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Welcoming our Neighbor


5a Some Context: The Good Samaritan. 5b Who are my new neighbors? 5c WON ... Protestants for the Common Good (PCG) is an association of Protestant laity and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Welcoming our Neighbor

Welcoming our Neighbor
Building Community and Creating Opportunity

Office for Peace and Justice, Archdiocese of
One the Basics 1a Who are we? 1b Letter of
Introduction 1c How do you reach us? 1d something
you should know Two Hospitality our
Faith-based heritage 2a Why do people of faith
care about housing? 2b Advent Imagination 2c The
two feet of social action Three Our place in
History 3a A short history of Chicagos public
housing 3b what is the Plan for
Transformation? Four Gautreaux II making a
difference 4a Gautreaux works! 4b The Rusk
Report The Gautreaux Project Five Who are my
(new) neighbors? 5a Some Context The Good
Samaritan 5b Who are my new neighbors? 5c WON
participation form 5d WON Intro letter
5e Opportunity Areas map (not available online)
5f Section 8 tenants by Neighborhood (not
available online) 5g Section 8 tenants by
municipality (not available online) Six So you
want to Welcome Your Neighbor 6a Four Steps to
Welcoming Our Neighbor 6b Lets Get Started
Initial Assessment Guide 1) Developing
Relationships 6c Lets Get Started Initial
Assessment Guide 2) Providing Information 6d Let
s Get Started Initial Assessment Guide 3)
Offering Assistance 6e Confidentiality/Anonymity
Concerns 6f Dos and Donts in Interactions 6g A
few more things 6h A parishioner talks about his
own experiences in Welcoming Our Neighbor (not
available online) Seven FAQs (and
answers!) Eight Now What? 8a What if we want to
do more? Nine Appendices Contact Log
Section One The basics
Who are we?
Protestants for the Common Good (PCG) is an
association of Protestant laity and clergy
throughout Illinois that calls people of faith to
relate their beliefs to public life.
the Office for Peace and Justice of the
Archdiocese of Chicago educates, advocates, and
empowers through Catholic parishes, schools, and
institutions, and with community partners, to
transform lives and society in the Catholic
social tradition.
PCG and the Archdiocese are working together to
link congregations with families living in public
housing who are making the move to opportunity
The Leadership Council for Open Metropolitan
Communities is the nations largest and most
comprehensive fair housing organization. A
not-for-profit organization, the Leadership
Councils mission is to eliminate discrimination
and segregation in metropolitan Chicago housing
The Leadership Council for Open Metropolitan
Communities (LCMOC) administers the Gautreaux II
program, which places families with rental
subsidies in opportunity areas (areas defined
as less than 30 African American, and less than
24 of the population in poverty)
How do you reach us?
Kara Breems, Housing Outreach Coordinator Protesta
nts for the Common Good 312.223.9544 kara_at_thecommo
ngood.org www.thecommongood.org
Jonathan Njus, Housing Director Office for Peace
and Justice, Archdiocese of Chicago 312.751.8367 j
njus_at_archchicago.org http//www.archdiocese-chgo.o
something you should know
This has never been done before.
Formally involving the faith-based community in
opportunity-area relocation of public housing
residents as a means to break down decades of
housing-based racial and economic segregation
is a first. This represents a wonderful
opportunity for the faith community to share
and implement our vision of Gods kingdom on
earth. Today.
Section two Hospitality our faith-based
Why do people of faith care about housing?
SHELTER (THE ROOF) We value shelter. We need
to respect also the primary demand that enables
any one, any group, any family, to live with
dignity. The demand to have food and to have
medical care the demand to be clothed, according
to seasonal variations wherever we live the
demand to be sheltered, not only against the
weather and other extremities for protection, but
also to find a placein whichto learn what it
means to live in an ever broader and larger
OPPORTUNITY (THE DOOR) We value opportunity.
Communities connect us to economic and political
systems. And where houses are placed has a
direct effect on wealth, education, employment,
health, transportation, and safety. Housing is
linked to opportunity, both individual and social.
WALLS) We value family and community because we
realize and protect and sustain our dignity and
our rights precisely in relationship with others.
The basic building stone of community is always
the family. Housing harbors families who need to
be supported and housing exists in communities
that need to be fostered in order to protect
those families.
PEOPLE (THE FOUNDATION) We value people. All
Christian churches and Jewish and Muslim
communitiesas well as other religious
traditions believe that every human being is
created in the image and likeness of GodThat
image and likeness is not given to us just as
individuals it makes us people who are related
in the very essence of our being, people who have
to live in community, in relationship to one
Excerpted from a speech given by Francis Cardinal
George, O.M.I at the Chicago Rehab Networks
Valuing Affordability Conference on June 28, 2001.
section three Gautreaux II our place in History
A short history of Chicagos public housing
1920 - 1960s
