Family Focus in Homan Square Community Center Provides Resources for Families in Need
Family Focus Lawndale, a branch of the Illinois-based nonprofit family support organization Family Focus, seeks to promote childhood-development and strengthen families in the community by providing resources and education to parents and children in North Lawndale and surrounding areas.
Homan Square Community Center, where Family Focus is located, 3517 W Arthington Ave., bustles with activities during the day. The Center provides comprehensive recreation, health, and after-school and daycare services. The 70,000 square-foot building is equipped with a gymnasium, swimming pool, and cultural wing, which contains a community library and a conference room. Receptionist Shanetta Johnson estimates the center receives 500 visitors any given weekday. The question visitors ask the most: How to access living resources such as clothing, housing, and rehab?
Johnson explains, “We get asked those questions every day. People kept calling asking: ‘Is this a rehab center? Do you help with housing?’ which we actually do, as well as employment. We have a housing application program for homeless populations. [For employment] we also have a census program going on now.”
Johnson, on the other hand, thinks aside from expanding social services and adding new resources, North Lawndale community organizations and the local government also need to educate its residents on existing resources already being offered by various organizations within the community.
“We really need more structured individuals to be able to pave the streets; people who give advice, pass out flyers, or even come here and receive information,” she said.