Open Communities

Open Communities Open Communities' mission is to ensure that housing in north suburban Chicago is fair and inclusive. Quality housing is a human right; fair housing is the law.

Open Communities educates and promotes fair housing practices in the north and northwest suburbs of Chicago making them welcoming for everyone. Our programs include landlord-tenant, foreclosure, and housing counseling services, community education, and fair housing investigations and enforcement. Open Communities' mission is to educate, advocate, and organize to promote just and inclusive communit

ies in North Suburban Chicago. We seek to eradicate housing discrimination, in all of its forms and against all persons, due to race, color, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, s*x, s*xual orientation, disability, familial status, or source of income.

Our offices will be closed for winter break from December 25-January 1st. Wishing you warmth, shelter, and hope this hol...
12/22/2023

Our offices will be closed for winter break from December 25-January 1st. Wishing you warmth, shelter, and hope this holiday season!

This month is Universal Human Rights Month. At Open Communities, we believe housing is a human right and work every day ...
12/22/2023

This month is Universal Human Rights Month. At Open Communities, we believe housing is a human right and work every day to ensure our neighbors in north suburban Chicago have access to safe, stable, fair housing.

If you've experienced housing discrimination or need help keeping your home, contact us at [email protected]. If you'd like to join us in the fight for housing justice for all, donate at www.open-communities.org/donateandserve.

This winter everyone deserves a warm, stable home. Will you help? Open Communities assists people who are worried about ...
12/20/2023

This winter everyone deserves a warm, stable home. Will you help? Open Communities assists people who are worried about losing their homes and advocates for those facing housing discrimination. Donate today to spread more warmth in our community: https://www.open-communities.org/donateandserve

With evictions on the rise and homeowners struggling to pay increasing bills, many older adults and long-time residents ...
12/19/2023

With evictions on the rise and homeowners struggling to pay increasing bills, many older adults and long-time residents are being forced to move from our communities. Others are barred from housing altogether due to illegal discrimination.

Your donation ensures more people like D.S. will have an advocate to help them keep a stable home. Will you join us in the fight for housing justice? Our board will match your donations through the end of the year up to $20,000! www.open-communities.org/donateandserve

Useful tenant tips for this winter from our community partners HOPE Fair Housing Center.
12/18/2023

Useful tenant tips for this winter from our community partners HOPE Fair Housing Center.

The winter holidays are upon us, which means safety checks are in order! Follow these tips to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable season.

Note - depending on your lease, it may fall to either you or your landlord to provide maintenance on things like your smoke detector, HVAC system, or shoveling snow. Be in communication with your housing provider about who is responsible. And, advocate for yourself! If your sidewalk hasn't been salted or your smoke alarm's batteries need changing and it's your landlord's job to do it, get in touch with them right away.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Thank you to our community partner, Family Focus, for inviting us to talk about Fair Housing rights and our housing supp...
12/16/2023

Thank you to our community partner, Family Focus, for inviting us to talk about Fair Housing rights and our housing support services at "Bajo Este Techo"/"Under this Roof" at the Robert Crown Branch of the Evanston Public Library.

If you have experienced housing discrimination, or are looking for support to help you keep your home or reach your housing goals, contact us at [email protected] or www.open-communities.org.

Cook County evictions will NOT be carried out by the Sheriff between December 18 and January 3rd, 2024.The Cook County S...
12/15/2023

Cook County evictions will NOT be carried out by the Sheriff between December 18 and January 3rd, 2024.

The Cook County Sheriff will also cease evictions whenever the outside temperature is 15 degrees or colder on the date of the eviction or when extreme weather conditions endanger the health and welfare of those to be evicted.

If you're facing eviction or worried about losing your home, contact us at [email protected] or 847-501-5760 for free assistance.

Thanks to a generous board match, your donation now through December 31st, 2023 will be DOUBLED, dollar-for-dollar, up t...
12/15/2023

Thanks to a generous board match, your donation now through December 31st, 2023 will be DOUBLED, dollar-for-dollar, up to $20,000! Make a bigger impact in the fight for Fair Housing by giving today: www.open-communities.org/donateandserve.