The Chicago Housing Authority starts (see box
African Americans from the South migrate to
Chicago in huge numbers, due in part to crop
failures and increasing mechanization in the
south, and economic opportunity in the north
Elizabeth Wood and Robert Taylor head up the CHA,
with goals of ending racial segregation and
improving the lives of the poor
The CHA loses mayoral support, leaving it at the
mercy of territorial aldermen, who begin policy
of building public housing only in segregated
Ida B. Wells built to meet affordable housing
The Chicago Housing Authority was started by the
State of Illinois in 1937 to revive Chicagos
construction economy and create affordable
housing for Chicago residents, many of whom were
working class families who had recently moved to
the land of opportunity, but found themselves
living in two-bedroom kitchenette apartments with
up to five other families. Originally, public
housing consisted of low-rise buildings that were
designed to promote interaction, blend into their
surrounding communities, and house working,
striver families both black and white. There
was a strong belief that public housing served a
social purpose.
A short history of Chicagos public housing
Mid 1960s
Early 1960s
Dan Ryan expressway opens
City council begins to build high rise public
housing. AND Mayor Richard J. Daley is elected
Rev. Martin Luther King demands that Mayor Daley
modernize public housing high rises
Elizabeth Wood the CHAs social reformer is
Over half of public housing residents are employed
Under Mayor Richard J. Daley, the original
utopian vision of public housing took a sharp
turn acres of existing housing were bulldozed,
and contracts were granted to favored contractors
to build the high-rise complexes that came to
typify Chicago-style public housing, such as
those along the State Street corridor, where
public housing high rises housed 40,000 people in
10,000 units from 29th to 53rd streets. The new
policy resulted in thousands of poor often
African American families being concentrated in
one area of town, with a highway walling them off
from the rest of the city.
A short history of Chicagos public housing
Mid 1970s
Mid 1980s
Dorothy Gautreaux sues the CHA and HUD for
forcing segregation on public housing residents
(see box below)
Federal judge rules against CHA
Supreme Court rules against HUD and Gautreaux
program starts
Only 20-30 of public housing residents are
Only 10 of public housing residents are employed
In 1966, Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) resident
Dorothy Gautreaux filed a lawsuit in federal
court against both the Chicago Housing Authority
and the United States Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD). Her lawsuit charged
that, since 1950, almost all of the sites
selected by the CHA for family public-housing
projects had been in black neighborhoods, and
that the housing agency had "deliberately chosen
sites for such projects which would avoid the
placement of Negro families in white
neighborhoods." In February 1969 seven months
after Dorothy Gautreaux died of cancer at age 41
federal Judge Richard Austin ruled against the
CHA. In 1976, the Supreme Court ruled against
HUD, and declared that the solution to the ills
wrought by government-sponsored segregation were
metropolitan-wide. One result of this Supreme
Court ruling was the region-wide Gautreaux
program, administered by the Leadership Council
for Metropolitan Open Communities. Gautreaux was
a precedent-setting rent-subsidy program that
re-located eligible families to Mixed race and
mixed income communities.
A short history of Chicagos public housing
Federal, state, and local commissioners hold
hearings on the state of public housing in
HUD returns control of CHA to local
authorities CHA unveils the 10-year Plan for
Congress mandates national studies to determine
whether it makes more sense to tear down or rehab
existing public housing developments. 20,000
units in Chicago fail the test and HUD takes over
Gautreauxs relocation program ends, after
having relocated 6,000 families
The CHA was taken over by the Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1995,
because of problems with mismanagement and
property deterioration. At the time of the
takeover, "Fifty-eight percent of the Chicago
Housing Authority's 40,000 apartments weren't
fit to live in" (Chicago Sun-Times, June 7,1995).
The CHAs Plan for Transformation calls for the
demolition of many of the high-rises erected in
the 1950s and 1960s, and their replacement by
low-rise mixed-income housing.
A short history of Chicagos public housing
Gautreaux II starts at the Leadership Council
Welcoming Our Neighbor starts. Your church
welcomes a family to your neighborhood!
The original Gautreaux program ended in 1998, but
Gautreaux II began in 2001. Gautreaux II is also
administered by the Leadership Council and will
provide relocation counseling and identify rental
housing in opportunity areas for 500 former
public housing families. Welcoming Our Neighbor
will help the Leadership Council to accomplish
that goal.
Welcoming Our Neighbor
What is the Plan for Transformation?
The Plan for Transformation calls for the
destruction of the high-rise developments that
became synonymous with public housing in Chicago.
Reconstructed units will be located in
mixed-income developments, with one-third of the
units being public housing, one-third affordable
housing, and one-third market-rate housing.
