CHICAGO (CBS) — The Altgeld Gardens public housing development on the South Side has been awarded $3 million by the federal government to use to train residents for the workforce and eventual self-sufficiency.
According to the CHA vice president Mary Howard, the unemployment rate in Altgeld Gardens is said to be more than 50%. The new federal Jobs Plus program is expected to land 451 residents in jobs.
“There’s not a lot of jobs in the area that are your entry-level jobs, so this is going to allow us to provide specific training, so that they are competitive for those jobs that are out there,” she said.
Altgeld Gardens resident and Local Advisory Council president Bernadette Williams said a benefit of the program is it includes freezing the rents of people who get jobs, giving them an opportunity to save a little money, and eventually move out of CHA.
“I’m very excited. The residency here is very excited. With the 400 people who’s out of work, this is really going to help them,” she said.
CHA chief executive officer Michael Merchant said the idea is to eventually get people to move out of CHA to give someone else a chance.
“This program is going to allow us to really focus on increasing people’s potential to reaching self-sufficiency,” he said