MAÑANA: Estan invitadas a la charla "Conoce tus Derechos, Conoce tus Soluciones, y Conoce tus Recursos". Miercoles 13 de...
12/12/2023

MAÑANA: Estan invitadas a la charla "Conoce tus Derechos, Conoce tus Soluciones, y Conoce tus Recursos". Miercoles 13 de Diciembre del 2023, 10-11:45 am en la Biblioteca de Robert Crown.

Si usted vive en Evanston y trabaja en el campo, jardinería, removiendo nieve, empacadora, fábrica or procesadora de comida, rancho, vivero, invernadero o restaurante, traiga su talón de cheque, identificación con comprobante de domicilio, para ver si califica para una tarjeta de regalo!

https://www.open-communities.org/event-details/circulo-de-mujeres

TOMORROW: Join Open Communities for an in-person event where we'll guide you through the exciting journey of becoming a ...
12/11/2023

TOMORROW: Join Open Communities for an in-person event where we'll guide you through the exciting journey of becoming a homeowner. Owning a home takes a lot of time, money, and energy, so it is important to not only be educated about the process but also about homeownership. A buyer needs to carefully weigh the pros and cons of ownership and take a realistic look at the process. Homebuyer education classes help the consumer have a realistic view of owning a home.

After the workshop, you will be able to set up a free appointment to meet with a counselor one-on-one (if interested). If you need a Pre-purchase Certificate for your mortgage product or down payment assistance program, you will need to complete both days of the workshop, as well as a one-on-one appointment with a housing counselor.

Dec 12, 2023, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM at Open Communities, 1740 Ridge Ave suite 117, Evanston, IL 60201. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-to-become-a-homeowner-part-1-tickets-756351436507?aff=oddtdtcreator

For many people, holiday times can be difficult. Don't give up hope. If you're struggling this holiday season, help is a...
12/10/2023

For many people, holiday times can be difficult. Don't give up hope. If you're struggling this holiday season, help is available.

Call 800-FACT-400 (800-322-8400) to reach the caring professionals at Trilogy who can help you or someone you know in a time of crisis. TrilogyInc.org.

🎉Today is the 2nd work anniversary of Dominic Voz, our dynamic Director of Fair Housing!Dominic leads our Fair Housing d...
12/06/2023

🎉Today is the 2nd work anniversary of Dominic Voz, our dynamic Director of Fair Housing!

Dominic leads our Fair Housing department in investigating and enforcing fair housing practices and policies, assisting clients facing housing discrimination, and advocating for positive changes to make our communities more accessible and welcoming for all. Thank you, Dominic, for working so hard to make our community better!

Learn more about Dominic on our website www.open-communities.org/about.

Community Care:If you need help with holiday food or toys for your family this season, register now through Friday, Dece...
12/05/2023

Community Care:

If you need help with holiday food or toys for your family this season, register now through Friday, December 8th to be a recipient of the Evanston Mayor's Holiday Food, Book & Toy Drive by calling 847-448-4311 or 3-1-1 from Evanston.

If you have extra to give this season, you can drop off donations at locations throughout Evanston. Learn more here: https://www.cityofevanston.org/government/departments/parks-recreation-community-services/programs-events/holiday-food-and-toy-drive #!

12/05/2023

As the holidays quickly approach, we know this time of year can be difficult for many. If you or someone you know is struggling to cope emotionally this holiday season, reach out. Call or text the . Trained crisis counselors are available, 24/7/365. 💚 https://bit.ly/3BmaKQS

Thank you to Trilogy, Inc. for presenting an informative, interactive Mental Health Awareness Training for our staff to ...
12/04/2023

Thank you to Trilogy, Inc. for presenting an informative, interactive Mental Health Awareness Training for our staff to help us provide more trauma-informed housing support for our clients.

For neighbors in North Chicago and the northern suburbs, if you notice someone experiencing a mental health emergency, rather than calling the police, contact Trilogy's First-response Alternative Crisis Team (FACT) at 1-800-FACT-400 for immediate mental health crisis support.

For trauma-informed support when you're facing housing discrimination or are worried about losing your housing, contact Open Communities at [email protected] or open-communities.org.