All 24,500 families living in public housing in
October 1999 have a right to return to a rebuilt
unit, if they so desire. However, residents are
not guaranteed a return to their original
building or preferred site.
It is estimated that 6,000 families will choose
to leave public housing and look for an apartment
in the private housing market, many in new
neighborhoods, and some in the suburbs.
section four Gautreaux II making a difference
Gautreaux works! to create opportunity
James Rosenbaum of Northwestern University
documented encouraging outcomes for Gautreaux I
families who moved to the suburbs, compared with
similar families who remained in the city
City dwellers vs. opportunity movers Youth
Education and Job Outcomes
Source Rosenbaum, James E. and Leonard S.
Rubinowitz (2000). Crossing the Class and Color
Lines From Public Housing to White Suburbia.
Chicago Universtiy of Chicago Press.
Gautreaux works! to build safe neighborhoods
City dwellers vs. opportunity movers Safety
While a few mothers were distressed by the
threats in the suburbs as much as by those in
the city, most indicated that the city threats
were far more serious. One woman recalled her
life in the Projects It was a crime area, with
gangs. We were between two different gangs, one
on one side, one on the other. My windows got
shot in several times we had to sleep on the
floor. At night you had to put your mattress on
the floor because bullets would be coming through
the windows. It was like Vietnam. About the
suburbs, theres no comparison.
Source Rosenbaum, James E. and Leonard S.
Rubinowitz (2000). Crossing the Class and Color
Lines From Public Housing to White Suburbia.
Chicago Universtiy of Chicago Press.
Gautreaux works! to create vibrant communities
City dwellers vs. opportunity movers Friends and
interracial relationships
One woman who moved to the suburbs recalled I
had one neighbor ask if there was anything she
could help me with. She explained things in the
building. She watched children for me. They
welcomed me in, gave me things, showed me where
the school was. They showed you where the grocery
stores are, how to take the paths to them without
walking on the streets.
Source Rosenbaum, James E. and Leonard S.
Rubinowitz (2000). Crossing the Class and Color
Lines From Public Housing to White Suburbia.
Chicago Universtiy of Chicago Press.
section five Who are my (new) neighbors?
Some context The Parable of the Good
Samaritan On one occasion an expert in the law
stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked,
"what must I do to inherit eternal life?" What is
written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read
it?" He answered " 'Love the Lord your God with
all your heart and with all your soul and with
all your strength and with all your mind' and,
'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" "You have
answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and
you will live." But he wanted to justify
himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my
neighbor?" In reply Jesus said "A man was
going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he
fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him
of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving
him half dead. A priest happened to be going down
the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed
by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he
came to the place and saw him, passed by on the
other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came
where the man was and when he saw him, he took
pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his
wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the
man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and
took care of him. The next day he took out two
silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper.
'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I
will reimburse you for any extra expense you may
have.' "Which of these three do you think was a
neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of
robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The
one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go
and do likewise. (Luke 1025-37)
Who are my new neighbors?
  • Each family wanted to participate in Gautreaux
  • In September, 2001, the Leadership Council
    opened the Gautreaux II Program to current
    residents of the Chicago Housing Authority.
    Would-be participants jammed the phone lines, and
    1100 people got on a waiting list for 500 Housing
    Choice Vouchers before the phone lines were
  • Each family wanted to move to an Opportunity
  • Each Gautreaux II family is in the program
    because they are interested in moving to an
    opportunity area. Opportunity areas are defined
    as having a population of which 23.49 or less is
    in poverty, and 30 or less is African American
    (see 5
  • Each participating family was thoroughly screened
    for the program.
  • To be eligible for the program, each family must
    remain lease compliant, meaning they must meet
    the following criteria
  • Have paid their rent or are current in a
    repayment agreement
  • Have no unpaid utility bill or have a repayment
  • Meet all terms and conditions of the lease
  • Have no unauthorized occupants in their
  • Have a good housekeeping record and
  • Have not destroyed, defaced, damaged, or removed
    any part of an apartment or development.

