“There is a need for higher-paying jobs and career training opportunities that address our specific population mix including recent immigrants, undocumented residents, limited English-speaking residents and re-entry citizens”

Belmont Cragin’s 2016 Quality of Life Plan, created by a task force of residents and community organizations, identifies that residents are “particularly interested in opportunities to find employment or move to a better career, including training, job placement, continuing education and support for entrepreneurs”.

We serve the northwest side of Chicago including Belmont Cragin (BC) and surrounding neighborhoods of Austin, Hanson Park and Portage Park as well as Logan Square, Hermosa, Rogers Park and Montclare. 

Who we serve:

  • 97% are below the Federal Poverty Guideline
  • 88% single parents
  • 80% of those served have less than a high school diploma
  • 65% speak only Spanish

Onward House is the only organization in the Belmont Cragin that currently offers job readiness training and through its computer lab, and offers assistance to local entrepreneurs. The proposed program will be a step to further develop our current Adult Education Program and One-on-One Job Readiness Training and meet the above described critical community need. The program’s aim is to assist low income, limited English proficient and limited resource individuals, such as our current participants which are 95% Latino, 75% of whom Spanish is a first language, and 70% of those have a yearly income of $0-10k.

  • From 1990-2013, the population of Belmont Cragin jumped 41% from 56,700 to 78,900 with eight in ten of individuals being Latino.
  • BC’s unemployment rate is 7.5% compared to 6.4% city wide.
  • The number of households living in poverty rose from 11% in 2000 to 21% in 2010. Literacy, both language and technology, is a critical need.
  • This area has the third largest population of people who speak English less than very well at 43.2%. This places Belmont Cragin third, of the 78 neighborhoods in Chicago that has a population with limited English proficiency.
  • 34% of Belmont Cragin residents have less than a high school education.