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$1.57 Million for Projects in 1st District Passes House of Representatives in Funding Bills

July 29, 2021

Recipients include Chicago Public Schools, Friend Family Health, Illinois College of Optometry, Leo High School, Chicago Eco House, and others

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) applauded House passage of $1.57 million to fund critical projects in the 1st District as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bills. Rush previously requested this funding as part of a new Community Project Funding process, which gave Members of Congress the opportunity to request funding for projects in their districts to be included in the appropriations bills. The appropriations legislation now goes to the Senate.

"I am thrilled to announce that $1.57 million in Federal funding for projects to revitalize and invest in communities throughout the 1st District is one step closer to becoming law," said Rep. Rush. "From fostering economic development and facilitating job training opportunities to investing in our public schools and recreational facilities, these projects will create and expand opportunities and high-quality services for my constituents. I was delighted to work hand in hand with organizations in the 1st District to secure this funding, was proud to vote for it today, and look forward to seeing it be signed into law."

Rep. Rush secured funding in the Fiscal Year 2022 appropriations bills for the following projects (listed in alphabetical order):

$500,000 for Chicago Public Schools for the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Arts Revitalization program, which would revitalize and modernize programs at six schools in the 1st Congressional District, with a focus on schools that are either Fine and Performing Arts schools, STEM schools, or Personalized Learning Schools.

$25,000 for the Chicago Eco House Prison to Flower Farm Project. Chicago Eco House alleviates poverty and hopelessness in historically disenfranchised neighborhoods in Chicago through a bottom-up economic development and entrepreneurship program. This funding will help the organization build a prison to flower farm pipeline through its urban agriculture program. Specifically, the funding will help Chicago Eco House expand into Washington Park and allow them to make at least 10 new hires, serve 25 youth, and better meet demand at its shop, Southside Blooms. This project will help create meaningful employment for at-risk youth and is an investment in the economic vitality of the South Side.

$20,000 for Christian Community Health Center (CCHC) for the purchase of ultrasound imaging technology. CCHC does not currently have equipment to offer ultrasound imaging for Obstetrics Gynecology (OB/GYN) services.

$65,000 for Common Threads to partner with four schools in the 1st District to provide in-school and after-school cooking and nutrition education programs to help address public health disparities and ensure equitable access to engaging health education and nutritious food. The programs are anticipated to reach up to 569 youth and 83 adults and provide 4,820 meals and snacks.

$100,000 for Community Assistance Programs (CAPs) to help develop a 2.4-acre Workforce Campus that will provide workforce training for unemployed adults, at-risk and foster youth, returning citizens, seniors, and TANF and SNAP recipients. The project will assist 3,000 job seekers annually by providing job placement and training; it will also include temporary dorm housing for up to 60 students to provide stability while training. This project will help reduce unemployment and poverty on the South Side by providing effective job placement and career development opportunities.

$250,000 for Friend Family Health Center to assist with the relocation of Friend Family Health Center to the heart of the Woodlawn community. This project will help bring a state-of-the-art health center — offering integrated, high-quality medical, dental, mental health, substance use disorder, immediate care clinic, and mammogram/ultrasound services — to a medically underserved area that predominantly serves low- and moderate-income individuals. The project will also create an additional 100 construction jobs and bring 276 permanent full-time jobs to the community.

$300,000 for the Illinois College of Optometry for advanced diagnostic and teaching instruments to treat and improve care for patients with glaucoma. Over the past several years, the Illinois Eye Institute (the clinical division of the Illinois College of Optometry) has seen an increasing number of glaucoma patients, many with advanced glaucoma. This funding will help the Illinois Eye Institute more effectively manage patients and prevent severe vision loss.

$150,000 for Leo High School for a robotics academy to provide STEM education and help reduce the digital divide. Leo High School serves students from 26 zip codes, 96 percent of whom are African American and 97 percent of whom qualify for free and reduced lunch. A robotics academy at Leo High School will help reduce the digital divide in the 1st District and encourage minority students to pursue STEM fields, which is particularly important given the underrepresentation of minorities in STEM.

$160,000 for the Robbins Park District for necessary repairs and renovations at the Robbins Community Center to provide residents with a safe and high-quality recreational activity facility in the community.

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