Our Peace House was built by our community for our community to provide space for healing from trauma. Over the last four years, we’ve seen the impact one house can have. As we look towards our future, we’re looking to expand the footprint of peace we started with the Peace House. After more than a year of planning, we’re building a Peace Campus with our neighbors.
We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has been helping us invest in peace and following our journey.
Here are some updates on our progress:
We have purchased three abandoned homes and five vacant lots for our Peace Campus.
On Earth Day weekend, more than 80 volunteers came together to clean trash and debris out of the five vacant lots. Our volunteers and neighbors also cleaned the entire block and prepared our Peace Garden for spring.
Our Basketball Court
Two vacant lots will become our NBA regulation-size basketball court. Thanks to the hard work of our pro-bono architects Krueck and Sexton, we have beautiful plans and a vision to create safe alternative to violence, opportunity, and healthy resources. We are partnering with a local contractor, D & G Paving. He will train and manage our neighbors to complete the entire project, from leveling the land to filling in the pavement to installing the hoops and fence.
Last week we completed the land survey for the basketball court lots.
Today, we officially began the construction process by leveling the land today! We hope to have the court done by early June.
This process has been made possible by the support of the Topfer Family Foundation, the Chicago fitness community, and our individual donors who know that it takes money to heal the hood.
We will soon be beginning construction on 6429 S Honore, one of the two abandoned homes, with the goal of being done by summer. This house will become our Healing Justice House, with our Wisdom Council, restorative justice programs, and trainings in yoga, mindfulness, circle keeping, and meeting space.
The vacant house at 6421 S Honore had the garage demoed two weeks ago. This week the back porch will come down. After that, we will seal the house up until we are ready to begin rehab.
Why a Peace Campus?
Simply put, we’re out of space for our 15 programs and know we need to expand our capacity and impact.
But here’s our real why:
Our community needs accessible opportunities to grow. We are fighting for a solution to violence, poverty, and trauma through radical hospitality, connection, and belonging. We know what we do works. That’s why we must do more.
More than 250,000 people in the US die every year from poverty. Every child in our after-school program, all of whom are under age 12, has heard gunshots, and nearly 25% have seen a dead body. Chicago experiences more gun violence than New York City and Los Angeles combined, and our community lives that every day. Lives are at stake. Our future is at stake. That’s why we must do more.
Through our Peace Campus we are working to create a community of true belonging, drawing people together through space but in more than space. And we’re putting our money where our mouths are. We have been working furiously on our Peace Campus and have recently purchased three abandoned houses and five vacant lots. Now, we can do more.
We know that belonging is more than a gesture, but an active, daily choice.
We are asking our neighbors to make this choice, and we are asking you, too.