It’s summertime in Chicago, and we all know what that means – outdoor events galore! June 15, local youth from La Casa Norte worked with Logan Square Preservation to give a facelift to the area around the Logan Square Monument, in preparation for a summer full of festivals and events. Youth spent the morning cleaning up the square, sanding and painting lampposts, and weeding the beautiful Paseo Garden.
The participants in Wednesday’s cleanup were youth who have confronted homelessness with the support of services from La Casa Norte, a local community organization. La Casa Norte operates two emergency shelters for youth in the Logan Square neighborhood, as well as a drop-in center where young people can come for a hot meal, computer access and employment services. This spring, youth completed an employment program called Growing Gourmet where they studied urban gardening, cooking and nutrition in preparation for food related careers.
Wednesday’s service project closed out the final week of Growing Gourmet, and was the youth’s way of saying “thank you” to the community of Logan Square for the opportunities they were given.
“I came today because I wanted to give back,” said Kevin Carrau, a 20-year-old program participant. “This community has given us a lot, and now it’s our turn.”
Youth from Growing Gourmet have given back to the Humboldt Park community as well in past weeks by distributing edible container gardens to community residents who have limited access to fresh food. They also manned an outreach booth at the 606 Block Party on June 6 that provided information about local food pantry resources.
For more information about La Casa Norte, visit their website at www.lacasanorte.org or call 773-276-4900.
This community post was contributed to LoganSquarist by Rachel Bhagwat. Photo: Rachel Bhagwat