Who are my new neighbors?
  • Each participating family receives extensive
    relocation counseling including
  • A Section 8 subsidy in the form of the housing
    choice voucher which helps families pay for an
    apartment in the private housing market. With a
    Section 8 housing voucher, the family is required
    to pay around 30 of their income in rent and
    utilities, and the federal government pays the
    difference directly to the landlord
  • Good Neighbor Counseling with sessions on
    parenting, budgeting, and housekeeping and what
    it takes to remain lease compliant (see previous
    page), which is required for a family to retain
    their Section 8 rent subsidy and apartment
  • A needs assessment, listing familys needs (for
    example, GED classes, job training programs, and
    child care facilities), and detailing a plan to
    meet those needs and
  • Assistance in finding and renting an apartment
    Counseling agencies work closely with families,
    driving them around to look at apartments and
    accompanying them to inquire about apartments
    with landlords. When a family finds an apartment
    that it wants to rent, the landlord must then
    choose whether to accept the family (and the
    Section 8 rent subsidy) or not. If the landlord
    decides to rent to the family, and after the
    apartment is inspected to make sure that it meets
    certain quality standards and a reasonable rent
    is negotiated, the landlord and the family sign a
    one-year lease (the same as the one signed by
    every other renter in Chicago).

Who are my new neighbors?
  • Each family has requested to participate in
    Welcoming Our Neighbor.
  • During the relocation process, families are
    asked by Leadership Council staff if they would
    like to receive contact from a local church (see
    5c), who would provide them with information or
  • After families have re-located, we send them a
    letter, providing more information on Welcoming
    Our Neighbor, and letting them know that they can
    expect a phone call from a representative from a
    local congregation in the near future (see 5d).

Sample participation form
Sample intro letter
  • Dear opportunity mover
  • We recently learned from your housing counselor
    at the Leadership Council that you expressed
    interest in receiving information and/or
    assistance from a local church through a program
    called Welcoming Our Neighbor. Welcoming Our
    Neighbor is a program of the Archdiocese of
    Chicago and Protestants for the Common Good which
    links families who have recently moved to
    opportunity areas with churches in their new
  • We are delighted to learn of your interest in
    Welcoming Our Neighbor It is our hope that we
    will make the transition to your new community a
    little easier, as you get to know the
    neighborhood and make new contacts and friends.
  • Here are some quick facts about the program
  • When we learn of your interest in the program, we
    begin to look for a partner church. Unless you
    let us know otherwise, you should hear from a
    local church sometime soon!
  • The church will likely begin by offering to give
    a tour of your new community. What happens next
    is up to you and the church You can decide you
    dont need any more info/assistance, or, for
    example, you might ask church members to help
    find furniture or daycare providers.
  • Church members know your name, telephone number,
    and the fact that you have recently moved to
    their community with the help of the Leadership
    Council anything else you want to share with
    them is completely up to you.
  • While we encourage the local church to invite you
    to worship with them, you are not obligated to
    attend the church.
  • We hope this answers some of the questions you
    might have about Welcoming Our Neighbor. If you
    have any other questions, please contact us.
    Also, if you decide not to participate in the
    program, please let us know!
  • God bless,

Kara Breems (312.223.9544) Jonathan Njus
(312.751.8367) Protestants for the Common
Good Archdiocese of Chicago
section six so you want to welcome your
neighbor Getting to work!
Four Steps to Welcoming Our Neighbor
  • Get Organized!
  • In order to be the most effective at widening
    potential social networks, providing
  • advice and determining direction, and sharing
    joys and responsibilities we
  • recommend that you form a working group of at
    least three people to
  • participate in Welcoming Our Neighbor. This is a
    recommendation, not a rule,
  • however. And, not everyone must be from your
    congregation we encourage
  • inter-church cooperation!

