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Neighborhood Spotlight: Chicago Lawn / Gage Park

Chicago Lawn and Gage Park are multi-ethnic working class communities located on the southwest side of Chicago. Historically, Chicago Lawn has been a European-immigrant community, predominantly Lithuanian, German, Polish and Irish. During the late 80’s and early 90’s, as the Anglo population aged, the neighborhood transitioned from primarily white to black and Latino.

"Gage Park bungalow row" (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) by  reallyboring
Chicago Lawn/Gage Park

Many longtime residents moved away and those that stayed felt a sense of loss and resentment. In 1996, NHS opened its Chicago Lawn/Gage Park Office and joined the efforts of neighborhood institutions to combat predatory lending, educate homeowners and get banks to reinvest in the community. These efforts have helped the community adjust to the rapid neighborhood change without losing significant housing stock. Residents of Chicago Lawn/Gage Park are determined to stop the downward spiral of disinvestment and urban decay and create an attractive, safe and inviting place to live for families from many backgrounds.

A young neighborhood resident

Chicago Lawn/Gage Park Partnerships

NHS is a member institution of the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), a collaboration of organizations working together to improve the Chicago Lawn/Gage Park community. SWOP is an institutionally based community organization, where the members of affiliate institutions are participants in the organization’s collective actions. This creates a situation where housing issues are dealt with by the whole community. Working collaboratively, institutions such as Greater Southwest Development Corporation (GSDC) and the Inner City Muslim Action Network have been instrumental partners in bridging the racial divide through relationship-building, housing accessibility and economic development. Our partnership with SWOP allows NHS to reach many more community homeowners and connects NHS to other issues affecting the neighborhood, such as crime and safety, education, job development, predatory lending and immigration.


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    Neighborhood Office
    2609 W. 63rd Street
    Chicago, Illinois 60629

    Telephone: (773) 434-9632
    Fax: (773) 434-9872
    Contact Us



    • George J Havelka (Co-Chair)
    • Betty Gutierrez (Co-Chair)
    • David Betlejewski (Associate Member)
    • Ann & Richard Neal
    • Felicidad Masibay
    • Silvia Cisneros
    • David J Leeney
    • Earl Johnson
    • Manuel Jimenez (Marquette Bank)
    • Christina M. McGrath
    • Alex Peralta
    • Melvin Bridges (Nationwide Insurance)
    • Veronica Galvan
    • Alfred Rodgers

    Office Staff

    Mike Reardon

    Neighborhood Director
    (773) 434-9632 Ext. 5300
    Mike Reardon has been doing community development in Chicago neighborhoods for more than 35 years. As a community leader he helped establish the NHS Program in West Humboldt Park. He began working for NHS in 1990 and spent three years as Associate Director of Neighborhoods. He has been Neighborhood Director in Chicago Lawn since 2003.

    Patricia Ware
    Loan Originator
    (773) 434-9632 Ext. 4125