Thank you for taking time out of your day to hear our story. Here's what we want you to know: We deserve a place to call home, so we are building it ourselves. We are launching JumpStart, a housing co-op for formerly incarcerated people. And we need your help to make our dream a reality.
When you've been incarcerated, access to decent, safe, affordable housing is nearly impossible, especially in big cities like Chicago. People discriminate against you even when it's illegal for them to do so. This is true even when we make good and steady wages, which we have been able to do as co-owners of ChiFresh Kitchen.
Building on our experience launching ChiFresh as a worker cooperative, we are now creating a housing co-op for us and others who have been incarcerated. We're starting by purchasing and doing light renovations on a 3-floor building in Bronzeville, but our larger vision is to offer dozens if not hundreds of units to our community coming home.
We can't do this on our own - we need support from people who understand how important it is for the formerly incarcerated community to have access to good housing and see how co-ops can help us meet our needs. The money will go to the purchase of this first property, which is also near public transit (Green Line) and has a vacant lot we're hoping to acquire!
Here is a story in the Chicago Reader about Jumpstart (before we named it).
We appreciate every little thing that you can offer. Thank you!