Happenings @GNP

MORE On-Ramps to Partnership

Park Church has recently begun meeting at Sullivan High School, just a few blocks south of Howard. Their mission: “Living gospel-centered lives…Engaging in city-centric ministry”. Jason Lalonde, pastor, says he recognized right away that Park with GNP would be a great partnership. Jason and his group first came for a Saturday Work Day, helping to clean out and clean up apartments, paint, scrub, and other “hard work projects” within the neighborhood. At this work day, Jason met James Crockett, program director of “C24/7” bible study and after school program. Through Jason attending the Sunday Night Bible Study and several Park men playing basketball at Wiley B. White Center with young men from the neighborhood every Saturday, relationships have formed. Not only do they play together, they pray together. As Jason puts it, “One of the great joys for us, as a one-year old church in Rogers Park, is to have the opportunity to have a genuine partnership in the gospel with the team at Good News Partners. They have given us the tremendous privilege and context for continual learning in what it means to "act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God." It's as if we have been doing this together for years! We are looking forward to mighty works of God in our midst in the coming months and years... and it's going to be great to celebrate His goodness and fame together. “

Life in the Jonquil Hotel

The Jonquil Hotel is not just a single room occupancy residence — it’s one big family. In this caring, chaotic, energetic, loud and loving community you’ll find people like Dennis and Zac, young men who help take care of wheelchair bound Elisheva and her two teen-age sons. And you will find Sandy, a 77 year old, helping Selena take care of her 4 grandchildren. Residents Pam and Elizabeth see ministry at the hotel as their calling. As two of the hotel’s unofficial “chaplains”, they transport people to doctor appointments, check on those who are sick or having problems, offering spiritual counsel and prayer. Tammy is helping to clean a neighbor’s room. Shirley encourages Lavelle with scripture after his recent heart attack. The sense of family flows from each resident who brings their own unique gifts to the rest of their family members

There are many SRO’s in Chicago, but the Jonquil stands out because of the Christian foundation that it stands upon. There is more freedom offered without as many rules and regulations set by other SRO’s because of the built-in community that watches out for one another. 

Since 1990, Richard Marks has been the Hotel's manager. He says, “The purpose of the Jonquil is to glorify God by providing housing, spiritual nourishment, and opportunities to move on into their own apartment or home.” Our Jonquil Hotel serves as the “2nd stage” in our housing continuum, although many of the current and past residents started in the Jonquil and call it their permanent home. With the cost of rent being an average of $150 less than most subsidized housing in Chicago, many families move to the Jonquil as a stepping stone until they can save enough money to support themselves. There are approximately 53 families living in the Jonquil Hotel, with about 15 working to earn rent credit (to pay for their rooms) as janitors, desk clerks, and maintenance workers.

Launching our Saturday Store!

The Warnecke Learning Center was transformed into the Saturday Store on July 13th.  GNP families came out to shop s for household items and toys. The Saturday Store will be open once a month, offering items such as electronics, clothes, toys, books and household items. Residents shop at deep discounts using cash or “jingle buck” credits they earn through working jobs in the GNP community. The proceeds from these sales will be added to the monies from the Christmas Store and will go towards the completion of the Warnecke Learning Center upon the recommendation of the Resident’s Council. 

This is a great opportunity to build into a new business in the North of Howard area – a Re-Sale shop where residents may work and shop.  If you are interested in helping us develop this “start-up”, please contact jan@goodnewspartners.org

Recruiting all runners!

Good News Partners is once again partnering with the 17th Annual Chicago Half Marathon and 5k. We want YOU to be a part of our team! This is a great way to help spread the good news of our mission of ending homelessness and hopelessness in the North of Howard neighborhood of Rogers Park to your friends and family. With two race options available, a ½ marathon or 5k, there is room for everyone on our team. The race is still 3 ½ months away, which gives you plenty of time to get in shape! We found it to be a fun and rewarding event last year and have high expectations for the 2013 race.

We will be having two team runs leading up to race day as well as a pasta party the night before the big race! All team members will recieve a free running t-shirt for race day as well.

