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(CBS) — Poor people in an affluent area get help and hope from an organization celebrating a special anniversary.

CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield says the founder of Chicago Help Initiative is someone you should know.

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On a February evening in 2000, a gathering of Near North Side residents in need sat down for dinner as guests of what became the Chicago Help Initiative. This week, the 15th year of that occasion was celebrated at Catholic Charities.

“It’s so rewarding to know that you can help somebody else and therefore help yourself. You really get to experience things on a different level,” founder Jacqueline Hayes says.

The organization serves those with needs who live with the boundaries of Randolph on the south, Division to the north, Lake Michigan to the east and, on the west, the Chicago River.

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“I love this organization. I’ve been coming here for years, they help me with housing, they help feed the people,” Chandran Murray says.

Vernon Esmond attended a smoking cessation program offered by the organization and gave up the habit.

Currently the organization provides blood pressure checks, along with mental health services, employment and literacy support, HIV testing and help in finding housing. Dinner is served every Wednesday.

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