The unique effects of the famous Chicago Fire and it’s formerly stated “fire limits’ are what drove out the city’s first wave of working-class homeowners to what we now refer to as the suburbs. One of the oldest suburbs west of the city is the Town of Cicero, IL. The 5.5. square mile town of Cicero, bordered on the north and east by the city, is the suburb nearest to downtown, and to this day the only one governed by a board of trustees in Cook County in a town-form of government.
Present-day Cicero and its rich history of being an ideal place for those in need hasn’t changed. From the town establishing and maintaining its own government model when values differed from the large city to providing immigrant families the opportunity for homeownership, the town is still growing.
Using historical census data and current government funded program statistic, CEDA surprisingly identified many Cook County suburbs as areas to target outreach efforts this program year. The beginning of these efforts started with some of our oldest and most impacted suburbs like Cicero and working with their local government to identify the best initiative to support those efforts.
Cicero government officials, our utility company partners: ComEd and Nicor Gas, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and the Social Security Administration joined together to host the 2019 Cicero Resource Fair Saturday, November 16th, 2019 at the Cicero Community Center. The event provided the residents of Cicero and surrounding communities the opportunity to come together and learn more about CEDA’s programs! The event attendance of over 150 households allowed for the community to learn about our housing counseling services, our Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program who have an office not too far from the town’s center, our Family Support and Community Engagement (FsACE) case management services, and the many benefits of long-term home repairs through our Weatherization program. Along with receiving this information, applications for gas and electricity bills assistance were completed on the spot for all eligible households.
Our partners provided tons of resources about programs they offer and even some fun giveaways like energy efficiency kits to help lower household utility expenses. The Greater Chicago Food Depository was also able to complete applications for SNAP benefits and Social Security Administrative was able to check status and provide benefit information to eligible households.
All of these services in one building, definitely brought the community out and together. It was a great day! Keep checking our social media pages to see if we will be in your neighborhood!