The Jonquil Hotel
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.
Others begin partnering at the Jonquil, which is the most affordable SRO on the north side of Chicago. It is a community of healing and care. Approximately one-third of the 130+ people living at the Jonquil hope and expect it will be their permanent home. Another one-third live there for two to eight years in order to save money to do something constructive with their lives that they could not otherwise afford to do. Many of the remaining one-third are at the Jonquil for a short respite while they prepare to move on.
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 teenage 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
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.