About | History

Who We Serve

Howard Area Community Center (HACC) is located in Rogers Park, one of the most racially, ethnically, and economically integrated communities in Chicago, Illinois and the nation. Rogers Park is one of the 77 Chicago community areas on the far north side of Chicago and is also the name of the Chicago neighborhood that constitutes most of the community area. It is bound by the City of Evanston along Juneway Terrace and Howard Street to the north, Ridge Boulevard to the west, Devon Avenue and the Edgewater neighborhood to the south, and Lake Michigan to the east.

Of Rogers Park’s 54,991 residents (2010 US Census), 30% are non-Hispanic white, 30% are black, 32% are Latino, 7% are Asian, and 1% identify as other. Over 40 languages are spoken here and it is estimated that Rogers Park residents come from over 80 countries around the world.

Rogers Park contains pockets of concentrated disadvantage. Individuals and families in our area experience hunger, a shortage of affordable child care, low educational achievement, limited work experience and skills and health-related problems including lack of access to primary and preventive care.

Family Literacy Workshop

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Many Rogers Park residents face serious challenges to gaining meaningful employment:

  • Approximately 21% of all Rogers Park households report annual incomes of less than $15,000.
  • Close to 2,500 individuals in this community age 16 and over are considered unemployed, meaning they are actively seeking work. This does not include those who are underemployed.
  • Individuals who have served time in prison face significant challenges in securing stable employment and lifting themselves out of poverty. The highest concentration of releases of former prisoners is on Chicago’s North side. (Urban Institute 2005 “Returning Home”)
  • Rogers Park has long been a port of entry for immigrants from all over the world. Currently, 44% of all residents over the age of five do not speak English in the home. (Metro Chicago Information Center – MCIC 2010)
  • 23% of all adults in Rogers Park age 25 and over do not have a high school diploma. This represents over 9,000 individuals, more than half of whom have less than a 9th grade education. (MCIC 2010)

Youth who attend our public schools struggle to achieve good academic performance:

  • Nearly 47% of all Rogers Park children under the age of five live at or below the federal poverty level.
  • 96% of children who attend our two neighborhood elementary schools – Gale and Jordan Academy – come from low-income families.
  • At Sullivan High School – the closest high school to HACC – 95.0% of students were low income and Sullivan ranked as one of the lowest performing schools in the Chicago Public School District. (SY2011 School Progress Report)
Peace Walk

Violence in the community negatively impacts residents:

  • Out of all concerns reported to the police in 2010 by Rogers Park community residents, 18% were gang-related, 26% were narcotics-related and 35% were related to other criminal or disorder activity. (Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy)
  • Parents of students in our after-school activities expressed a need for more violence prevention education for their children. (2010 HACC Youth Department survey)
  • 93% of members enrolled in our after-school programs feel safe and protected from bullying, harassment and violence. (2010 HACC Youth Department survey)
Adult Education and Employment Recognition Night

Rogers Park is considered significantly medically underserved:

  • Rogers Park is designated by the Department of Health & Human Services as a Primary Care Health Professional Shortage Area and a Medically Underserved Area (MUA).
  • In 2005, the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) chose Rogers Park as one of 6 Chicago community areas (out of 77) that need to address the epidemic of childhood obesity. Rogers Park was selected due to its high incidence of risk factors for childhood obesity and to the strength of existing partnerships among its community members.

The strategic intent of our comprehensive scope of programs is to motivate and provide the tools that will empower people to become agents of change in their own lives.

Clients transform, and even begin their lives, with the tools we provide, becoming productive members of their communities wherever they choose to live.

For more information on Rogers Park, please visit the Rogers Park Health Assessment on our Links & Resources page.