Issue areas

Safety

SWOP's strategy has been to employ an aggressive street level anti-violence intervention initiative and coupled this with a grassroots safety initiative planning process. Safe Havens and other programs have also been developed as alternative for gang members. Continue…

Education

The goal of the Education Team is to transform the culture of schools into a relational culture where parents genuinely feel connected and students, teachers and principals feel supported. This goal is accomplished through concurrent strategies which are targeted toward increasing parental participation, enhancing teacher preparation and developing and strengthening student leadership and student and family support services inside schools. Continue…

Housing

SWOP’s Housing Team led statewide in an important victory on predatory lending. Predatory lending has resulted in hundreds of foreclosures, abandoned buildings, and illegal conversions on the Southwest Side. Continue…

Immigration

The goal of SWOP's immigration team is to ensure the passage of immigration reform as well as adopt local policies aimed at protecting the rights of all newco-mers. SWOP leaders accomplish this goal through a targeted citizenship campaign and voter registration effort. Further, SWOP in partnership with its member institutions and other institutions in its targeted communities builds a strong coalition of immigrant and non-immigrant leaders acting to protect immigrants’ rights and in support of steps toward comprehensive immigration reform. Continue…

Leadership Development

SWOP leaders are immersed in a culture committed to ongoing learning; SWOP is deliberate about seeking to be a school for public life. SWOP staff and senior leaders provide formal leadership training at least three times per year in Spanish and in English. Each training series explores topics such as values, power, self interest, problems and issues, mediating institutions, public and private relationships, relational meetings and life lived in the tension between "the world as it is" and "the world as it should or could be". Continue…

New Communities Program

SWOP is a co-lead agency of the New Communities Program in Chicago Lawn with the Greater Southwest Development Corporation. The New Communities Program is a long-term initiative of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation/Chicago to support comprehensive community development in 16 Chicago neighborhoods. The five-year effort seeks to rejuvenate challenged communities, bolster those in danger of losing ground and preserve the diversity of areas in the path of gentrification. Continue…