ATTENTION COOK COUNTY RESIDENTSAll income-eligible households may now apply for LIHEAP for assistance with their heating...
12/02/2023

ATTENTION COOK COUNTY RESIDENTS

All income-eligible households may now apply for LIHEAP for assistance with their heating and electric bills. Whether your home is heated by natural gas, electricity, oil, or propane, CEDA can help! There is also cash assistance available for households whose utilities are included in their rent. Qualified homeowners can receive vouchers for repairing or replacing their inoperable heating systems, such as furnaces and boilers. Remember that help is available even if you are not behind on your heating or electric bills!

Visit www.CEDAorg.net/Bills for more details or contact the Call Center at (800) 571- 2332. Applications will be taken first come first serve through August 15, 2024, or until funds are exhausted.

If you need help applying, contact Open Communities' housing counselors for more support at [email protected].
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ATENCIÓN RESIDENTES DEL CONDADO DE COOK

Ahora, todos los hogares con ingresos elegibles pueden solicitar ayuda de LIHEAP con sus facturas de calefacción y electricidad. Ya sea que su hogar tenga calefacción con gas natural, electricidad, petróleo o propano, ¡CEDA puede ayuda

También hay asistencia en efectivo disponible para hogares cuyos servicios públicos están incluidos en el alquiler. Los propietarios de viviendas calificadas pueden recibir cupones para reparar o reemplazar sus sistemas de calefacción inoperables, como hornos y calderas. Recuerde que hay ayuda disponible incluso si no está atrasado en sus facturas de calefacción o electricidad.

Visite www.CEDAorg.net/Bills para obtener más detalles o comuníquese con el Centro de llamadas al (800) 571-2332. Las solicitudes se aceptarán por orden de llegada hasta el 15 de agosto de 2024 o hasta que se agoten los fondos.

🎉Today is the 2nd work anniversary of Cheryl Lawrence, our awesome CEO at Open Communities! We are so grateful for Chery...
12/01/2023

🎉Today is the 2nd work anniversary of Cheryl Lawrence, our awesome CEO at Open Communities! We are so grateful for Cheryl's steady, bold, collaborative leadership that builds on our over 50-year organizational history. Cheryl's executive experience in the nonprofit, business, legal, and fair housing sectors is helping us grow our impact in the community. Thank you, Cheryl, for all you do! Learn more about Cheryl on our website www.open-communities.org/about.

Thank YOU!! We are so grateful for the way our community shows up to care for one another. You make our communities more...
11/29/2023

Thank YOU!! We are so grateful for the way our community shows up to care for one another. You make our communities more inclusive, welcoming, and vibrant. We are so grateful for your support!

www.open-communities.org/donateandserve

I’ve been working at Open Communities for 4 years now! On this giving Tuesday please support open and inclusive communit...
11/29/2023

I’ve been working at Open Communities for 4 years now! On this giving Tuesday please support open and inclusive communities and help families find stable housing!

Together, we're making a difference in our community!

Donate today and DOUBLE your impact on Giving Tuesday with a generous dollar-for-dollar match up to $20,000. https://secure.lglforms.com/form_engine/s/F2q0hEH3ZrgHa0j9cYtA0Q

Your support helps us make an impact to:

- Promote BIPOC homeownership to reduce racial wealth gaps
- Prevent homelessness for families at risk of eviction
- Assist older adults facing foreclosure to age-in-place
- Advocate for accessibility for people with disabilities
- Educate tenants/landlords on Fair Housing rights/responsibilities
- Make our neighborhoods more affordable, accessible, and welcoming for all.

Thank you for making our communities more inclusive for all of us!
🏠🏘🏢🙌💞💓

Together, we're making a difference in our community!Donate today and DOUBLE your impact on Giving Tuesday with a genero...
11/28/2023

Together, we're making a difference in our community!

Donate today and DOUBLE your impact on Giving Tuesday with a generous dollar-for-dollar match up to $20,000. https://secure.lglforms.com/form_engine/s/F2q0hEH3ZrgHa0j9cYtA0Q

Your support helps us make an impact to:

- Promote BIPOC homeownership to reduce racial wealth gaps
- Prevent homelessness for families at risk of eviction
- Assist older adults facing foreclosure to age-in-place
- Advocate for accessibility for people with disabilities
- Educate tenants/landlords on Fair Housing rights/responsibilities
- Make our neighborhoods more affordable, accessible, and welcoming for all.

