fcc partnership for community redevelopment

in harvey

The City of Harvey was once an industrial powerhouse in the Chicago’s south suburbs. Through the loss of the steel and other industries that fueled its economic engine, plus the racism that accelerated disinvestment and white flight, the city fell on hard times. Harvey now has new political leadership, however, and its own plan to rise again, supported by multiple local and regional reinvestment efforts. 

 

On October 6, 2020, the Governing Board of Flossmoor Community Church approved the initiation of an open-ended, multi-faceted relationship with entities committed to the long-term redevelopment of Harvey, IL.

FCC will partner initially with NeighborScapes, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that renovates homes and rents them out at below-market prices to “Community Building Fellows” (CBFs), who commit to engaging at least 10 hours per month in the community through civic activity or community service. The effort will be overseen by an Advisory Board, made up of community leaders from Harvey. NeighborScapes currently operates successfully in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago and is led by FCC member, Jay Readey.

 

WHY ARE WE INVESTED?

This project was chosen for several reasons:

  • FCC will support the leadership provided by the project’s Community Advisory Board, made up of Harvey-based leaders.
     

  • FCC members will work alongside CBFs and other community members to do projects such as the following:

    • Clean abandoned lots and plant trees and gardens to restore the neighborhood fabric

    • Renovate houses

    • Search tax and ownership records of nearby abandoned buildings and lots

    • Assist with the recruitment of Community Building Fellow (CBF) candidates

    • Mentor Community Building Fellows (CBFs),

    • Support projects as designed and led by CBFs
       

  • This project will start slowly and expand over time, eventually giving us the opportunity to invite others - neighbors, faith communities, student groups - to work alongside us and our Harvey colleagues.
     

  • Community development requires a diversity of simultaneous efforts in order to be successful. This project will benefit from the community development efforts of Harvey, the Ingalls Foundation, the Southland Development Authority and its predecessor South Suburban Economic Growth Initiative, as well as the work of numerous social service and civic organizations operating in the area.

 

The FCC Governing Board expects this project will allow FCC members and the neighbors who join us to experience the expertise and leadership of the people we are serving, as well as to share what expertise and resources we can contribute. We expect the project to foster long term relationships, build community resilience, and forward our own efforts to redress the impact of systemic racism in our region.

PROJECT UPDATES

As of March 2021

 

  • Presentation to City Council March 8, 2021

  • Drawings for first gut rehab delivered

west harvey reunion documentary

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