Community Capacity Building

Bethel’s investments in community capacity building center on using and leveraging relationships to strengthen the community through:

Manufacturing Industry: Bethel’s efforts build support for the manufacturing sector, by growing businesses, increasing employment opportunities and connecting to the larger regional economy.

Community Impact of Massive School Closings: With nearly half of the schools on the West Side slated for closure in one year, Bethel is focused on how the closings will impact children and families directly affected and the community as a whole. Bethel works to assess the impact, support receiving schools, track displaced students, and engage with the community around the utilization of closed school buildings.

Capital Absorption Capacity: Bethel’s efforts improve the capacity of the community to benefit from capital investment through coordination, assessment, engaging a wide range of civic leaders toward the goal of strengthening capacity, and enabling and supporting a clear vision for the economic development of the West Side.

Developing an Anchor Institution: With the planned creation of a West Side campus for Chicago State University, Bethel has the unique opportunity to work with the University and community stakeholders to assure that Chicago State becomes an anchor institution for the community.




Today, Bethel is focused on connecting the economy of the West Side to the larger region, improving the capacity of the West Side to benefit from



Our Investments

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

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Senior Housing

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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.

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.

Our Investments

Community Development
Business Development

  • Small Business Development Center
  • Entrepreneurship Training Program
  • New Life Community Investments
  • New Business Incubation
  • Neighborhood Business Development Center
  • Bethel Business Accelerator

Workforce Development

  • Advanced Manufacturing Program

Asset Building

  • Homeownership Counseling
  • Financial Literacy
  • Community Savings Center


  • Right Start for Families
  • Brain Train
  • Whole School Network
  • Out of School Time Education Consortium
  • West Side Education Consortium

Senior Housing

  • Independent Living
  • Supportive Living