Our early bird rates of $150 and $250 for the 5k and ½ marathon end on July 1st. Remember, you are able to collect donations from family and friends in order to help you raise money. We will be sending a direct link to you that you can share through an email or other online communication.

Please email Natalie@goodnewspartners.org for more information and to register to be a part of our running team.

Rejuvenating Mother's Day at New Life

With the help of Second Baptist Church and New Life Covenant North, the mothers and children at New Life Interim Housing celebrated Mother’s Day in a special way. Schona Buranda, Director of New Life Interim Housing, says “We had church in here! The Spirit was moving. Women experienced healing and a release of hurts that they have lived with for many years. I see the mothers praying together and reading the Bible together now.”

Not only has New Life Interim Housing experienced a deep spiritual transformation since Mother’s Day, but there is also reason to celebrate because every single woman living in the shelter is either employed or enrolled in school. The level of motivation and dedication currently seen at the shelter is inspiring and a testimony to God’s work of ending homelessness and hopelessness among us.

Listen to the short stories of Marilyn and Victoria, two mothers living at New Life, and how living in the shelter has impacted their lives this Mother’s Day. Listen and watch here.

GNP welcomes Desmond Bailey!

Desmond has over 16 years of experience working in the nonprofit industry. He studied public policy at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service where he pursued his M.P.A. and became increasingly interested in social justice and learning the effects of the political and economic systems on impoverished communities. Desmond has worked with grassroots organizations in Chicago, Boston and New York as a resource development consultant focusing on grant writing, outcomes measurement and strategic planning.

GNP Launching Youshare.org

What is Youshare.org? 

Beginning this month, Good News Partners will begin to use the socially conscious social network: youshare.org.   Youshare.org has taken a different look into what poverty is, and how to alleviate it.  Their way of looking at poverty is through the concept of Shalom.  From their website: “The word shalom describes a world in which every person has a position where they are useful and fulfilled and we have good healthy relationships with God, ourselves, the world and other people.  Thus, poverty is the lack of these healthy relationships.Part of Good News Partners’ mission statement is to end homelessness and hopelessness.  If homelessness is lacking the most basic of material needs, hopelessness is lacking the most basic of spiritual needs: connections and relationships. 

Essentially, youshare.org is a way to facilitate connections. Imagine Joanne’s two sons have moved out to go to college, and she now wants to upgrade the kids’ bunk beds to real beds for a guest room.  Just a few miles down the street, John’s two sons are starting to outgrow their crib, and he’s looking for bunk beds for them.  Youshare.org is simply a way for these two people to connect, and an opportunity for them to help each other. 

How does it Work?  We truly believe that everyone has something to offer. As either a support partner or residential partner of GNP, you can register on youshare.org as a “neighbor”.  This will allow you to hear about specific needs in the community that you might be able to help fill.  When you register you will be able to indicate which types of services you might be able to offer, like babysitting or professional services, and what type of goods you might be able to share, such as baby clothes or furniture. 

When a family develops a need for a specific good or service that will help them to create a safer or healthier home, they will contact one of the designated staff members at Good News Partners who will post the need to Youshare.org. 

If the need fits with the preferences you have indicated, then it will show up in your email inbox (though don’t worry, there are control settings that can group needs together if you’re worried about getting too many). 

If you feel like that particular need is one you can fill, you’ll reply to the advocate, who will facilitate a connection.  Hopefully, the transaction can be a first step in continuing relationships that will transform both parties and strengthen all of our communities. 

Here is how you can sign up:

  1. Begin from the GoodNewsPartners.org website, by clicking on the link to youshare.org,  or simply go to youshare.org in your web browser.

      2. Once on the youshare.org site, click the “register” link in the top right corner.

      3. On the following page, you’ll be presented with the Terms and Conditions.  After reviewing these, click next if you agree.

      4. This will take you to a page titled  “Create a New Account”.  From here you’ll fill out some basic contact information.  If you’d like to receive text messages, you’ll need to put a mobile phone number.  If not, fill out what information you feel is appropriate.   Again, click the next button. 

