Nine years ago, we were bold in our plans of opening Center on Halsted. During its conception, some said it was too big, yet now our vitality and importance is apparent. We have grown, opening Town Hall Apartments and Center on Addison, and we are continuing to listen to the needs of our community in housing young people and expanding our reach across Chicagoland. Our growth has been because of you: you showed up, you participated, you gave back.
Here at Center on Halsted, we are certainly proud of all the progress we have made since opening our doors, and yet we recognize the need to revise and expand our mission to match the growth of our community. Our strategic priorities will guide our work for the next three years and provide a platform for a renewed vision:
1. Demonstrate a culture of diversity and inclusion through staff, board, programs and community engagement
2. Ensure the health and well-being of LGBTQ people through wellness and lifespan offerings
3. Promote the visibility and relevance of Center on Halsted offerings in Chicagoland’s LGBTQ community
4. Extend the geographic reach of and access to Center on Halsted
We envision a future where a thriving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community is living powerfully in supportive and inclusive environments. Center on Halsted is committed to making this vision possible by advancing our community and securing the health and well-being of the LGBTQ people of Chicagoland.
Our plans are bold! We aim to be an employer of choice in the LGBTQ non-profit sphere nationally and are committed to values of diversity and inclusion, from the board room through extensive community engagement and partnering. Center on Halsted will expand programming to meet emerging needs, fully informed by the LGBTQ community and our allies. Our focus rests on LGBTQ youth, family, and transgender populations. We aim to increase community awareness and engagement by ensuring our portfolio of programs and services are relevant to the diverse LGBTQ and allied communities we serve. Finally, we plan to increase the geographic diversity of Center on Halsted’s program participants by establishing appropriate strategic partnerships in different geographic areas, increasing engagement from clients on the south and west sides, and establishing a physical brick & mortar presence outside of Lakeview.
Once again, we are turning back to community in this work. We need your input and help to actualize these plans. Over this year, and as we make preparations for our 10th anniversary in 2017, we will be reaching out for your engagement. With everything we have to offer, people of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences are invited to come together to participate, to volunteer, to grow and to move our community forward. Stop by Center on Halsted anytime or visit centeronhalsted.org to find out how you can join us.
We could not do this work without the commitment of our board, staff, and dedicated volunteers, for which we are very thankful. Again, welcome to our next chapter. We’re excited to take this step with you.
Modesto Tico Valle, CEO, Center on Halsted