The vision for the JLM Abundant Life Center (JLM Center) is to rebuild Chicago’s Westside community by providing a hub of resources, opportunities for training and community development. The vision is to restore a community by coming by coming together with people sitting at the table and solving problems together, peace talks with gang members, providing a place of hope all embodied in a Hub of resources to the community.
The East-West Garfield community lost its vitality beginning with the riots and destruction caused decades ago by the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and never regained its structure to be whole again. Resources became limited, unemployment increased, crime statistics continued to rise.
The vision is a changing of the mindset to make a community whole by providing recreational activities, fine arts/cultural experiences, tutoring, academic re-engagement, and business incubators to breathe life into the community. The positive impact of the center programs, community bonding through the agricultural programs, Joffrey dance, Pee Wee baseball and music appreciation have all been crucial to the JLM Centers success. The vision is about understanding the community needs and providing a facility as a safe haven for children and adults with access to medical assistance, health and wellness information and embracing core values.
The vision became a reality as the memories and drawings that were envisioned back in Germany unfolded. The ground where the center was created lay barren for many years, however, the trajectory was set and we were determined to see the vision come into fruition. The new facility was founded in 2008 providing a 40,000 square foot space that houses a full size basketball court, classrooms, offices, full size commercial kitchen with rental space for weddings, repasts, meetings, etc.
With the loss of federal funding and other financial difficulties, many programs have been lost. We are asking for your support in re-implementing these vital programs and keeping the vision alive.