Thank you for making our communities more inclusive for all of us!
🏠🏘🏢🙌💞💓

!DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT!Your donation to Open Communities now through Dec 31st will be matched $1 for $1 up to $20,000 by a ...
11/28/2023

!DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT!

Your donation to Open Communities now through Dec 31st will be matched $1 for $1 up to $20,000 by a generous board donation!

Thank you for your partnership supporting our work for housing justice in north suburban Chicago.

www.open-communities.org/donateandserve

Get ready!! Tomorrow is  ! Will you help us stand up to housing discrimination and help people keep their homes this win...
11/27/2023

Get ready!! Tomorrow is ! Will you help us stand up to housing discrimination and help people keep their homes this winter?

Here are some of the ways we are making an impact, together:

- Advocating for Reasonable Accommodations for people with disabilities
- Preventing homelessness for single mothers faced with eviction
- Assisting older adults at risk of foreclosure to age in place in our communities
- Promoting BIPOC homeownership
- Educating immigrants and landlords about their Fair Housing rights and responsibilities
- Fighting for renters denied apartments due to their Source of Income
- Speaking up for just housing policies that make our neighborhoods more affordable, accessible, and thriving for everyone

Together, let's make north suburban Chicago more welcoming for all.

www.open-communities.org/donateandserve

Client Story - Making an Impact: Advocating for Reasonable Accommodations for People with Disabilities.This year we help...
11/26/2023

Client Story - Making an Impact: Advocating for Reasonable Accommodations for People with Disabilities.

This year we helped John, who uses a powered wheelchair, to receive a dedicated parking spot near his unit. Previously, his building only had first-come-first-served accessible parking spots that would fill quickly. This caused John to stop leaving his home for fear of not having an accessible way back to his unit when he returned.

Through our advocacy with fair housing attorneys and organizational leaders, not only did we succeed in securing a reasonable accommodation for John, we also convinced this large, local housing provider to change their accommodation policies to be compliant with the law, impacting hundreds of future renters with disabilities and giving them a dignified route back home.

This Giving Tuesday, November 28th, join us in making an impact as we advocate for fair housing and help keep neighbors accessibly and stably housed! https://www.open-communities.org/donateandserve

Client Story - Making an Impact: Educating Latina Women about their Fair Housing Rights.One of our Community Navigators,...
11/25/2023

Client Story - Making an Impact: Educating Latina Women about their Fair Housing Rights.

One of our Community Navigators, Mayra Moreno recently held "Conoce Tus Derechos"/"Know Your Rights" - a Fair Housing 101 workshop with a group of Latina women at the public library. Learning how local and national Fair Housing laws offer protection from housing discrimination based on national origin, s*x, race, color, religion, family status, disability, criminal history, or source of income, among other protected classes, was eye-opening for many of the participants.

Previously they had normalized the idea of being treated differently. After learning about laws that protect their rights, the women felt empowered to be able to do something about it. Several commented, "Toda una bendición. It was a blessing to attend the meeting."

This Giving Tuesday, November 28th, join us in making an impact as we educate and advocate for fair housing and help keep neighbors stably housed! Client Story - Making an Impact: Educating Latina Women about their Fair Housing Rights.

One of our Community Navigators, Mayra Moreno recently held "Conoce Tus Derechos"/"Know Your Rights" - a Fair Housing 101 workshop with a group of Latina women at the public library. Learning how local and national Fair Housing laws offer protection from housing discrimination based on national origin, s*x, race, color, religion, family status, disability, criminal history, or source of income, among other protected classes, was eye-opening for many of the participants.

Previously they had normalized the idea of being treated differently. After learning about laws that protect their rights, the women felt empowered to be able to do something about it. Several commented, "Toda una bendición. It was a blessing to attend the meeting."

