Friday, December 7, 2012

NHS of Chicago Recognizes Local Heroes for Strengthening Chicago's Neighborhoods

(L-R) Cornell D. Lurry, Vice President, Community Investment Relationship Representative, First Midwest Bank, Mary Morstadt, Vice President/CRA Manager, Mortgage Banking Standard Bank & Trust Company, Clyde Ross, 2012 North Lawndale Neighborhood Leadership Award Recipient, and Ed Jacob, Executive Director, Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago

Nearly 300 partners, volunteers, city leaders, and residents attended Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago’s (NHS) Annual Meeting and Neighborhood Leadership Awards, “Promoting Our Neighborhood Treasures” on Tuesday, October 16th at the Garfield Park Conservatory.  The event was hosted by NHS’ Community Banks Partnership.  Members of the partnership donated items to the silent auction and raffle, which raised over $3,300 to support NHS’ programs.

At the event, seven community leaders, including North Lawndale’s, Clyde Ross, were honored with the 2012 Neighborhood Leadership Award for their dedication, commitment and inspiration in their communities.  Mr. Ross has been an activist on behalf of the North Lawndale community since the 1960s, when he was one of the organizers of the Contract Buyer’s League, a movement that fought against predatory lending to African Americans – and attracted Martin Luther King, Jr. to the neighborhood. His activism spread as far as the South Side of Chicago, and resulted in settlements for many of his neighbors and fellow homeowners on the 3300 block of West Flournoy. Half a century later, Clyde is still fighting for his community, even as he nears his 90th birthday. He continues to have a keen interest in protecting his block, one of the best-maintained blocks in North Lawndale and is a potential nominee to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.

The event also celebrated NHS’ work in seven target neighborhoods in Chicago.  In the past year, NHS served over 5,800 clients, loaned over $22 million, created 104 new home owners and worked with over 3,000 home owners at risk of foreclosure in the Chicago area.

Established in 1975, NHS of Chicago is the city’s largest nonprofit community development organization committed to providing Chicago and Elgin residents affordable resources so they can buy, fix, and keep their homes. Since its creation, NHS has created more than 3,880 new homeowners.  NHS also works to stimulate community reinvestment through a partnership of residents, businesses, and government.  With the help of these partners, NHS has leveraged investment of more than $1.1 billion in Chicago’s neighborhoods.

NHS Chicago is also part of the NeighborWorks® America network, which includes 235 independent, community-based nonprofit organizations serving more than 4,500 communities nationwide.  For more information on NHS, call (773) 329-4010 or visit

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