Jimi Hickman...A story of a Life Rebuilt
Jimi Hickman is a member of the Good News Partners Board of Directors and also lives in the GNP neighborhood. His story is one of overcoming extreme hardship as a child and rebuilding his life.
Jimi was raised in adverse poverty by two teenage parents, one of which was an alcoholic. He experienced abuse and had little academic stimulation. When Jimi was 17, his mother was murdered and he was soon after kicked out of the home he was living in. Jimi says he "raised himself." He moved into his cousin's home, completed high school and joined the military. In his mid-20's, Jimi began to contemplate his future and dreamed of ways to start his own business.
In 1999, Jimi found himself divorced and broke, with nowhere to go. He moved into the Jonquil Hotel Single Room Occupancy affordable housing, began rebuilding his life and, at the same time, became an active partner in building the community. It was at this time he signed up for an individual account program, which was a life-long dream. He continues to operate a residential and commercial cleaning business that contributes to support the economy in the North of Howard neighborhood by hiring employees from the community.
Jimi's dynamic role in the community and the Good News Partners family has served as a model for others who are in need of hope and motivation in the midst of trials and tribulations. He has not only served on the Board of Directors for the last 10 years, but is also the president of his housing co-operative association, a respected business owner in the neighborhood, and far from where he started on the South Side of Chicago. Jimi sums it up by saying, "Good News Partners has provided opportunities for personal growth and expansion. I was ready for something to help me move forward in my own personal life. With the help and synergy of Good News Partners I have developed into who I have wanted to be."