelunga, Ph.D.

    President & Chief Executive Officer

    lvallelunga@bethelnewlife.org
    Full Bio – LinkedIn

    Saul Cyvas

    Chief Administrative Officer

    scyvas@bethelnewlife.org
    Full Bio – LinkedIn

    Edward A. Coleman

    Vice President, Community Economic Development

    ecoleman@bethelnewlife.org
    Full Bio – LinkedIn

    Executive Staff

    Lori R. Vallelunga, Ph.D.

    President & Chief Executive Officer

    lvallelunga@bethelnewlife.org
    Full Bio – LinkedIn

    Saul Cyvas

    Chief Administrative Officer

    scyvas@bethelnewlife.org
    Full Bio – LinkedIn

    Edward A. Coleman

    Vice President, Community Economic Development

    ecoleman@bethelnewlife.org
    Full Bio – LinkedIn

    Manny Carrasquillo, M.A., SPHR

    Chief Human Resources Officer

    mcarrasquillo@bethelnewlife.org
    Full Bio – LinkedIn

    Sara Spoonheim

    Senior Director of External Relations

    sspoonheim@bethelnewlife.org
    Full Bio – LinkedIn

    Executive Staff

    Lori R. Vallelunga, Ph.D.

    President & Chief Executive Officer

    lvallelunga@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Saul Cyvas

    Chief Administrative Officer

    scyvas@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Edward A. Coleman

    Vice President, Community Economic Development

    ecoleman@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Manny Carrasquillo, M.A., SPHR

    Chief Human Resources Officer

    mcarrasquillo@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Sara Spoonheim

    Senior Director of External Relations

    sspoonheim@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Executive Staff

    Lori R. Vallelunga, Ph.D.

    President & Chief Executive Officer

    lvallelunga@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Saul Cyvas

    Chief Administrative Officer

    scyvas@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Edward A. Coleman

    Vice President, Community Economic Development

    ecoleman@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Manny Carrasquillo, M.A., SPHR

    Chief Human Resources Officer

    mcarrasquillo@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Sara Spoonheim

    Senior Director of External Relations

    sspoonheim@bethelnewlife.org
    [Full Bio – LinkedIn]

    Board of Directors

    Officers

    Chair: Geoffrey Koss, The Private Bank

    Co-Vice Chair: Blake Sercye, Jenner & Block LLP

    Co-Vice Chair: John “Jay” Young, Children’s Home + Aid

    Treasurer: Andrew Curtis, Northern Trust

    Secretary: Terra Fuller, The Pritzger Group

    Directors

    Eva Brown, U.S. Bank

    Heather Feltman, Adoptions Unlimited

    Rev. Sherman Hicks, Retired

    Jewel Mandeville, Retired

    Bruce Martin, JP Morgan Chase

    Rev. Larry Martin, Hope Church Chicago

    Rev. Kevin Massey, Advocate Lutheran General

    Valora Starr, ELCA

    Jay Weaver, Walton Street Capital

     

     
    Bethel’s chief policy & research officer, Kanu Iheukumere, recently had an Op-Ed featured in the Crain’s Chicago Business on poverty and gun violence.

    In the opnion piece, Kanu states that, “Home to nearly 2,000 gun violence victims this year, Chicago is in the grip of an epidemic afflicting poor communities: We’ve allowed the symptom—gun violence—to be mistaken for the underlying systemic problem, poverty. Poverty is the gun.”

    To read the full Op-Ed, click here.