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Dear Friends,

For five years, St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care has been getting to know the near north side­, an area once described to me as the poorest area of the city­ with a high crime rate and an infant mortality rate that rivals some third world countries. While there is some truth to that statement, it is not the whole story.

I have come to know a neighborhood and culture that is deep and rich, and is a valued part of our city and community. While attending church services in the area I have witnessed a very deep faith. In visiting families, I have seen a community that values the extended family. In doing neighborhood surveys and outreach, I have come to know that the people who live there want the same things as any neighborhood wants ­good schools, healthy children, safe walking areas, beautiful surroundings, good jobs, and social services that care for parents when they can no longer care for themselves.

Through organizing collaborations, I have come to know the community leaders who share their God-given gifts and creativity with the world, like Sharon Adams, Jackie Ward, Alderman Stamper, Young Kim, Ezzard White, Bradley Thurman and so many others. The community’s artists and songwriters also have come together ­to build and enhance what is becoming a thriving neighborhood. Beautiful Victorian homes, once abandoned, are being un-boarded, new shops and boutiques are opening for business, and the city is planning new construction projects.

Here at our original facility we have a richly diverse staff and are looking forward to being enriched even more as we embrace the African American culture at our new facility. We’ve been so well received by the community and neighborhood there, and we pray that God continues to bless us and show us the way. We have hired four great leaders Diane Beckley, Joyce Davis, Sr. Lucy Marindany and Monique Taylor­ to honor the neighborhood and help create a caring Franciscan community for people of all ages and abilities (see pages 4 and 5 of this issue).

We are still in the midst of a $5 million campaign to complete this dream, so please continue to pray for us, for prayer is going carry us along on this journey!

Sr. Edna