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The Chicago Community Trust Outstanding Community Strategy of the Year

Over the last two decades, North Lawndale has forged a new identity – one based not on the dominating presence of Sears Roebuck and Company but on the determination of its residents to create a vibrant neighborhood.

At the heart of this revitalization is the Lawndale Christian Development Corporation (LCDC). Based on its documented successes, LCDC was chosen to serve as the lead agency for the New Communities Program, working with more than 300 Lawndale residents and 30 organizations to develop a five-year Quality-of-Life Plan. That plan, "North Lawndale: Faith Rewarded", envisioned a community with low unemployment, highquality schools and training programs, adequate health and social services centers, and cultural facilities that serve the entire neighborhood.

Their plan is unfolding. The neighborhood has a new public art corridor that provides young people with job skills and work experience; projects such as Ezra Homes, a development of 125 new single-family homes; and a Center for Working Families, which provides residents and families with financial tools and services. This year LCDC also brought Hoops in the Hood to Lawndale, launching Summer Slam, a Friday-night basketball league, where neighbors come together around basketball, barbecue, arts activities, health awareness screenings and public safety.