Wellness and workforce development project planned for Chicago’s Humboldt Park

Group aims to fight disparities

Humboldt Park (iStock, Block Club, Illustration by Shea for the Real Deal)
Humboldt Park (iStock, Block Club, Illustration by Shea for the Real Deal)

Home health organization ASI Home Care is in the process of securing funding to build a $7 million wellness and workforce development facility to fight health disparities in Humboldt Park.

ASI Home Care, headquartered to the west of Wicker Park at 700 N. Sacramento Blvd., wants to buy land from Humboldt Park Health to build a new 16,000-square-foot facility, ASI Home Care CEO Marta Cerda told Block Club Chicago.

ASI would run workforce development and training programs out of the space, aimed at employing residents in the home health, information technology and manufacturing industries. It would partner with local colleges and Latino-led programs. The group, which employs 350 people, would be able to train 15,000 people there annually.

“Employment is a key determinant of health, so it’s so important we have [job training] within our facility,” Cerda told Block Club. “This new building is an expansion of our commitment to improving access to quality health care, care for the elderly and employment opportunities.”

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Cerda declined to provide an exact address for the project, Block Club reported.

Humboldt Park is one of Chicago’s many gentrifying neighborhoods. The city council last month approved a 64-unit affordable housing project in an effort to mitigate the impact on local residents, as part of a $1 billion package announced in December by Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

City, state and federal aid would be needed to secure funding, along with private partners and new market tax credits. ASI provides at-home care for patients, demand for which has risen during the coronavirus pandemic.

Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President Jaime di Paulo expressed support for the project to Block Club.

“This is a good project because there’s been all this talk about gentrification. This is actually going to create jobs in the area,” he said. “Good projects don’t mean gentrification. It has to be a good responsible project that really values the culture of the community.”

[Block Club Chicago] – Harrison Connery