Homeless Help Maintain Landscape of the Windy City

The Chicago Christian Industrial League is teaching the basics of landscape maintenance to members of Chicago’s homeless population as part of a multi-million dollar model for self-help and entrepreneurship.

Chicago’s homeless population is helping to beautify the city streets they call home. By planting, watering and maintaining downtown streets around the Daley Center, the medians and planters lining Michigan Avenue, LaSalle Street, and Congress Parkway, this often overlooked portion of the population is finding renewed hope.

The Chicago Christian Industrial League’s (CCIL) Landscape Training Program organizing what was once a pilot program to a multi-million dollar model for self-help and entrepreneurship. Each year, CCIL trains more than 100 poor and homeless people in landscape maintenance as part of a partnership with ARAMARK and the city of Chicago. Through classroom presentations, participants learn about planting, watering and maintenance.

“Everyone talks about hopes of getting the homeless off the streets,” said CCIL Executive Director Judy McIntyre. “We provide housing and literally put people back on the streets, but as productive members of society with work that pays and a renewed sense of purpose. The results speak for themselves.”

Since 1909, CCIL has been providing food, clothing, shelter, counseling, training experiences, and affordable housing. They are one of the largest organizations serving the poor and homeless in Chicago.

For more information about CCIL, call 773-435-8377—Source: Chicago Daily Business News

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