Diocese of Joliet

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CCHD Grant Applications Recommended by the Review Committee and Approved by the Most Reverend Bishop Conlon

CCHD National Grant

Dupage Sponsors/Dupage United is a non-profit citizens' organization with participation from churches, mosques, synagogues, associations, schools, and non-profit agencies in DuPage and Kane County, Illinois. Dupage Sponsors works to build relational power by developing institution-based leadership, building relationships within and between institutions, identifying and researching issues of mutual interest, and taking disciplined, organized action. This work allows us to develop a constituency of leaders who become citizens in the fullest sense: participants in democratic decision-making and change agents for a more just society. DuPage Sponsors is currently working on access to mental health care and the diversion of people with mental illness away from incarceration. Other current issues included housing, refugee organizing, and solidarity among Muslims and non-Muslims. The Grant Committee approved $40,000 of the $75,000 requested.

CCHD Local Grants

We Grow Dreams, a greenhouse in West Chicago, provides job training and employment opportunities for people with mental and physical disabilities. This non-profit landscaping and greenhouse business provides a caring and supportive environment in which people with disabilities can develop work skills and interact with the local population and larger community. This underserved segment of society is provided with healthy and dignified employment; they are empowered and fulfilled by this meaningful work taking care of God's beautiful creation. The Grant Committee approved $10,000 of the $10,000 requested.

Immigrant Solidarity Dupage (ISD), located near downtown Wheaton, provides language classes and resources to the oppressed Latino community and minimum wage workers at a Worker Center. ISD holds meetings with education topics on Immigration Reform and legal immigration. ISD is made of several committees such as the Worker's Committee, the Hispanic School Council, and Cultural Committee, all of which represent the voice of the poor and outreach to the immigrant community. They engage the community in Northern DuPage County providing active leadership development and promoting the human dignity of every person, supporting family life, community participation, worker rights and solidarity with oppressed peoples. The Grant Committee approved $10,000 of the $10,000 requested.

The Forest Park Community Center is dedicated to empowering low-income residents by working together for the improvement of safety, health, housing, education and welfare of the residents in the Forest Park community. The computer program funded by CCHD this year is designed to prepare students for a successful transition into the educational system by providing mentors and tutors to increase homework completion, computer training and computer access. The Forest Park Community Center also provides programs such as individual and family counseling, an Early Learning Center, Job Training, Food Pantry Distribution, and the "Second Look" Dress for Success Program. The Grant Committee approved $8,000 of the $8,000 requested.

The Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project (SSIP) provides organization, communication support and resources to the poor and vulnerable of the southwest suburban communities. They work with the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, but are independent financially. Last year the CCHD funding went towards the Youth Mariachi Project, which brings youth in the community together in a safe and enriching environment, learning music and playing instruments in Mariachi bands. Overall, the organization promotes the human dignity of every person, supports family life and participation in the community, leadership development, and comprehensive immigration reform by peaceful legislative action. The Grant Committee approved $6,000 of the $6,000 requested.

CASA or Court Appointed Special Associates of Will County provides assistance at court for abused or neglected children. As stated on their website, "The mission of CASA of Will County is to draw from community resources to provide well-trained volunteers who will advocate for abused and neglected children in our court system, provide needed information to the court, and help develop a more effective juvenile court process." CASA works to make sure that each of the abused and neglected children they serve find a safe home and a brighter future. Many success stories have been achieved through CASA such as children saved from living on the streets, children rescued from abuse in their own homes and foster homes, and children reunited with loving family members. On average, children with CASA advocates spend 8 months less in foster care than children without CASA help, and they are much less likely to re-enter the system than children who do not have CASA advocates. The Grant Committee approved $10,000 of the $15,000 requested.