Happy Birthday, West Pullman Community Action Group!
Break out the cake, light some candles, and pop a bottle of champagne – West Pullman’s Community Action Group is turning one and there is a lot to celebrate!
The Community Action Group in Habitat Chicago’s focus neighborhood, West Pullman, is a group of local residents, leaders, and ambassadors of change who come together monthly to discuss their vision for their own community and create mechanisms for achieving their goals. Put simply – these are residents coming together to say what they want and then taking it upon themselves to make it happen.
Habitat Chicago is proud to support and facilitate a group for such incredible, hardworking people. Take a minute to look back over the highlights from their first year:
The Community Action Group forms a Workforce Development Team
Members of the Community Action Group recognized a need for better jobs in their area – so they formed a team to find and compile resources and tools aimed at bringing realistic, sustainable jobs to the neighborhood.
The Vacant and Abandon Properties team creates a beta version of an app
What happens when you take a group of passionate residents and match them with some of the folks from Engineers Without Borders? Amazing things.
The Community Action Group not only recognized that the neighborhood needed to know where vacant and abandoned properties were in West Pullman, but they took it a step further and created an app that that acts as an accessible verification system for residents on the far south side to confirm information on properties in their community, report discrepancies, and report new vacancies that the city may not be aware of, putting the power of healthy properties directly in local residents’ hands
Lead by Habitat Chicago homeowner Natasha Nicholes, the group partners with the Red Cross to install smoke detectors
What do we want? Safety! When do we want it? Now! How do we get it? Community Action!
Members of the group came together with American Red Cross of Greater Chicago to install smoke detectors and give fire safety education to 55 households throughout the neighborhood.
Residents develop, plan, and execute a new annual event, the West Pullman Tree Lighting Ceremony
A new tradition began for residents of the West Pullman community this past holiday season; joy filled the cold air as children and adults joined together for a night of dancing, food, and Christmas cheer. As event coordinator and Community Action Group member Shirley Holden said, “When we’re long gone, our children will continue this tradition”.
Change isn’t always easy. Real change takes one person taking their passion and their ideas and sharing it with another; making connections, creating solutions, and working hard to see results. Today we celebrate so much more than the West Pullman Community Action Group meeting for one year, for 14 meetings. We celebrate the over 130 community members who have come together to see more happen, to make an impact, and to be ambassadors of change.