Family, friendship and community are at the core of our mission here at Center on Halsted. While Center on Halsted services have adapted into virtual, social-distancing, and ever-changing environments, our care has become more personal, and the Center on Halsted family continues to grow.
You’ve inspired us to be innovators at the most pivotal and challenging time in our lives, and we have the resources to provide hope to those who need us now. I’m particularly inspired by the courage of Isabelle, a youth housing resident.
In July, with extreme caution due to COVID-19, we welcomed Isabelle into our new Youth Housing in the South Shore neighborhood. At 22, a survivor of crime and violence and a frequent visitor at homeless shelters around the city, Isabelle was the first to occupy one of two apartments. She needed safety, stability, community, and home — all things many of us take for granted everyday. No matter what it took, her sole mission was to get through the day alive.
The past four months have been challenging for Isabelle, but her outlook on survival has changed. Knowing she has a consistent home base, a warm bed to sleep in at night, and on-site counselors has eased some of her anxieties. She and her three housemates are experiencing the complexities of living in community while actively reflecting on their strengths and weaknesses. She’s giving back to her community by working with the visually impaired — something she had never dreamed possible before moving in. Isabelle’s restorative justice journey is just beginning, and I’m humbled by her renewed hope for life. I look forward to sharing more about Isabelle’s progress in the months to come.
Youth Housing is just one of many holistic approaches to care Center on Halsted continues to invest in to meet the needs of Chicago’s LGBTQ community. Your generosity helps us provide additional access to programs, services and more.
I wish you the healthiest of holidays and hope we can gather at Center on Halsted in the year ahead.
Modesto Tico Valle
CEO, Center on Halsted