2. Set priorities. Welcoming Our Neighbors has
three objectives 1) Develop Relationships 2)
Provide Information and 3) Offer Assistance.
We have prepared a Lets Get Started guide to
ensure that these three Objectives are met as
well as to help guide your initial contact with
the family. Before you meet with the family, we
recommend that you go over the guide as a group
to determine which needs you are best
equipped/willing to address. Lets Get Started
is meant to serve as a guide for the sorts of
things that you can provide help with. Feel free
to add or delete from it.
Four Steps to Welcoming Our Neighbor
  • 3. Contact the family!
  • This is the fun part! Choose a group
    representative who will
  • call the family,
  • introduce him/herself to the contact person
  • explain that the Leadership Council (use an
    actual name, if possible!) referred their name to
    you as someone who had indicated an interest in
    participating in Welcoming Our Neighbor.
  • Arrange to meet (over breakfast, lunch, at the
    church, etc) to talk more about the community and
    answer any questions they might have.
  • Then, using the Lets Get Started guide as a
    starting point, get to know
  • the family and their needs/strengths and begin
    to determine how you can best
  • welcome the new family into your community.
  • We have made every effort to let each family know
    that you will be contacting
  • Them (see 5d). However, if you encounter
    resistance or confusion on your first
  • call, do not despair! Inquire about the familys
    transition process to the new
  • community, and offer any assistance you can give
    on the phone. Give your
  • contact information, and offer to call back in
    several weeks to check in on
  • the family. They might need some time to think
    about your offer.

Four Steps to Welcoming Our Neighbor
  • 4. Get to work!
  • Once you hold the initial meeting with the
    family, the work begins! Your next
  • meetings agenda should include
  • Compile and send information requested by the
  • Determine if anyone in the Welcoming Our Neighbor
    working group can address the specific needs of
    the family
  • If not, approach specific congregation members,
    or prepare and run a bulletin announcement,
    asking for assistance to address the familys
    specific needs
  • Follow up with the family after one month three
    months, and 6 months (or according to a schedule
    you agree on together).

What if you cant reach the family by phone? The
family might not have a telephone, or they might
be at work when you try to reach them. Dont
despair! If you cant contact the family via
telephone, send an introductory letter with a way
for them to get ahold of you if they would like
to (You could use the churchs return address if
you are more comfortable with that). You might
consider enclosing a self-addressed stamped
Four Steps to Welcoming Our Neighbor
one more thing Documenting your Important
Work! Especially if there are several of you
working on the project, you might want
to consider keeping records of your contact with
the family. We are also interested in hearing
your stories, in order to help future Welcoming
Our Neighbor participants learn from your
experiences or be inspired by them! A sample
contact log is included in the Appendices Section
(Section Nine) use ours or create your own!
Welcoming Our Neighbors Lets Get
Started Initial Assessment Guide
  • 1. Developing Relationships
  • A Bit about Us
  • Include brief introduction of yourself, your
    committee members, and your congregation, along
    with any relevant history/details
  • Brief description of why you decided to
    participate in this program
  • Name and telephone number of primary contact.
  • A Bit about You
  • Who is this family you will be working with? Who
    are the family members? What are their ages?
  • Why did they decide to leave their former
  • What are they looking forward to about their new
  • What questions/concerns do they have about their
    new community?

