Community engagement is at the core of the revitalization work POAH does in Woodlawn. Beyond building and preserving affordable housing, POAH has forged deep and continuous connections with civic, religious, cultural arts and neighborhood groups that all work together to strengthen the community.
POAH's initial partners were the Network of Woodlawn, the Grove Parc Tenants Association, the University of Chicago, the City of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Woodlawn Public Safety Alliance and the Woodlawn Partnership for Economic Development.
Since its arrival on the South Side of Chicago, POAH has worked with neighborhood groups, law enforcement agencies and community groups to support efforts to address youth violence in the Woodlawn neighborhood. Working with the Woodlawn Public Safety Alliance, POAH participates in "Safe Passage," which ensures children's safety walking to and from school and encourages young residents to engage in healthy activities.
POAH helped MetroSquash, which provides local youth with athletics (squash), academics tutoring, mentoring and life skills training, build a new facility on our Grove Parc footprint in 2015, and that partnership continues today.
POAH also collaborates with block clubs, the Woodlawn Promise Community, a local nonprofit dedicated to improving the neighborhood's schools, and Sunshine Gospel Ministries, a faith-based organization working on economic development and entrepreneurship.
Art fairs, school- and family-focused events, and neighborhood projects such as community gardens and art installations all get a boost from POAH.
Keeping Woodlawn green and healthy is another priority for POAH. Working with Neighborworks, POAH helps organize volunteers and homeowners for flower plantings and beautification efforts and invites neighbors to pick vegetables that line the sidewalk on Dorcester and 62nd. POAH also promotes the Woodlawn Farmer's Market at 61st Street that offers the freshest produce, meat, eggs, cheeses and prepared foods from local and regional farms.