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Looking for solutions to gun violence: Auburn Gresham plans to create a Health Lifestyle Hub

CHICAGO (CBS) – photo credit

The building will serve as an anchor in the community, right on 79th Street, offering a medical center, dental services, a minority-owned pharmacy and other important services.

This is an example of how investing in a community, one neighborhood at a time, can bring life back to a neighborhood.

CBS 2’s Joe Donlon toured the facility with Carlos Nelson, director of the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation. He launched the project and talked about what it means for the residents.

“Think about this building sitting vacant for 25 years, right on 79th Street, the busiest bus line in the entire city of Chicago, just steps away from Halstead,” Nelson said.

He added: “It means life. It means hope. It means that the seniors who have been here and watched the disinvestment that has plagued us for years, it means that we are doing something for our community. We’re bringing something to Auburn Gresham that we haven’t had access to in generations.”

Nelson also pointed to properties that were once occupied by various businesses until they left the neighborhood in recent years.

“It took us a very, very long time to get to, you know, this state of desperation that we’re in now,” Nelson said.

DONLON: Are these investments and opportunities changing people’s negative perceptions and perceptions of the area?

NELSON: It’s a start, but the start is having quality access to health care, having jobs, building wealth and providing choices that you would have in other communities where the quality of life is good.

DONLON: How important is this investment to expand beyond this building?

NELSON: The whole idea when we developed the Auburn Gresham Center for Healthy Living was that it would be a catalyst and catalyze investment in other developments and build wealth while providing high-quality access to health care. Private investors … are now taking note. However, much of the development I’m talking about is done by community members, community organizations, community people. This movement of economic development is happening with us and for us.

DONLON: Do you think it’s a prime example of what the area can be?

NELSON: This is persistence at its best. We need to repurpose or build these vacant lots, vacant land, vacant buildings. We have to take that negativity and turn it into a positive, and this is a prime example of that. Man, I’m so glad this vacant building (after) all these years brought it back to life. Really exciting

The ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Healthy Lifestyle Center will take place on September 29.

Keywords: Auburn Gresham Healthy Lifestyle Hub, Economic Development, Violence reduction

Posted in City of Chicago, Business News, Business Resource Network (FREE), Community Highlights, Healthcare/Health Resources

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