Community Economic Development

Bethel’s community economic development efforts are targeted to assure that the development of businesses and jobs for the West Side align with the economic growth, development and jobs of the Chicago region. We believe that it is essential that the economy of the West Side move from one of high levels of government support and low levels of sustainability into the mainstream regional economy, interconnected with the economy of the larger region and producing a net export economy for the West Side.

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.

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Education

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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.

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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Bethel New Life Business and TECH Workshops Sept-Dec 2017