Welcoming Our Neighbors Lets Get
Started Initial Assessment Guide
  • 1. Developing Relationships
  • A Bit about Our Future Together
  • One-sided relationships are not healthy. A family
    who perceives the relationship
  • as one in which they are the recipient of charity
    will likely feel disempowered to
  • contribute fully to your community.
  • It is important, then, to be as deliberate as
    possible to build a reciprocal
  • relationship between the new family and the
    Welcoming team/congregation.
  • How do you do this?
  • Be willing to divulge all the same information
    you would ask of the new family!
  • Provide opportunities for the new family to
    participate in and contribute to your
    congregation or community. You might want to ask
    relocating family members if they would like to
    participate in specific groups/committees in your
    congregation or community, or if they have any
    talents/skills they would like to share.

Welcoming Our Neighbors Lets Get
Started Initial Assessment Guide
  • 2. Providing Information
  • As a committee, you can decide whether you want
    to a) Prepare a packet of
  • information about your community b) Give a tour
    of your community, c)
  • Respond to specific requests for information or
    d) All of the above!
  • Here are some areas families might be interested
  • Grocery Stores
  • Shopping areas
  • Public Transportation (to/from where?)
  • Medical Services (hospitals clinics special
    medical needs?)
  • Schools (what level/type)
  • Parks
  • Community centers and libraries (library cards,
    program registration)
  • Services (car dealers/mechanics dry
    cleaners/laundromats, etc)
  • Community details (garbage pick-up, recycling,
  • Church info (your own as well as other local
  • Committees/Clubs/Groups/Organizations (especially
    if you have ties to them)
  • Other____________________________________________

Welcoming Our Neighbors Lets Get
Started Initial Assessment Guide
  • 3. Offering Assistance
  • Obviously this will depend on the
    resources/strengths of your
  • congregation/community, but some areas you might
    consider offering assistance
  • with include
  • Furniture
  • Clothing (interview/business clothes baby
  • Household equipment (computers, exercise
    equipment, etc)
  • Employment Assistance (resume writing, job
    referrals, recommendations)
  • Skills training (computer training,
    apprenticeships, etc)
  • Youth Involvement (afterschool programs, boys and
    girls clubs, etc.)
  • Other____________________________________________
  • __________________________________________________
  • __________________________________________________

Confidentiality/Anonymity Concerns
Each family who participates in Welcoming Our
Neighbor has explicitly expressed interest in the
program. However, some confidentiality concerns
remain. A family who is moving into a new
neighborhood with a Housing Choice Voucher likely
does not want their neighbors or fellow
community members to know how much (or little)
they are paying for their new apartment. Their
neighbors/community members should look upon them
as if they were just another new person moving
into the neighborhood.
Dos and Donts In Interactions
  • Welcoming Our Neighbor is as much about
    developing relationships as it is about
    introducing new families to your neighborhood.
    While were pretty sure youre already a fairly
    sensitive bunch, it might be helpful to remember
    to embody the following characteristics when
    interacting with families. Be, then
  • non-judgmental receptive to getting to know the
    families by first laying aside preconceived
    notions about the families
  • a listener attentive to verbal and non-verbal
    communication of thoughts, feelings, gifts, and
  • accepting the strengths and weaknesses, positive
    and negatives, of family members, as family
    members must do with parishioners
  • empathetic to past experiences and current
  • reciprocal parishioners should share their own
    thoughts, feelings, gifts, and needs
  • Respectful provide offers to help families in
    exploring options and making decisions, but
    recognize the familys right to decline that
    offer respect their choices and
  • Responsive follow through with commitments and
    plans to support the family. Much distrust (due
    to broken trust) has built up over the years
    between different races and classes in Chicago,
    and participants should be aware of that fact and
    move forward in love, treating people as they
    would like to be treated.

