United Way of Metro Chicago and Cook County’s “Transforming Places” Partnership Announces Investment in Suburban Summit

The partnership drives place-based transformation through the launch of the Summit Neighborhood Network

 

(Summit, IL - May 15, 2024) – United Way of Metro Chicago, in partnership with Cook County, has announced the expansion of its Neighborhood Network Initiative in suburban Summit, IL. Over the next three years, the Neighborhood Network coalition will develop and implement a vision to improve the quality of life for residents that have faced systemic disinvestment in their community.

“The launch of the Summit Neighborhood Network is not only an investment in Summit but an investment in the residents and in the resources they need and deserve,” said United Way of Metro Chicago Chief Impact Officer Kimberlee Guenther. “The expansion of our Neighborhood Network Initiative in partnership with Cook County shows what’s possible when we come together across sectors to support community-led transformation and build neighborhoods where all individuals and families can thrive.”

The expansion of United Way’s Neighborhood Network Initiative is supported by Cook County as part of its $15 million investment in the Transforming Places program. The program is an outcome from the Cook County Equity Fund Task Force’s recommendation to pursue place-based, community-driven and sustainable economic development. The Transforming Places program also supported the launch of three new Neighborhood Networks in the Southland in June 2023: Ford Heights/Chicago Heights, Harvey and Park Forest/Richton Park; plus, an increased investment in the existing Blue Island/Robbins Neighborhood Network.

“We are proud to expand Transforming Places into Summit as we continue to support the south and southwest suburbs in building strong, sustainable communities,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “We will continue to provide resources as Summit officially joins this network. We are grateful to United Way for this continued partnership and look forward to the work ahead.”

As a driver of community-led efforts, United Way launched its Neighborhood Network Initiative in 2013 as an “inside-out,” place-based approach to neighborhood transformation. Each Neighborhood Network is led by a “community quarterback,” an established agency that brings together a coalition of organizations, local leaders and resources to develop a community vision and execute plans to address a variety of issues, including affordable housing, cradle-to-career education, family wrap-around services, economic development, business ownership and arts and culture. SGA Youth & Family Services is leading the vision and work of the Summit Neighborhood Network.

“SGA Youth & Family Services is honored to be United Way of Metro Chicago’s community quarterback in Summit,” said Chief Executive Officer and President of SGA Youth & Family Services Martha Guerrero. “Being a Neighborhood Network will help the residents of Summit identify and address needs. This aligns with SGA’s proprietary service model, the Cycle of Opportunity®, which empowers children and families to build upon their strengths to realize their greatest potential.”

With the addition of Summit, United Way’s Neighborhood Networks now reach 18 communities: Auburn Gresham, Austin, Blue Island/Robbins, Brighton Park, Bronzeville, Cicero, Elgin, Englewood, Evanston, Far South, Ford Heights/Chicago Heights, Garfield Park, Harvey, Little Village, Park Forest/Richton Park, South Chicago, Summit and West Chicago. Learn more about United Way’s neighborhood work at LIVEUNITEDchicago.org/neighborhood-networks.

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About United Way of Metro Chicago
United Way of Metro Chicago brings together business, government, philanthropic, individual and community leaders to deliver funding and resources while amplifying the expertise of nonprofit organizations across greater Chicago. We help individuals meet their basic needs and work alongside neighborhood partners to address local priorities and create communities where all people can thrive. United, we are building a stronger, more equitable Chicago region. Learn more about United Way of Metro Chicago at LIVEUNITEDchicago.org.

About Cook County
Cook County is the second largest county in the United States representing 5.2 million residents in Illinois. The President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Cook County and oversees the Offices Under the President and presides as president of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

About SGA Youth & Family Services
SGA Youth & Family Services leads positive change for children and families in Chicagoland’s most challenged and underserved neighborhoods. The human service agency has provided free, comprehensive services since its founding in 1911. SGA believes that sustainable community change results from a focus on early childhood, education support services, parenting and workforce development. Collaborative partnerships, innovative programs and measurable outcomes fuel SGA’s efforts to replace the cycle of poverty with our Cycle of Opportunity®.




Media Contacts
United Way of Metro Chicago – Kris Adamik, 312.906.2291, kris.adamik@liveunitedchicago.org
Cook County, Office of the President – Nick Mathiowdis, 773.505.7612, nicholas.mathiowdis@cookcountyil.gov

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