       5. Next, you’ll fill out a profile specific to youshare.  You have the option of naming the church you attend.  Then, if you scroll down, there’s a section called “Interest Categories”.  This is where you’ll select the types of needs you’d like to be notified about.  These are seperated into three columns, start by selecting Good News Partners from the drop down menu in the first column, where it says “Goods”.  In the other two columns, you can choose “none”.  Remember to select Good News Partners before you start clicking individual items, or it will not save your selections.

     6. Next, you’ll select the specirfic items.  If you’ve got lots of baby things, you might only select things in that section.  If you’ve got lots of extra kitchen things, you might select that.  And of course, if you’d like to view all of the possible needs, just in case, you can select all. 

    7. Once you’re finished, you click the button that says save profile.

You’re  now finished! you’ll receive text messages or emails (depending on your preferences) when a need arrises. 

Watch video here







Welcome Schona Buranda!

Note from GNP's Executive Director, Ronn Frantz:

I am delighted to announce that we have hired Schona Buranda as our new Program Director for New Life Interim Housing.  Many of you have met Schona as she has been working with us for the past two months, both as Volunteer Coordinator and as a program developer and Resident Coordinator for New Life.  This has given Schona the opportunity to become introduced to Good News Partners and to experience New Life Interim Housing deeply.  And likewise, we are coming to know Schona and seeing her numerous skills, compassion, and commitment demonstrated among us. 

Schona will assume these responsibilities January 2, 2013.  She has been deeply involved in developing a new program design for New Life, along with our other staff and myself.  Much life will be new at New Life in the new year! 

Ernesta Williams deserves our gratitude for her willingness to assume the role of Acting Director these past five months.  She will continue with us after some well-deserved time off.  All of our staff, volunteers, and residents have endured and contributed to the transitions of this past year.  I am especially grateful for the Lord’s provision for us all and the eagerness of us all to experience the new thing God is doing at New Life. 

Please join me in thanking Ernesta and welcoming Schona at this time of transition. 

Shalom to all persons of good will!

Ronn Frantz,

Executive Director

Christmas Giving

Click here to make your Christmas donation.

“While the national trend has been downward, Chicago-area foreclosure activity is up 34 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period last year, and up more than 2 percent from the previous quarter.”  

                  - Crains Chicago Business 10/25/12      www.chicagobusiness.com

Toni and her three children are one of the eight families, including twenty-four children, who will be spending Christmas at Good News Partners’ New Life Interim Housing.  After the building she was living in was foreclosed upon, and with no family to turn to, Toni found herself and her children without a place to live.  Even though Toni recently graduated with a degree in accounting, jobs are hard to find in this economy. With more foreclosures, Good News Partners housing will be even more in demand.  Right now, New Life receives 35 inquiries for housing each week that we cannot accommodate.

Because you were there, women like Toni and her three children  have a place to call home. Your continued support will make a difference again.

This Christmas season, if you have been able to make your house payment, won’t you consider helping someone else pay theirs?  Could you match your house payment?  Could you send $50, $100, $1000 or more? 

Your support means so much to so many. 

Merry Christmas!


Christmas is just around the corner!

The Christmas Store will be more than just shopping. There will be a café where shoppers can relax, a childcare room where children will share in stories and crafts, musicians to fill the space with Christmas carols, a gift wrap station, photographers to capture the memories and, perhaps, a visit from Santa Claus. With input from the residents, the store will be stocked with a variety of gifts that each registered participant may purchase at a discount from suggested retail prices – either with cash or with “Jingle Bucks” that can be earned through participation in the community through a variety of activities.

To make all of this happen, we must rely on the generosity of our supporting congregations and community partners. There will be gifts to purchase and sort, cookies to bake, crafts to demonstrate, wrapping paper and bows to donate, decorations to install, songs to sing, payments to be recorded and children to entertain. Many hands will be needed to organize and operate the Christmas Store. We hope that the spirit of Christmas will move you to share your time and talents on December 15. It may just be the best Christmas present you receive this season!

Click here to sign up, or contact Jan@goodnewspartners.org if you would like someone to come to your church or organization to explain the concept.

Contact Jane Trueheart Huels (847) 226-8664 or Barb Gerleman (847) 498-1155 to join in the holiday fun!