Latinos Progresando (LP), an organization whose mission is to deliver high quality information and resources for people to build secure, healthy and productive lives, is in the process of transforming an abandoned library in Little Village into a community center that will provide essential resources to individuals.
“Our neighborhood has faced so many challenges this year, and this center will provide a beacon of hope to help guide our community’s social and economic recovery,” says Luis Gutierrez, Latinos Progresando’s founder and CEO. “We could not be more grateful for BMO’s partnership–this is yet another testament to BMO’s leadership and commitment to invest in communities. We are so excited about the enormous potential of our collaboration.”
The project was ready, the architectural drawings were done, the majority of the financing had been secured, the general contractor has been selected, and full approval from the city council has been received. Only a few pieces were missing, and LP turned to BMO to help close the funding gap to make this project a reality.
BMO donated $430,000 to LP so that community members could – under one roof – receive immigration legal services, domestic violence services, leadership development and wellness programming, support services for Cermak corridor businesses and cultural programming.
Currently, there is no social service agency in the Little Village/Marshall Square area with the size and capacity to be a community resource hub and leader. This community center will be the first of its kind and will allow LP to significantly expand existing programming beyond its current scope. It will also be able to help the organization seek out new, innovative partnerships to deliver financial education, job training and home ownership programs.
The donation builds on BMO’s commitment to the Little Village neighborhood, which recently includes BMO’s $10 million donation to the Austin and Little Village neighborhoods through the United Way’s Neighborhood Network; the BMORE workforce development program creating pathways to banking careers for individuals in these neighborhoods; and a book drive benefitting schools in the neighborhood without access to a library.
BMO is driven by its purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life and aims to ensure the path to success is equally open for all. We aim to be a leader in diversity and inclusion for our customers, colleagues and communities. We are excited to help close the funding gap and bring a community center that will offer a space for progression and re-building.