Maintain St. Joseph Head Start programa open.

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To whom this may concern,

Hello, my name is Sandy Barrera and I am the delegate of St. Joseph Parent Committee. It has been brought to our attention that unfortunately Catholic Charities has decided to close down our St. Joseph Head Start Center, which is located on 4800 S Paulina street.

St. Joseph’s has been part of the Back of the Yards community for over 21 years, serving our most under-resourced families. Currently St. Joseph serves 210 students in our head start program, 75 students in our Safe Haven  program, some of the staff here at the center take the responsibility of picking up our students from surrounding schools which include Hedges, Chavez, Hamline, Lara, and Seward Elementary. The center has other beneficial  resources that are currently being offered to residents of the community, such as the ESL program to offer English as a second language. GED classes are also offered to engage parents back in school and provide a better future and be more prosperous, so that they have a better opportunity to obtain more reliable and sustainable jobs to provide economic assistance for their families.

On October 25th, 2019 staff, parents and members  of the community with myself included, were given the most devastating  news that Catholic Charities administration and Service Advisory board had made the decision to close St. Joseph’s, Our Lady of Tepeyac and Chicago Lawn development Centers, due to lack of funds and not being able to continue running the program for the community. With the last day approaching on November 26, 2019, which we know is a small window, we are at a loss as to what steps or measures need to be conducted. We need your help to keep St. Joseph open and available to the community. With the closing of St. Joseph, 210+ kids will be displaced from a learning environment. Our community will have little to no option for childcare. One less after school program. One less GED opportunity. Our children need to have a place where they can feel safe. 

I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read this. I look forward to meeting with you, in the hopes that you can reconsider that this is not the right thing to do. We deserve more answers, we have the right to know the reasons behind it. 

Kind Regards,

Sandy Barrera