Putting Faith Into Action
Located at 1600 West Jonquil Terrace, Good News Partners is a faith-based community development organization serving the North of Howard area in Rogers Park. Good News Partners believes that the best course to effecting change is to create personal relationships and build community. The organization’s mission is “to end homelessness and hopelessness with everyone God brings us—to foster justice and build bridges of reconciliation” This community also runs New Life Interim Housing, subsidized rental housing, and co-operative housing for families with low incomes. Founded in 1976, Good News Partners began as a faith-based initiative to help a part of Rogers Park where residents were struggling with poverty. Presbyterian Rev. Arthur “Bud” Ogle, once the campus pastor at Northwestern University, encouraged his Evanston students to experience the reality of poverty by exploring the Chicago neighborhood of Germania, more often referred to as “North of Howard.” With this goal in mind, the first group of students took their volleyball equipment to the streets surrounding the Howard Red Line stop. Their experiences inspired a recreation center for local children, and the group moved forward with the creation of a small homeless shelter. Plans quickly grew as donations and a loan allowed the organization to purchase the Jonquil Hotel which had been gutted by a fire. This was turned into low-rent apartments. What began as an outreach project became a fast-growing organization seeking to build on the gifts and talents of all involved by building communities, creating venues of justice and hope. Good News Partners now offers a variety of affordable housing across several buildings, as well as programs created to support the neighborhood’s children. Through the Reading Coaches program hundreds of children have been helped to achieve academic success.