This Giving Tuesday, November 28th, join us in making an impact as we educate and advocate for fair housing and help keep neighbors stably housed! https://www.open-communities.org/donateandserve

"

Client Story - Making an Impact: Keeping Neighbors HousedOur staff stands by our clients every step of the way when they...
11/24/2023

Client Story - Making an Impact: Keeping Neighbors Housed

Our staff stands by our clients every step of the way when they are facing housing challenges. Recently, we assisted Corinthia in securing funds to pay overdue fees and connecting her with free legal services so she could avoid eviction and stay in her home with her son.

Join us this Giving Tuesday, November 28th, in making an impact as we advocate for fair housing and help keep neighbors stably housed!

https://www.open-communities.org/donateandserve

Our offices will be closed tomorrow, November 23rd and Friday, November 24th.
11/22/2023

Our offices will be closed tomorrow, November 23rd and Friday, November 24th.

Today is Eve Subrin Williams' anniversary with Open Communities! We're grateful for all the outreach and positive connec...
11/21/2023

Today is Eve Subrin Williams' anniversary with Open Communities! We're grateful for all the outreach and positive connections Eve makes throughout the North Shore. Learn more about Eve on our website: www.open-communities.org/about

Today on Transgender Day of Remembrance, we remember and honor victims of hatred. Open Communities stands committed to s...
11/21/2023

Today on Transgender Day of Remembrance, we remember and honor victims of hatred. Open Communities stands committed to supporting our transgender neighbors and the wider transgender community. If you have experienced housing discrimination due to your gender, s*x, s*xuality, race, color, religion, disability, national origin, or family status, contact us at [email protected] or www.open-communities.org/contact for support.

Bills piling up this season? Want a free way to gift joy? Looking for more eco-friendly ways to celebrate?Check out the ...
11/20/2023

Bills piling up this season? Want a free way to gift joy? Looking for more eco-friendly ways to celebrate?

Check out the Toy Swap coming up Dec 4th. 7-8pm at the Robert Crown Branch of the Evanston Public Library.

Drop off a gently used toy Nov 27th, 5-8pm or Nov 29th, 10-2pm to pick up a ticket to come back Dec 4th and select a new-to-you toy to gift to a special young person in your life.

We'll be working remotely on Mon, Tues, and Wed of this week. Instead of coming in to our offices those days, you can re...
11/19/2023

We'll be working remotely on Mon, Tues, and Wed of this week. Instead of coming in to our offices those days, you can reach us by email at [email protected] or by calling 847-501-5760.

Our offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday for the holiday.

Remote Availability Days: November 20, 21, 22
Office Closed: November 23, 24

Youth are Leading the Way!We've been sharing our housing expertise with local students and are impressed with how they a...
11/16/2023

Youth are Leading the Way!

We've been sharing our housing expertise with local students and are impressed with how they are speaking up for inclusive housing in our communities.

Read our latest blog post about students advocating for mixed-income housing in Chicago's Northshore: https://www.open-communities.org/post/student-advocates-spur-optimism-community-coalitions-add-strength

New Trier High School Evanston Township High School (ETHS) H.O.M.E. (Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly) MorganteWilson Architects Ltd. Community Partners for Affordable Housing New Trier IGSS

Client Story - Making an Impact:One of the ways we address historic and current racial inequities in wealth and housing ...
11/15/2023

Client Story - Making an Impact:

One of the ways we address historic and current racial inequities in wealth and housing is by promoting BIPOC homeownership. This year, we've helped clients like Joe, a BIPOC veteran who wanted to purchase his first home after decades of renting. Through pre-purchase counseling with our HUD-certified Housing Counselor, Joe learned about the pros and cons of renting vs. homeownership, the home-buying process, and how to budget to save for his goals. We assisted Joe in applying for a VA loan that helped him become a first-time homeowner!

Are you thinking about homeownership? Join our 2-part workshop "How to Become a Homeowner" on Dec 12th & 13th, 2-5pm at Open Communities. Learn more and register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-to-become-a-homeowner-part-1-tickets-756351436507?aff=oddtdtcreator

Address

1740 Ridge, Suite 117
Evanston, IL
60201

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm

Telephone

+18475015760

Website

https://www.open-communities.org/tip-portal

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