A few more things
Is there Training Provided? Beyond the materials
in this binder, no formal training is required to
participate in this program. However, in keeping
with the idea of charity and justice as
representing the two legs of our faith response,
we encourage you to learn more about the forces
and issues that have contributed to the creation
of a society where poverty is concentrated and
perpetuated, a society where it is nearly
impossible for an African American mother of
teenage boys to find a place for her family to
live. To that end we have several educational
options available for your group to use,
including Welfare and Poverty, a three-part
discussion guide published by Protestants for the
Common Good. We are also happy to provide sermon
and small group discussion guides on the
faith-based response to housing issues. We would
also be happy to come speak to your group about
the affordable housing context in the region and
in your community, and we hope to convene groups
of congregations who are welcoming their
neighbors to reflect on our experiences and
discuss lessons learned.
Section seven FAQs
FAQs (and answers!)
  • Who do we contact if we have any questions?
  • Contact the Archdiocese Office of Peace and
    Justice, or Protestants for the Common Good (you
    can find contact information on Page 1c). If
    necessary, we will forward your question to the
    appropriate people at the Leadership Council for
    Open Metropolitan Communities, who administer the
    Gautreaux II program.
  • What areas should we focus on?
  • The Lets Get Started guide is helpful at
    least initially in showing which areas you
    could help.
  • Your committee/congregation is not required to
    meet every need of the relocating family. We
    provide an assessment form to assist you in
    knowing what types of areas you might provide
    help with, but you are by no means bound to
    providing assistance in all of these areas!
  • There are certain areas, however, which the
    Leadership Council for Open Metropolitan
    Communities who are responsible for
    administering the Gautreaux II contract
    administer. The Leadership Council is responsible
    to provide
  • Assistance on all landlord-tenant issues (lease
    questions, mediation, etc)
  • Budgeting counseling
  • Good Neighbor counseling (how to be a good
    community member).
  • Your committee should recommend that any
    inquiries on these issues be directed to the
    Leadership Council.
  • What should we do if the family asks us for
  • You are not required to give any financial
    assistance to a family you are working with. In
    fact, Welcoming Our Neighbor is specifically
    intended to emphasize the mutual benefits of a
    relationship between a welcoming community and
    newcomers to that community. Providing financial
    assistance especially ongoing assistance to a
    family you are welcoming might not be the
    healthiest way to establish that sort of
    relationship. However, it is up to you. Your
    churchs benevolence protocol/policy might also
    be helpful.

FAQs (and answers!)
How much time per week is required? This is
highly variable, and depends on both your
available time and the specific needs of the
family. Because of this, well let you answer
that question. However, if you feel you are
spending too much or too little time, dont
hesitate to contact us, and perhaps we can
connect you with other churches who have found
solutions to similar concerns. How far should we
go to help the family? Your committee/congregatio
n is not required to meet every need of the
relocating family. We provide an assessment form
to assist you in knowing what types of areas you
might provide help with, but you are by no means
bound to providing assistance in all of these
areas! Can we invite the family members to our
church? Yes, please do! But while it is perfectly
appropriate to invite the relocating family to
your congregation/church, their participation in
this program is not contingent on their attending
your church/congregation. Further, throughout
your interaction with the family, it is important
that you continue to assure the participating
family that their attendance at your place of
worship is not a prerequisite to your ongoing
relationship. What will the family know about
our role in the relationship? Each Gautreaux II
family will be given a form by their Leadership
Council mobility counselor asking whether they
want to participate in this program. If a local
family wants to participate, their name and
contact information will be forwarded to you. In
addition, we will send a letter to each family
verifying their interest (see 5d for a copy of
that letter). Because of this provision, you will
never be contacting a family who doesnt want to
hear from you!
FAQs (and answers!)
What if were successful can we welcome another
family? Yes! In fact, it is encouraged that
congregations/parishes consider extending
Welcoming Our Neighbor to other families moving
into their community, no matter what their income
level, race/ethnicity, or age. New resident
information could be obtained by checking recent
telephone hook-ups and changes in voter
registration lists or by consulting local
chambers of commerce and real estate
offices. Wont people whove lived in public
housing all their lives have a hard time moving
to our community? While this might be your
initial reaction, research has shown that, while
suburban movers do experience more harassment
than their city counterparts (In the first year,
2.6 incidents in the suburbs 0.79 in the city),
the level of harassment decreases significantly
over time (by the fifth year, 1.29 incidents in
the suburbs 0.84 in the City). The suburban
movers also reported having more friends than
their city counterparts (6.69 to 5.36). And,
opportunity movers to the suburbs were four times
more likely than their city counterparts to make
more than 6.50 an hour. So, there are positives
and negatives. How long is our commitment? The
time commitment will vary, depending on the
interest/commitment level of both the welcoming
team and the relocating family.
FAQs (and answers!)
Why are parishes or congregations invited to
become involved? Churches are the heart and soul
of local communities and are in a unique position
to welcome and be a resource for new families
moving into the area. Welcoming Our Neighbor is
an opportunity for parishes to help address
racial and economic barriers that divide area
communities by promoting inclusiveness and
opportunity for all families in their community.
Parishes that have completed the Archdioceses
Racism and Ethnic Sensitivity workshops and/or
Disciples in Mission training may be especially
ready to participate in Welcoming Our
Neighbor. What is the connection to Catholic
Social Teaching? First, All people are a
reflection of the image of God and thus all human
lifeis sacred. The basic dignity that each
person possesses comes from God (Dignity of the
Human Person). Second, People have basic rights
and responsibilities because of their human
dignityCatholic teaching emphasizes that people
have a right to life and to the basic necessities
that provide quality to life food, shelter,
health care, education, and employment (Rights
and Responsibilities). Third, We are all one
human family in the world. Because we realize our
dignity, rights, and responsibilities, in
relationship with others, we need to continue to
build a community that empowers people to attain
their full human potential (Solidarity).
Section eight now what?
What if we want to do more?
Keep talking! Share what youve learned with your
congregation members. Or, use the materials
provided or develop your own! to educate
yourselves and/or your congregation on the
faithful response to the need for affordable
housing from a faith-based perspective in small
groups, Sunday school, or from the pulpit!
Hold a workshop on affordable housing.
The Arlington Heights Interfaith Open Communities
cluster has developed a wonderful curriculum
which could be modified for your congregation.
Identify a landlord in your community
or congregation who will accept housing choice
  • Whats in it for the landlord?
  • For the most part, its business as usual
    landlords use (and enforce) their own leases,
    collect security deposits, and screen prospective
  • The difference is
  • Landlords in opportunity areas who accept Housing
    Choice Voucher holders may be eligible for a tax
  • tenants are carefully and thoroughly screened by
    the Leadership Council
  • Pool of potentially eligible tenants increases
  • Free building inspection by the Chicago Housing
  • Guaranteed monthly rent check from the federal
  • Leadership Council monitors both property owners
    and tenants satisfaction levels throughout

