TRANSFORMING LIVES AND CHANGING LANDSCAPES
Investing in North Chicago
The Matthew Home concept comes from Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden...let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” We ask every home owner to do two things: 1) get to know and care for their neighbors, and 2) engage in making North Chicago a great place for families. Matthew Homeowners are located near each other—block by block—to promote greater care for one another and community enrichment. The goal is to create 300 new Matthew Homes over 15+ years.
Hollistic Problem Solving
WAYS WE DO COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Increased Home Ownership
Research shows that healthy towns have at least 65% homeownership. North Chicago is now 34% homeownership. ReNew is pushing hard to grow home ownership by 15% or 300 home owners. This should ignite a tipping point where community engagement and growth expand exponentially and organically toward revitalization.
Research also shows that families who own their homes become community stakeholders and tend to care for their home, engage in their schools, promote safer streets, and seek the overall wellbeing of their town. ReNew feels this is a crucial anchor for revitalization.
North Chicago was once a thriving community with plenty of employment opportunities. Unemployment in North Chicago remains in the double-digets. In response, ReNew is collaborating with small businesses, city staff, high school leadership, and the College of Lake County to develop career pathways and internships with local companies and various trades.
Unemployment fluctuates around 17% with a median household income of $43,499.00. As a comparison, in the neighboring town Lake Bluff the median income is $139,716.00. North Chicago is a food desert without a grocery store and striving to improve the business environment, community, and school system. In addition, we are building pathways into good careers out of high school in manufacturing, as well as the lucrative trades. Through Matthew Home construction, we are hiring local builders and developing trade skills.
Remember the old neighborhood when neighbors knew each other, looked after one another, and children could play in safety? That’s the vision each of our Matthew Homeowners seeks to bring to life.
We believe the secret sauce to community revitalization is local residence engaged and advocating for North Chicago’s future. We ask every Matthew Home owner to sign a pledge to find a way to get engaged and make a difference. And we place Matthew Homes near each other to provide support and build community, block-by-block.
We also help resource our Matthew Homeowners through community building events and resources.