Englewood Quality of Life Initiative
We, the residents of Englewood are proud of our rich history as one of Chicago’s most prominent south side communities. Our culture and the assets of this community represent the growth of a neighborhood established in the 1800’s that has flourished over time. We are reclaiming and beautifying vacant land near our homes. We enjoy our annual Englewood Back to School Parade, Englewood Jazz Festival, Englewood 5K Run and So Fresh Saturday celebrations in our community parks. We are home to high performing schools including Kershaw Elementary, Lindblom Math & Science Academy and Kennedy-King College. We are also home to Woods Street Farm, a USDA certified organic farm and Goodness Greeness, one of the City’s largest providers of certified organic produce.
Englewood Quality of Life Plan II Executive Summary
In April 2015, a decade of accomplishments by residents, community organizations, businesses, elected officials and clergy was celebrated at the 10th Anniversary of the 2005 Englewood Quality-of-Life Plan. In January 2016 the community reconvened to begin the work of drafting an updated community-driven Quality-of-Life Plan. Five task forces met to address the issue areas deemed most important to the community. Each task force developed visions, goals and strategies to restore Englewood as one of Chicago’s leading communities. A steering committee convened representing each aldermanic ward, business and community leaders.
The Greater Englewood community is bounded by Hamilton Avenue on the west, Dan Ryan Expressway on the east, 75th Street on the south and West Garfield Boulevard on the north. Englewood has many strengths that often go unnoticed by those outside of the community. While this community continues to face challenges each and every day, we believe that our neighborhood is thriving once again. These beliefs are evidenced by planned commercial and housing development projects along the 63rd and 59th Street Corridor including Englewood Square Mall that hosts a Whole Foods Market, Starbucks and Chipotle. There are plans for a Phase Two of development adjacent to Englewood Square. In 2016, St. Bernard Hospital, which has served the Englewood community for over 100 years, opened a new, state-of-the-art Ambulatory Care Center. Government investment tax credits and other economic incentives are expected to fuel future growth in the business and housing markets over the next 10-15 years. These projects include Norfolk Southern Railroad improvements, Metra Rail Flyover and New Era Trail projects. Englewood is a transportation hub within minutes from downtown Chicago.
If you want to be involved in the EQLP please complete this interest form for updates
Englewood Quality of Life Taskforces
Education & Youth Development
We acknowledge the power of a strong educational start and want to secure this for the youth of Greater Englewood. We envision a community that is invested in learning and supporting educators, parents and students alike. Our approach is one geared towards holistic youth development where all students are reading at or above grade level by 3rd grade, the graduation rate is 100%, civic education occurs in all schools and all students have access to a mentor. The Englewood community values access to rich emotional resources that put students first. Together we will impact academic excellence and social and emotional well-being of students.
In our Education and Youth working group residents, stakeholders, and education officials have been developing and implementing programming to increase parent engagement and leadership, enhancing and growing parent leadership in schools. We continue to collaborate to bring additional resources to local schools to support reading and math academic performance. And we have been working to increase after school programming for youth in the community through fundraising, capacity building, and infrastructure.
Health & Wellness
We envision Englewood as a progressive model for health and wellness. We are a community committed to improving the holistic health of residents through intergenerational programs and resources. Healthier lifestyle choices and access to health resources are imperative for addressing disparities in health outcomes for Englewood residents. To reverse the cycle we have undertaken transformative roles in directing the health of our community through education, prevention and connection.
Through the EQLI residents, stakeholders, and residents have been creating and implementing programming, outreach strategies, and deeper partnership/advocacy around health education and barriers to healthy eating and healthcare. Our collaborative work has included health care advocacy, healthy food access advocacy and programming, and health education.
Housing & Public Spaces
Englewood will be a safe, thriving, economically and culturally diverse community with well-maintained housing, access to world class services and transportation, and filled with residents who take pride and ownership in its upkeep and preserve its cultural integrity.Englewood is becoming more attractive to outside investors. While preparing for future developments in Englewood, we have been working tol preserve our cultural diversity and history. Our goal is to have Residents who are empowered and engaged are essential to our efforts to preserve, rehabilitate and develop housing in Englewood.
Our work has been focused on supporting potential home buying initiatives, public space reuse, and advocating for better land use and policy while also advocating against policy issues that could negatively impact growth.
Jobs & Economic Development
Englewood was once a hub of economic activity and commerce, but with the decline of jobs and opportunities, our vibrant local economy also faded. We want to build on the strengths of our community, including the skills and interests of our residents and our cultural assets which include our history as a booming commercial center, historic building stock and the living legacy of the neighborhood as told by residents.
The Jobs and Economic Development Task Force has steered community development in impactful ways. Various initiatives have been incubated and expanded from corridor development, workforce development programming and expansion, and small business support programming and events.
Englewood is a community where neighbors respect, trust and forgive each other in building shared accountability for a peaceful and safe environment. The perception of Englewood is not reflective of the positive efforts made by many residents and organizations to create a safe environment. We want to reduce negative activities that threaten our livelihood and increase positive activities that support healthy and peaceful living. We desire to create safe spaces for families in a community where peace and unity is promoted.
Our public safety efforts have merged into a comprehensive safety campaign that looks to increase neighborhood development, resources for high risk individuals, resident leadership, and takeholder coordination. NAd from this work we have begun tos ee shift in public safety resources and infrastructure.