Latina women team making a difference through housing education

Following a year of increased educational efforts through hands-on workshops, a team of three women fromSpanish Coalition for Housing (SCH) were honored for their outstanding contributions in Education at the 8th Annual Mujeres Destacadas Awards and Luncheon. Together the team of women have continuously worked to increase access to Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) programs and services for thousands of families in diverse communities through these hands-on workshops.

Hosted by La Raza Newspaper, Mujeres Destacadas is an initiative in which Chicago Latinas are featured honored for their outstanding contributions in the fields of Arts & Culture, Business, Leadership, Education and Health. Typically, each category recognizes one individual for her accomplishments, but this year the Education category recognized a team of three exceptional women – Lydia Rodriguez, Karla Valadez and Mayra Camacho – for their success.

 “La Raza’s Mujeres Destacadas recognizes eight great Latinas for their achievement and community commitment and also wants to be an opportunity for outreach and empowerment for many more women in Chicago,” said Jesus del Toro, head of La Raza Newspaper in Chicago. “Our eight Mujeres Destacadas are great examples of our capacity for success and our powerful will to provide a generous hand to others.”

Together, Rodriguez, Valadez and Camacho, educate the community through workshops in the Belmont-Cragin, Gage Park, East Side and Back of the Yards neighborhoods as part of CHA Community Alliance Diversity Outreach Initiative. The hands-on workshops teach attendees about affordable housing, senior housing, job seeking, Section 3 businesses and more.

“Having grown up in the area that I teach, I have a wealth of knowledge about the community and am able to connect with individuals on a more personal level,” said Lydia Rodriguez, Senior CHA Outreach Coordinator at SCH. “Karla, Mayra and myself love helping people and dedicating ourselves to educating the community and working with our clients every step of the way.”

 As part of Community Alliance, SCH has educated more than 3,800 individuals through the workshops, and over 1,000 individuals have taken action from SCH’s outreach efforts, such as applying for senior housing, applying or updating housing assistance applications and creating Section 3 profiles in the CHA portal, which identifies low-income individuals who can benefit from HUD-financed employment and economic opportunities. SCH staff invites anyone with questions to call, email or visit one of the three offices for dedicated service and assistance. (Main Office: 773-342-7575, 199 N. Pulaski Road; Pilsen Office: 312-850-2660, 1915 S. Blue Island; Southeast Office: 773-933-7575, 9010 S. Commercial).

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