Helping low income and less fortunate individuals and families, the Chicago Urban League is a key poverty fighting organization for the county and city. While the agency does offer a wide range of services, the focus is on mortgage assistance and help for tenants. They also want to ensure clients have access to job programs and educational resources.
More details on their resources are below. The staff will also partner with both government and non-profit agencies across Chicago in an effort to coordinate resources. The Urban League can be a key partner to turn to when trying to overcome a crisis.
The Chicago Urban League Housing Department provides a number of programs and services to assist low-to-moderate income residents in regard to issues like mortgage default, eviction prevention, predatory lending, buying a first home, and so on. As a federal government HUD-certified counseling agency and a City of Chicago Department of Housing Delegate Agency, the Urban League offers free workshops and classes. They also offer individual counseling services by certified housing counselors. The key programs are described below.
The Foreclosure Counseling Program’s housing counselors intervene with mortgage company loss mitigation departments on the homeowners behalf. The goal is to help reduce (or stop) the still too high number of home foreclosures in Cook County and the city. They try to create workable plans for loan modification, in order to forestall the foreclosure.
In partnership with the Illinois Housing Development Authority, the MFMP - Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program assists Cook County homeowners who are threatened with foreclosure. As part of Circuit Court of Cook County, the Chicago Urban League employs on-site mortgage counselors, paralegals and attorneys to work with homeowners to prepare workout packages to submit to banks. All of the MFMP services are free of charge to eligible low to moderate income homeowners. For more information, please call 877-895-2455.
The First-Time Homebuyers Program gives advice and support. The aid is for prospective first-time homebuyers and it provides them the opportunity to access available incentive programs and explore new low interest mortgage loan products. The program also provides instruction on the responsibilities associated with homeownership. Specialists also work with the client on and offer them ways to manage a mortgage and possibly avoid foreclosure.
CUL also provides counseling to current renters and tenants. They can learn about eviction prevention and legal support. There are also services for prospective renters. They can get advice on signing a lease, budgeting, credit, and affordability. A listing of affordable or market rate rentals from the City of Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development is available as well. Telephone - 773-285-5800.
The Urban League Human Capital Development services provide mentoring, outreach and counseling services, with the goal of facilitating individuals’ personal growth. Another benefit will be increasing the individual’s commitment to reaching the goal of economic self-sufficiency. Additional services include intake and assessment, GED training, training for ex-offenders, job-readiness training, parenting classes, and referrals to wrap-around services. To learn more on this self-sufficiency type resource, dial 773-602-3040.
The GED Program’s courses are set up on a multi-tiered basis, meaning that classes are available to students at every educational level, whether they are a teenager or older adult. CUL partners with the City Colleges of Chicago to provide instruction free of charge, with scheduling based their quarterly system. Classes are held twice a week at the Urban League's main headquarters at 4510 S. Michigan Avenue.
Career Services is the cornerstone of the League’s Workforce Development services in Cook County. Case managers, volunteers and employment specialists conduct assessments and create pathways to employment and/or career advancement for all workers. This is available for whether they are brand new to the world of work, currently unemployed or seasoned employees. Programming includes Digital Employment Workshops, Free Employment Seminars, and Outplacement Services.
Financial Empowerment Center, or FEC, is an Integrated Service Delivery program that supplies clients with resources to achieve or enhance financial wellness. Clients learn how to maximize their growth in order to build wealth by formulating a plan of action. They can get guidance on working steadily toward achieving self-defined goals and also selecting support services.
Additional Urban League sponsored services for the unemployed, employers and jobseekers include a full-service employment and training center. There is also a career portal for general usage. The League has formed strong relationships with local employers in Cook County and training providers to offer both employment and short term internship opportunities.
The Chicago Urban League's Workforce Development Program tries to increase levels of income, through employment, for African-American residents. It accomplishes this goal by providing placement services, job training, exposure to various career opportunities, seminars, coaching, and information on long-term job-retention strategies.
Another service is the Chicago Urban League’s Training-to-Work Program. This provides various job-placement and life-skills services for African-American ex-offenders aged 18 and up. Services provided to this target group include GED Training and Support, Mentoring, Retention Services, Life-Skills Training, and Job-Readiness.
Comprehensive training is also offered as part of the Success Strategies Workshop. This tool provides support in skills that are necessary for a successful job search. Participants work toward job-readiness, with the ultimate goal of gaining employment.
Topics covered in these Urban League workshops include career goal planning, financial literacy, resume development, professional networking, job search tips, and advice on effective interview techniques. The Workshop also covers developing professional and leadership skills and more.
A key partner, the Chicago Housing Authority Transitional Jobs Program, provides job placement, training, and retention services. All of this is done with the aim of creating a pool of qualified candidates for employment in growing, high tech and other industries. Additionally, the program assists CHA residents with subsidized and unsubsidized employment.
A focused construction training program, TCART, is also known as CUL’s Transportation Construction Apprenticeship Readiness Training. It is operated as a hands-on construction training program serving residents of Cook, DuPage, Will, Kane, McHenry, and Lake Counties.
The program provides job training, connections with union apprenticeships, mentoring, and placement assistance. The resource is paid for by IDOT and operated in partnership with the Chicago Laborers District Council Training Center, Austin Peoples Community Action Center (APAC), the Black Chamber of Commerce of Lake County, USOC - United Services of Chicago, and the Local Union 150.
There are main offices. The addresses are 4510 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60653, (dial 773-285-5800) as well as Englewood Office, 845 W. 69th St., Chicago, Illinois 60621, dial 773-602-3000.
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