La Casa Norte
3533 West North Avenue
Chicago, IL  60647-4808
Phone:
(773) 276-4900
Fax:
(773) 342-4253
Executive Director:
Ms. Sol Flores
Web Site:
www.lacasanorte.org

History:
In 2002 La Casa Norte first opened to serve the homeless after years of organizing effort by the organizations co-founders Keith Decker and Rev. Peter McQueen. With an initial staff of two and a budget of under 200000 LCN opened our first program called the Crisis Center in Humboldt Park assisting families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of homeless with crisis funds and case management services. During that first year LCN served 50 families. LCN services grew in 2003 to include bi-lingual stabilization services for IL-DCFS referred youth and families. In 2005 LCN took the step of developing and implementing a new program focused on assisting our clients in readying themselves for careers. Esperanza Trabajando began from this start assisting youth in gaining jobs and needed income. In the summer of 2005 LCN broke ground to develop the Solid Ground Supportive Housing Program for homeless male youth. Completed in December 2006 this new facility now houses up to 16 unaccompanied homeless youth up to 2 years meeting a previously unmet need in our community. Other projects developed include a Community Technology Center (2007); Housing Locator Program and the Housing Resource Center (2007); Casa TeraU a computer software training program (2008); LCN initial 5 unit Scattered Site SH Project (2008); Casa Corazon (2009) LCN’s homeless youth engagement and outreach project; City of Chicago HPRP program (2010); LCN’s Anti-Hunger organizing project 2010; LCN’s greatly expanded Scattered Site Supportive Housing Program for Families (2011/2012); and Scattered Site Supportive Housing Program for Chronically Homeless Youth (2011/2012). In 2013 LCN received significant new money from the City of Chicago to expand Casa Corazon homeless youth outreach and engagement project. Expansion included adding 45 low threshold overnight beds for youth and increasing the projects 1 youth drop-in center to 2.By the middle of 2013 La Casa Norte has grown to a program operating 5 major program initiatives with 66 full and part time employees and 3767282 in budgeted revenue. In 2012 LCN served 2982 individuals through these various programs including 1035 families who were provided with assistance by LCN’s Crisis Center programs.La Casa Norte’s excellence in services and advocacy for the homeless has been noticed. La Casa Norte executive director Sol Flores won in late 2006 the Inaugural Ruby Slipper Award for leadership and advocacy on behalf of the Chicago Plan to End Homelessness. In 2008 LCN was awarded the Fannie Mae Maxwell Award of Excellence (one of four given nationwide in 2008) and LCN’s Solid Ground facility won the Richard H. Driehaus Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design in 2008. In 2012 Sol Flores and LCN were honored nationally as 1 of 10 White House Champions of Change in ending homelessness for children and youth.

Mission Statement:
La Casa Norte’s mission is to serve youth and families confronting homelessness. We provide access to stable housing and deliver comprehensive services that act as a catalyst to transform lives and communities. This mission is carried out within the Vision of the world where all people have dignity everyone belongs and communities thrive.

Current Program:
La Casa Norte (LCN) is a multi-service agency helping families individuals and youth exit poverty and end the crisis of homelessness. LCNs programs work to help address the critical need our clients have for housing wrap around social services work force development and education. All of our programs provide bilingual and culturally sensitive services with the goal of helping households and individuals to move towards increased stability and long term solutions. LCN’s programs operate out of offices located in Humboldt Park Uptown and soon New City/Back of the Yards with a focus on meeting the needs of the Latino community for homeless services. In 2012 La Casa Norte’s programs served 1223 households and individuals or 2982 unduplicated clients.LCN’s 5 major programs include –-- LCN’s Crisis Center which provides homeless prevention and rapid re-housing services to homeless or at risk households. Program initiatives include LCN’s Community Based Case Management Program the Housing Resource Center LCN’s housing stabilization program for IL-DCFS client families and various crisis funds available to help those in housing crisis.-- LCN’s Scattered Site Supportive Housing Program started in 2008 with 5 initial family units. At the beginning of 2013 LCN’s program housed 39 families and 10 chronically homeless youth considered some of Chicago’s most vulnerable homeless. An additional 46 units of low-need permanent supportive housing has been added in 2013.-- Solid Ground Supportive Housing Program provides up to two years of supportive housing for homeless male youth ages 16 to 21. This program is a project based transitional housing program which can house unaccompanied homeless youth up to 2 years or until they are 21. The program can house up to 16 youth in private rooms and provides them with a range of social services and life skills training. In 2010 and 2011 this program received the Chicago Alliances highest evaluation score for all transitional housing facilities.-- Casa Corazon is LCN’s homeless youth outreach and engagement project serving Chicago’s North West and South West side. The project will operate in 2013 an active street outreach program 2 homeless youth drop-in centers and 45 beds of low demand overnight youth shelter.-- Esperanza Trabajando is a work force development program that focuses on preparing individuals for their job search. Program components include one on one couching job readiness training support in finding employment and for some referral to training or educational programming. LCN also operates a community technology center associated with the program.In addition to these five major programs LCN is also involved in broad based advocacy for the homeless community in particular for youth and Latinos. LCN also carries out an extensive organizing project in the area of food security helping to support the emerging Northwest Food Partners Network on Chicago’s west side.

Grants Since 2007:
YearProgram AreaAmount
2013*$50,000.00
2013$50,000.00
2013$7,000.00
2012$75,000.00
2012$30,000.00
2012$7,000.00
2011Basic Human Needs$60,000.00
2011Basic Human Needs$33,000.00
2010Basic Human Needs$37,500.00
2010Basic Human Needs$37,500.00
2010Basic Human Needs$33,000.00
2009Basic Human Needs$35,000.00
2009Basic Human Needs$25,000.00
2008Basic Human Needs$35,000.00
2008Basic Human Needs$8,500.00
2007Basic Human Needs$25,000.00

* Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust