Calumet Stewardship Initiative

Centro Comunitario Juan Diego

Since 1999, Centro Comunitario Juan Diego (CCJD) has been promoting leadership and social change in South Chicago. As a grassroots community based organization, CCJD has been operating programs focused on healthcare issues, community organizing, social services, and family education. Through these efforts, CCJD helps create confident leaders for today and tomorrow.

Community Health Promoters have made themselves a presence in the community and are helping develop leaders who further our work. In response to the deteriorating health of the community and special language, economic and cultural needs, Centro Comunitario Juan Diego developed innovative programs to reach the people of South Chicago in their homes, churches, and schools. For these people, CCJD plays a critical role in locating appropriate health care and helping them maintain healthy lifestyles beyond the doctor’s office. Participants have made marked improvements in their health, and their attitude toward self care. The program continues to expand in scope (topics covered) and reach (neighborhoods targeted) each year, as professional organizations and community leaders reach out to us based on our reputation of success.

CCJD helps promote community leadership through a variety of programs and activities. Volunteers help maintain gardens on former empty lots in order to teach others about sustainability, healthy food, and land stewardship. Community gardens have major momentum in South Chicago as a strategy for growing healthy food, beautifying neighborhoods, and building community. CCJD distributes gently used clothing to community members who need them, and then uses the cloth from worn out clothing for summer camp craft projects.

Under the Family Literacy and Education Initiative, CCJD has developed a variety of programs addressing the most prevalent educational needs of the community. The programs consist of two distinct but complimentary components: 1) afterschool, weekend, summer program, and open lab hours for school age children and 2) English as a Second Language, computer courses, resume building, and web-job search for adults.

CCJD partners with universities and other research institutions either in providing access to participants or receiving training to conduct research in the community. CCJD, as a partner in support of CSI, helps raise environmental awareness in the Calumet region through sustainability initiatives and community involvement.

Contact Information: (773) 731-0109 or ccjuandiego@yahoo.com

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