Newsletter

2011 End of Year Newsletter – Thank You For Your Partnership!

2011 has been a good year for us here at Breaking Ground.  We are excited to share what has happened in each of our programs this year.

Development and Construction

NSP buys foreclosed homes and contracts with developers like Breaking Ground to rehab and sell as affordable, energy-efficient homes.

NSP buys foreclosed homes and contracts with developers like Breaking Ground to rehab and sell as affordable, energy-efficient homes.

Breaking Ground became an approved Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) developer in 2009.  NSP is a federally funded program created to combat the degradation of some communities because of the high number of foreclosed vacant homes.  These foreclosed homes often sit vacant and become the victims of vandals, theft, and illegal activity.  NSP buys foreclosed homes and contracts with developers like Breaking Ground to rehab and sell as affordable, energy-efficient homes.  NSP allows Breaking Ground to hire six graduates from the APL Teaching Factory and generates income to support other Breaking Ground programs.

Breaking Ground has completed five homes, has two currently under construction, and is working on acquiring more.  Please pray we will get many more homes.

APL Teaching Factory

APL Teaching Factory (APL) has enjoyed growth over the past few years and now has multiple different tracts of study available for students.  These choices give options based on their interests, education level, and possible restrictions because of their background.  The tracts are: construction technology, deconstruction, manufacturing, urban agriculture, and G.E.D.  The APL Teaching Factory served 256 students in 2011.

Cleanstreet

In April Cleanstreet hired a new director, T.J. Hnilica.  He shares a passion for mentoring the men and women hired from the APL Teaching Factory and is excited about developing the business.  We are currently contracting with 10 different business districts across the City of Chicago where we have litter removal, landscaping, power washing, and snow removal contracts.  We have over 32 miles of city sidewalk of litter removal per cleaning and over 25 miles for snow.  Cleanstreet currently has 12 men and women employed in steady part-time positions and 25 seasonal employees for snow removal, all of which are APL Teaching Factory graduates.

Traditionally Cleanstreet has been considered a transitional employment opportunity and the hours available for the men and women have only been part time.  T.J. has been working on drumming up additional business to fill in the remainder of the day after the workers have completed their cleaning routes and turn Cleanstreet into a full-time employment opportunity for APL graduates.

We currently are waiting to hear back from five different business districts whether we were awarded a total of 11 individual contracts.  Please pray we will receive favor from those districts and will land some of those contracts. This additional work will help us create full-time employment and will allow us to employ and train more APL graduates.

Living According to His Word

By Keith “DA REAL DEAL” O’Neal (APL Graduate and Cleanstreet employee)

By living according to his word, it straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right.
Study it; meditate on it day and night. You will be fruitful.  Your attitude will glow with delight.
Rejoice, always be full of joy. Pray, don’t yield to temptations. Be thankful; be grateful, he has a plan for you.
Call to him and he will answer you. Your prayers will lead to peace, which will guard your heart and mind.
Humble yourself, confess to him, call it exactly what it is. We all sin and anyone who hides their sin doesn’t succeed.
But anyone who admits finds mercy. Repent, do it God’s way and not the world’s way.
Lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge him and he will direct your path straight.
Ignore him and the Devil will set you up like live bait. No wonder the world has so much hate.
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, how was your day? If I may, courtesy starts with you, so I would like to say:
Everyday is a day of THANKS and GIVING is a part of living everyday.
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