Happenings @GNP

New Rehab Solutions!


Two members of Willow Creek North Shore Church, Casey Tormoen and wife, Terse Wallen, wanted to share their gifts and talents with others. They are the owners of Prompt Property Solutions, a rehab company in Northbrook. They and many of their vendors reached out to Good News Partners offering to completely rehab an apartment, The Phoenix co-op building, as a donation to GNP. As a part of this generous offer they will be hiring help from within the neighborhood to promote training, mentoring, and employment! Our Church Collaborative will be focusing on Housing and Employment this next year, so this is a great kick-off for GNP. Thanks Casey and Terese, for leading the way!

The Ending Hopelessness Part...


"Chaplaincy at GNP focuses on the 'ending hopelessness' portion of GNP's mission statement," explains Chaplain Nora Wilburne. "We develop relationships with resident partners to discover gifts in the community and to offer chaplain support as needed." 

Nora initiated a Chaplaincy Ally Roundtable over a year ago to help effectively meet the needs of GNP's 500 residents, many of who are in a vulnerable place in their life. It is a comprehensive approach addressing crisis intervention, evangelism and outreach, community and church building, and Christian education and development.

Members of the Roundtable, dubbed Ally Chaplains, pray for the entire GNP community, make hospital visits, help with everyday actvities, and communicate the praises and concerns of resident partners to Nora and/or appropriate GNP staff members. Allies also learn about resident's gifts and talents in order to plug them into opportunities within and outside of the GNP community. You can see an example of how this works in GNP's latest Annual Report in the article on Community Renewal. 

The Chaplaincy Roundtable also offers the opportunity for Allies to serve alongside Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) in a 5 day program very similar to Vacation Bible School. The program will run twice this summer, July 21-25 from 4-5:30pm and August 4-8 from 11am-12:30pm.

While Nora will continue to provide pastoral counseling, crisis intervention, leadership in future recruitment, and the training and retention of volunteers, the assistance and dedication of the Chaplaincy Ally Roundtable will allow GNP to reach more resident partners, helping them to uncover how their gifts can enrich the GNP community and contribute to the fulfillment of the GNP mission.

"To Pay for Housing You Need a Job!"

This was the sentiment of the GNP Church Collaborative at the Annual Church Luncheon in May. Each year churches affiliated with GNP (and those who would like to explore partnering with GNP) gather to brainstorm "How can we further our mutual mission to end homelessness?" The churches then meet three times a year to develop and report on the development of those plans.

Powerful testimonies from our four churches told of passion for providing creative affordable housing, rehabbing housing at GNP, training and employment opportunities for residents through apprenticeships, and mentoring of young men and young boys caught in the pressure of gang membership. At the conclusion, Bud Ogle, President of GNP, asked "How do we collaboratively weave these things together to work to make an impact?" The answer was a resounding "Jobs--the community members need jobs." 

This summer a sub-commitee will gather to draft a proposal for the September meeting of the Church Collaborative, planning ways to make a tangible difference in the community. We invite all churches to join in the collaborative effort. If you would like to be a part of the planning committee, please contact Jan Hubbard at jan@goodnewspartners.org.

MORE On-Ramps to Partnership

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. “

Life in the Jonquil Hotel

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.

Launching our Saturday Store!

The Warnecke Learning Center was transformed into the Saturday Store on July 13th.  GNP families came out to shop s for household items and toys. The Saturday Store will be open once a month, offering items such as electronics, clothes, toys, books and household items. Residents shop at deep discounts using cash or “jingle buck” credits they earn through working jobs in the GNP community. The proceeds from these sales will be added to the monies from the Christmas Store and will go towards the completion of the Warnecke Learning Center upon the recommendation of the Resident’s Council. 

This is a great opportunity to build into a new business in the North of Howard area – a Re-Sale shop where residents may work and shop.  If you are interested in helping us develop this “start-up”, please contact jan@goodnewspartners.org

The Warnecke Learning Center

On Sunday July 14, 2013 Good News Partners celebrated the long-term partnership of Dick and Barbara Warnecke by renaming our Jonquil Hotel Learning Center in their honor. Dick and Barbara have been a part of the GNP family for over 15 years. Their commitment to education and passion for the neighborhood has been an inspiration to many.

In memory of their grandson, Sean, Dick and Barbara have made a generous contribution in order for Good News Partners to hire an educational coordinator. This has been a long anticipated position in the community. With this new role, we will be able to coordinate the educational activities of Good News partners, and directly support and coach the families and individuals in the GNP community.  Networking with other local organizations, monitoring school attendance, and work with resident partners to develop and follow through on their individual education plans, this position is critical to our work in community development.  If you are also interested in supporting this new position,  please consider making a contribution or pledge. Email jan@goodnewspartners.org for more information. 

                Good News Partners is thankful for the Warnecke’s hard work, generosity and dedication, and that their name will live on in the GNP neighborhood through The Warnecke Learning Center.

Recruiting all runners!

Good News Partners is once again partnering with the 17th Annual Chicago Half Marathon and 5k. We want YOU to be a part of our team! This is a great way to help spread the good news of our mission of ending homelessness and hopelessness in the North of Howard neighborhood of Rogers Park to your friends and family. With two race options available, a ½ marathon or 5k, there is room for everyone on our team. The race is still 3 ½ months away, which gives you plenty of time to get in shape! We found it to be a fun and rewarding event last year and have high expectations for the 2013 race.

We will be having two team runs leading up to race day as well as a pasta party the night before the big race! All team members will recieve a free running t-shirt for race day as well.

Our early bird rates of $150 and $250 for the 5k and ½ marathon end on July 1st. Remember, you are able to collect donations from family and friends in order to help you raise money. We will be sending a direct link to you that you can share through an email or other online communication.

Please email Natalie@goodnewspartners.org for more information and to register to be a part of our running team.

Rejuvenating Mother's Day at New Life

With the help of Second Baptist Church and New Life Covenant North, the mothers and children at New Life Interim Housing celebrated Mother’s Day in a special way. Schona Buranda, Director of New Life Interim Housing, says “We had church in here! The Spirit was moving. Women experienced healing and a release of hurts that they have lived with for many years. I see the mothers praying together and reading the Bible together now.”

Not only has New Life Interim Housing experienced a deep spiritual transformation since Mother’s Day, but there is also reason to celebrate because every single woman living in the shelter is either employed or enrolled in school. The level of motivation and dedication currently seen at the shelter is inspiring and a testimony to God’s work of ending homelessness and hopelessness among us.

Listen to the short stories of Marilyn and Victoria, two mothers living at New Life, and how living in the shelter has impacted their lives this Mother’s Day. Listen and watch here.

Annual Church Luncheon

Spring has arrived which also means our Annual Church Luncheon is approaching. Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 marks the date of this year’s lunch which will be held at the Winnetka Congregational Church. Good News Partners is blessed by the investment of our church partners and their willingness to walk with us as we work toward fulfilling our mutual mission. We look forward to more church partners around the table to discuss ways to further our partnership and share evidences of God’s work among us.


When: Thursday, May 23, 2012

12 pm-2 pm

Winnetka Congregational Church

725 Pine St., Winnetka, IL 60093


                                     RSVP to Natalie@goodnewspartners.org or call 773-764-4998 x107