GNP Property Portfolio

We believe everyone should have a place to live at a price they can afford. As the North of Howard neighborhood has changed we have made a commitment to be good neighbors and to create a solid anchor to prevent the total displacement of low-income families. Most of the 550 people living in the ten buildings GNP owns and manages would have lost their housing if we were not partnering with one another.

Shelters and SRO
For many, the first step out of Homelessness is moving into our Shelter or the Jonquil Hotel, a SRO, or single room occupancy building which is set up similar in a dorm-style. Homeless women and children can join us at New Life Interim Housing, which is networked with Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services. From these residencies, each family creates a plan with specific steps that need to be taken each week to accomplish family goals, including long-term housing.

Rental Apartments
When families are ready to move from New Life or the Jonquil SRO, some have the opportunity to move to one of our studio, 1, 2, or 3-bedroom affordable rental apartments.

Cooperative Buildings
Most of our housing consists of our co-operatives, where families without enough income or positive credit history to buy a used car are able to begin buying their own house. Over the years we have found this to be our most effective investment to help people work out of poverty. We’ve been blessed to partner with over 160 families who came to us homeless, worked hard, built up equity in one of our co-ops, and used that equity as down payment to buy their own home.

Hope House

Good News Partner’s first residential building was the Hope House on North Bosworth Avenue. Good News Partners was only able to purchase the building because the previous owners were so convinced of the importance of Christian community in this struggling neighborhood, they cut the purchase price in half. 

Since then, at the urging of long term residents who desired to take the next step away from homelessness toward becoming home owners, we converted the Hope House into affordable condominiums, giving residents who were ready a chance to purchase their unit, and develop some of the skills required to maintain their own space.  

The Jonquil Hotel

When the people who would become Good News Partners first got involved with the North of Howard neighborhood, the Jonquil Hotel was a center for drugs and prostitution in the gang and violence dominated neighborhood. When one of our founders began to hear God calling us to invest in the Jonquil Hotel in 1980, most thought it completely unrealistic.  However, through continued prayer, more and more of us at Good News Partners became convinced that this was where God wanted us.

In the years that would follow, the Jonquil Hotel grew into an oasis: a safe respite from the trials of the neighborhood; a place where neighbors check up on each other and help watch each other’s kids. The Jonquil Hotel is now home to nearly fifty adults and children, as well as the Warnecke Learning Center where the c24-7 program runs after school programs. 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.” 

Phoenix Coop

In the early 1980s, the building that would come to be known as the Phoenix Co-op was just a burned out shell: for decades snow, ice and despair had been tearing the building apart.  With seed money from a dozen families from Winnetka Presbyterian Church, and the tireless work from from our 35-person rehab crew, brick by brick and board by board, the Phoenix Co-op was born. 

Within two years, the building became a refuge where 17 families began to realize their dreams of safety and security.  Ever since, it has remained our flagship co-op, where families struggling to get away from homelessness can have an opportunity to earn equity and begin to build their way toward home-ownership. 

New Life Interim Housing

By the early nineties, the Jonquil Hotel had made such a miraculous transition from the place it had previously been, that several members of the community there were asking that we would make the building completely drug-free; so that we could provide support for anyone working out of addiction, but any dishonest and irresponsible abusers would be asked to leave.  This created a large crisis for Good News Partners, because in an attempt to be providing further refuge, we would have to evict several mothers and with them, their children; wonderful, innocent children were about to become homeless because their mothers were destroying the Jonquil’s fragile healing culture.  The resultant crisis much prayer led us to conclude we cannot sacrifice innocent children because of the parents’ addictions, but we also couldn’t sacrifice newly recovering and vulnerable addicts by being too patient with non-recovering addicts. 

Out of this, the vision for New Life came to us.  Miraculously, a large old garage just around the corner on Paulina Street had just been foreclosed.  The mortgage was being held by Glenview State Bank, the president of which one of our founders knew. So, with nothing but hope, we approached him with our vision for converting the space into a thriving home of hope and recovery for otherwise homeless women and children.  It turned out the mortgage was far out of reach for Good News Partners; however, upon hearing our vision for the space, the bank’s president asked us how much we could afford, and then agreed to sell us the property for only $75,000. 

Thus, New Life Interim Housing was born, a place where we could provide for the least of these in the most dire situations, without sacrificing the growth and health of our other residents.  

Esperanza Latina Co-op

After more than a decade of efforts to bridge the ethnic divide between African-Americans and Latinos in our neighborhood, the turf for constant inter-gang warfare between the Gangster Disciples (primarily Belizean-Americans and African-Americans) and the Latin Kings (primarily Mexican-Americans), the building directly across the street from the Jonquil hotel was listed for sale, which was home to more than 25 Mexican-American families. 

After the price for the dilapidated building turned out to again be far out of reach for Good News Partners, a couple of our faithful support partners decided to purchase the building as private investors, and then proceeded to sell it back to us for only three quarters of what they had paid for it. 

During a nearly $1 million gut rehab project, Good News Partners managed to not displace a single family. And since becoming a co-op, nine of the original families have been able to use their sweat equity in the building to secure mortgages and purchase their own homes.  The Esperanza Latina Co-op continues to provide a working model of Good News Partners’ housing priorities – people before buildings, and community empowerment rather than social service.

The Fargo Co-op

In 1999, our neighborhood saw three former People’s Housing buildings being shut down and slated for condo conversions, evicting all of their tenants.  As Good News Partners was scrambling to find housing for some of the soon-to-be evicted tenants, our neighbor Kim Bobo heard about the need, and decided that her current home might be the perfect answer.  She decided she was willing to sell the building for what she needed, rather than what the market would allow, and with the help of about a half a dozen of Good News partners’ most generous supporters, we purchased the beautiful 3-flat on Fargo Ave, converting it into the 5-unit Fargo Co-op. 

The traditional Rogers Park-style 3-flat gives opportunities for larger families that many of our buildings just don’t have the space for, and as such, has grown into an exceptional, family-oriented community, and one of our most stable co-ops. 

JanCrowe Pierce

Another problem building that had been plaguing the neighborhood for decades, is the property now known as the JanCrowe Pierce building - or JCP.  The building went through a series of different owners and management companies over a couple of decades, all of whom thought they’d be able to ignore the building and just collect rent.  Most of the owners in those time periods lasted only a couple of years. 

Our neighborhood was continually suffering from this poorly managed, neglected building that had become a haven for drug sales and other gang activities. Our model of housing had been somewhat incomplete, as we were lacking housing for people who were stable enough to move on from our shelter or SRO Hotel, but weren’t quite ready for the responsibilities of being part of a co-op.