The Jonquil Hotel is not just a single room occupancy residence — it’s one big family. In this caring, chaotic, energetic, loud and loving community you’ll find people like Dennis and Zac, young men who help take care of wheelchair bound Elisheva and her two teen-age sons. And you will find Sandy, a 77 year old, helping Selena take care of her 4 grandchildren. Residents Pam and Elizabeth see ministry at the hotel as their calling. As two of the hotel’s unofficial “chaplains”, they transport people to doctor appointments, check on those who are sick or having problems, offering spiritual counsel and prayer. Tammy is helping to clean a neighbor’s room. Shirley encourages Lavelle with scripture after his recent heart attack. The sense of family flows from each resident who brings their own unique gifts to the rest of their family members
There are many SRO’s in Chicago, but the Jonquil stands out because of the Christian foundation that it stands upon. There is more freedom offered without as many rules and regulations set by other SRO’s because of the built-in community that watches out for one another.
Since 1990, Richard Marks has been the Hotel's manager. He says, “The purpose of the Jonquil is to glorify God by providing housing, spiritual nourishment, and opportunities to move on into their own apartment or home.” Our Jonquil Hotel serves as the “2nd stage” in our housing continuum, although many of the current and past residents started in the Jonquil and call it their permanent home. With the cost of rent being an average of $150 less than most subsidized housing in Chicago, many families move to the Jonquil as a stepping stone until they can save enough money to support themselves. There are approximately 53 families living in the Jonquil Hotel, with about 15 working to earn rent credit (to pay for their rooms) as janitors, desk clerks, and maintenance workers.
Park Church has recently begun meeting at Sullivan High School, just a few blocks south of Howard. Their mission: “Living gospel-centered lives…Engaging in city-centric ministry”. Jason Lalonde, pastor, says he recognized right away that Park with GNP would be a great partnership. Jason and his group first came for a Saturday Work Day, helping to clean out and clean up apartments, paint, scrub, and other “hard work projects” within the neighborhood. At this work day, Jason met James Crockett, program director of “C24/7” bible study and after school program. Through Jason attending the Sunday Night Bible Study and several Park men playing basketball at Wiley B. White Center with young men from the neighborhood every Saturday, relationships have formed. Not only do they play together, they pray together. As Jason puts it, “One of the great joys for us, as a one-year old church in Rogers Park, is to have the opportunity to have a genuine partnership in the gospel with the team at Good News Partners. They have given us the tremendous privilege and context for continual learning in what it means to "act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God." It's as if we have been doing this together for years! We are looking forward to mighty works of God in our midst in the coming months and years... and it's going to be great to celebrate His goodness and fame together. “
Good News Partners
For our quarterly meeting
January 22, 2014
9AM in the Jonquil Hotel
Our church collaborative is one of the vital ways churches can partner with Good News Partners and stay connected with other local churches as well. Email email@example.com for more information.
It was a delightful morning at the Jonquil Hotel as over 50 resident, support, volunteer and staff partners gathered for a Christmas Brunch. This was Good News Partners 2nd Annual Christmas Brunch that is shared with our family from Winnetka Presbyterian Church. There is no better way to celebrate Christmas than rejoicing in song and praise with family. Click here to watch a sampling of our singing!
Several inches of snow welcomed the opening of the 2nd Annual Good News Partners Christmas Store on Saturday, December 14th which was held at Gale Academy. Over 100 volunteers from 11 congregations and community groups welcomed and assisted 55 GNP families in selecting gifts for their loved ones over the course of 6 shopping shifts. There were toys, clothes, household items, personal care and electronic items to choose from. And, at the end of the day all residents were invited back to a half price sale of all remaining merchandise. In total, $1,192 Jingle Bucks were spent and $1,222 was raised. As voted upon by the GNP Community earlier in the year, these funds will go back into the GNP Community to continue the renovation of the Warnecke Learning Center at the Jonquil Hotel.
SAVE THE DATE: 2014 CHRISTMAS STORE
Saturday, December 13
We are grateful to all who assisted in making this joyous occasion possible,
Barb Gerleman and Jane Trueheart Huels
Can you believe it’s time to start talking about Thanksgiving? With the holidays around the corner we also know that means busy schedules, extra shopping and chaotic households. Before the busyness arrives, please consider how you can share the holidays with GNP. We will be starting a “Giving Tuesday” campaign, which will be held on Tuesday December 3 of this year. Giving Tuesday is a national day to give back. With the hype of super spending on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, make sure to keep your focus on what is really important by supporting GNP. To donate, click on the "Donate Now" button on the upper right hand side of the screen.
Last year’s Christmas Store was a success because of the generosity of donors and volunteers who took time out of the busyness of the season to volunteer their time. Please join us this year as we prepare for the Second Annual Christmas Store to be held on Saturday, December 14 at Gale Academy. We need people to sort and price the gifts, greet the shoppers, care for children, total the purchases, wrap the gifts and serve treats to all. Volunteers can register online at http://vols.pt/v73Lc9.
We hope that the spirit of Christmas will move you to share your time ~ it is guaranteed to be the best Christmas gift you receive this year!
Barb Gerleman Jane Trueheart Huels
Good News Partners Annual Community Dinner
Join us as we celebrate learning to live together peacefully and productively. An evening of uplifting stories, sharing in fellowship and enjoying great music.
Friday, October 25, 2013
First Presbyterian Church of Evanston
1427 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL
This year's program includes:
Music for your dancing and listening pleasure by Tim Williams Band, Urban Rhythm Band
We invite you to purchase a seat for $50 or sponsor a table for 8 for $400. If you are unable to attend, but would still like to contribute, your gift will help purchase a seat for one of our resident partners.
RSVP by October 11, 2013- to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 773-764-4998 x 107
Our hope is that this event will stir an excitement in our own runners and also others who see our team members representing Good News Partners.
To prepare our team for the race, we held a carb-loading, pasta party the evening prior at the Warnecke Learning Center. It was a great time of fellowship with one another and also gave our runners the opportunity to spend time in the neighborhood. Then on September 8, our running team headed to Jackson Park to compete in the Chicago Half Marathon and 5K. Kaleyah, a 14 year-old currently living in New Life Interim Housing, was one of our 5k runners this year. She says, “It was a fun and inspiring event. I saw so many people there that were supporting Good News Partners and supporting me. I want to do the half marathon next year!”
We look forward to next year’s race and hope to double, or even triple, our team. Please contact Natalie@goodnewspartners.org if you would like more information. You can never start training too early.
Good News Partners is launching a summer reading program geared toward elementary and middle school students. With the help our dedicated volunteers, GNP is hosting this opportunity for our young learners to dig into books and have a fun, safe and educational experience. Our summer reading program will be held a few days out of the week for the entire summer. To entice more students to join, we will be offering snacks, an air conditioned room for 1 ½ hours a day, as well as books for them to take home.
Our hope is that this program will help keep their reading skills up during the summer, helping them to pick up farther ahead in the school year. “More than 1/2 of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.” (National Summer Reading Association). Low-income students lose up to two months of reading level achievement during summer vacation. Seems like very harsh statistics, but these are the realities the students in the GNP neighborhood face. Summertime, although celebrated and looked forward to since Christmas break, is also a season of increased violence and decreased brain stimulation.
Our students have a critical role in the transformation of this community. They are future parents and leaders and we take our responsibility in supporting and training them seriously. If you are interested in being a part of our reading program as a volunteer, please contact email@example.com.