We are a trusted human services and resource center in Belmont Cragin neighborhood of Chicago. By developing deep bonds with the families in our area, we are able to effectively provide a welcoming, safe space and holistic educational and social services that increase the self-sufficiency of the residents in our community. Language and technology literacy is a critical need in Belmont Cragin. Low literacy translates into lost wages, foregone promotions, unemployment and the likelihood of government assistance.
We serve the northwest side of Chicago including Belmont Cragin and the surrounding neighborhoods of Austin, Hanson Park and Portage Park as well as Logan Square, Hermosa, and Montclare. We have partnership sites for Early Childhood Education and Family Support in Dunning and Austin neighborhoods.
Who we serve:
- 97% are below the Federal Poverty Guideline
- 88% single parents
- 80% of those served have less than a high school diploma
- 65% speak only Spanish
- 80% surveyed had never used a computer
- Belmont Cragin is now the largest community of Hispanics/Latinos in Chicago with a population of over 63,000 with 42% of that population having been born outside of the U.S. ( Reported from University of Illinois at Chicago and Metropolitan Family Services)
- Belmont Cragin has the third largest population of “people who speak English less than very well”, placing the community third within the 78 neighborhoods within Chicago that struggle with limited English proficiency. ( 2010 U.S. Census)
- According to the Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition, 500,000 adults in Chicago have “low basic skills,” making it especially difficult to navigate “the changing worlds of technology, career readiness, and health care.”
- 34% of Belmont Cragin residents have less than a high school education.
- According to enrollment data for 2018-2019, the average income was $9,616.39 for adult education learners.
- Of the Early Childhood Education and School Age families served by Onward Neighborhood House, 95% fall below the federal poverty threshold.
- The supply and demand of child care services in the community is gravely imbalanced:
- Only 3% of children eligible for Early Head Start programming are being served
- Only 12% of children eligible for Head Start programming are being served
- Moreover, Belmont Cragin’s 2016 Quality of Life Plan, created by a task force of residents and community organizations and funded by LISC Chicago, emphasizes that residents are “particularly interested in opportunities to find employment or move to a better career, including training, job placement, continuing education and support for entrepreneurs.”