Erica Solomon

"I interned at The Resurrection Project (TRP), a nonprofit community development organization in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. I learned a lot about what TRP does for their community and how non-profits in general can be and are involved in communities. TRP builds affordable homes, provides free homebuyer workshops and financial counseling services to all (to name just a few of the services which TRP provides). TRP is also very politically active and advocates for reformed immigration and housing laws."

"During my internship, I attended several events and met with important stakeholders: I attended the Community Forum of the 3rd Congressional District which was a meeting of community leaders sharing their stories and questioning two Illinois congressional candidates about issues that matter to the community, such as housing, health care, foreign policy and civil liberties; I attended the Camino A Su Casa, a housing fair sponsored by the Spanish Coalition for Housing which gave me the opportunity to speak to community members about the work that TRPdoes and how people can apply to live in a TRP home. The fair also gave me a sense of the different non-profit, for-profit and government organizations that are involved in helping families find and purchase housing; and I worked on a project that allowed me to meet twice with the CEO of the Eighteenth Street Development Corporation (ESDC), another non-profit in Pilsen which helps the alderman through the process of approving zone changes in the area. This particular project was really interesting and I am planning to continue my work on it as my senior capstone project: Through a referendum passed in 2005, it was determined that any new residential development constructed in Pilsen with over five units would have to set-aside twenty-one percent of these units as affordable, while any development under five units would have to pay $10,000 to the local school. So my job was to make sure that the developers are actually abiding by these rules, and I started to do this by taking pictures of all the developments in order to track where they are at in their construction stage. Also, I got more up-to-date information on all the properties, such as who the owner is and how many total units there will be and how many set-aside units they have promised."

"I really enjoyed my internship and I got a pretty good sense of how a non-profit gets involved in the community and makes a lasting impact. I also learned about how non-profits are funded and the restrictions they have when it comes to spending money. But most importantly, I got to experience so much of what we learn in class in the “real world”. The relationship between private and public entities and how they work together to bring about policy changes was really brought to life for me, and I really appreciate the opportunity to have interned at TRP."

To learn more about the work of The Resurection Project, please visit thier website.

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