Form an Interfaith Open Communities cluster group

Clusters are active in the Northwest suburbs,
south suburbs, and in Hyde Park
Clusters are composed of members from Protestant,
Catholic, Jewish, and Moslem congregations who
work together to encourage affordable housing in
their communities
What do clusters do?
Read a good book
Here are several wed recommend American
Project The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto
(2000), by Suddhir Venkatesh Highly readable
study often written in first person by graduate
student Suddhir Venkatesh of the life and times
of the Robert Taylor Homes, one of the Chicago
Housing Authoritys most notorious housing
project highrises, at a time when it was about to
be torn down. American Apartheid Segregation
and the Making of the Underclass (1993), by
Douglas S. Massey and Nancy A. Denton From the
book jacket This powerful and disturbing book
links persistent poverty among blacks in the
United States to the unparalleled degree of
deliberate segregation they experience in
American cities. Crossing the Class and Color
Lines From Public Housing to White Suburbia
(2000), by Leonard S. Rubinowitz and James E.
Rosenbaum. From the book jacket Based on an
in-depth study of the Gautreaux programs
participants, this book tells of the Gautreaux
families initial discomfort and of the
discrimination they felt. It also relates how,
against the odds, their lives changed for the
better. This is evident both in firsthand
accounts of their experiences and also in the
more objective standard of education, exploding
the notion that poor, inner-city blacks cannot
escape the culture of poverty, and reinforcing
the premise that where a family lives affects its
opportunities and life chances
Spend some time - in a small group or bible
study looking at what it means to be a good
Samaritan when it comes to housing (contact
Protestants for the Common Good or the
Archdiocese Office for Peace and Justice for
materials and study guides)
Preach a sermon on the issue (the Archdiocese
Office for Peace and Justice has developed an
Advent guide called No Room at the Inn that is
available for your use
Section nine appendices
contact log
Family Contact Names_____________________________
__ Address_______________________________________
____ Phone Number _______________________________
___________________________________________ Childr
ens Names/Ages _________________________________
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