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.
Community Economic Development
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:
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.
Bethel’s Research and Evaluation Team continually evaluates our work by assessing our programs and measuring performance/outcomes. By closely monitoring our programs and incorporating client feedback, we endeavor to develop replicable models, establish best practices, and share lessons learned in order to broaden the impact of our success. In addition to our own assessments, Bethel New Life has been the focus of considerable research and writing over the years. We apply this research in many ways—creating practical applications, identifying best practices, developing innovative pilot programs, and making recommendations for public policy change.
Data & Outcomes