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49th Ward Update
December 12, 2020

Hello neighbors,

We have a lot to celebrate this week! Please take time to read through the COVID-19 updates to learn about the City’s vaccination planning. And find many opportunities for you to engage with your neighbors, as well as share your feedback on a potential residential development in the rest of the newsletter this week.

Next week is City Council, the last one of 2020 and this week and next are chock full of committee meetings. We’re going to have several important pieces of legislation up in Council on Wednesday that I’ve co-sponsored, advocated for and will vote to pass:

  • Ald. Hairston's ordinance requiring the Chicago Police Department to maintain and provide arrestees with list of all nonprofit and government legal service providers offering free legal representation (the Mayor is pushing a substitute that I will not support)

  • An ordinance making it easier for people to add Additional Dwelling Units without zoning changes

  • An ordinance removing the carve outs from our Welcoming City Ordinance

Sign up for public comment and find out how to watch live at Clerk Valencia’s website. I’ll share more about Council next week!

Have a safe and restful weekend,

Maria Hadden
Alderwoman, 49th Ward

Celebrations & Appreciations
You didn't think we were going to allow a pandemic to make us stop celebrating and appreciating our community did you? Of course not! We need this more than ever, so please, send us the people, orgs and actions that you want the ward to know about next week! Email us at
Friends of Sullivan Meets its $25,000 Fundraising Goal
The Friends of Sullivan non-profit met its $25,000 fundraising goal for its Sullivan Solidarity Fund thanks to the outpouring of generosity from our neighbors. The funds raised will directly help undocumented and refugee families of Sullivan during the COVID-19 crisis. Thank you to all our community members who stepped up to pitch in and who created this incredible show of solidarity to help our neighbors in need, regardless of their documentation status.  
Local Band Kreyol Roots Releases New Music Video
Local band Kreyol Roots has released their latest music video, "Mwen Ak Ti Jean," on YouTube. Its members are originally from Haiti, but moved to the Rogers Park and Edgewater neighborhoods, which they now call home. Check out their latest video, which was shot in Rogers Park and West Ridge. 
New 400 Is Approved as New COVID-19 Testing Site
Businesses are struggling to survive the necessary restrictions caused by the pandemic. Starting next week, the New 400 will be a local, permanent COVID-19 testing site. We want to commend Tony Fox, owner of the New 400 for finding a unique way to make use of his space while the movie theater is unable to operate AND bringing an added community benefit to 49th Ward residents. Thank you, Tony!
COVID-19 Updates
As cases continue to skyrocket across the city, state, and country, we are bringing back our section with the most up-to-date information on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and any changes that are being implemented to address it. Information on aid and relief programs will continue to be housed in the "Need to Know Info" section of this newsletter. 
City Prepares for Vaccine Rollout
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use this week. With the news, Chicago is preparing for the first vaccines to be delivered, which could be as early as December 15, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH). 

Vaccination Roll-Out

The inoculation of our city's residents will be rolled out in phases over several months. The first round of vaccines will be limited, so the city will prioritize healthcare workers (especially those treating COVID-19 patients) and people living and working in long-term care facilities.

Prioritization after the initial group will include workers in essential and critical industries, people at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness, and people 65 years or older. Who falls into the "essential worker" category and how members of this category (e.g. grocery store workers versus teachers) will be prioritized will be determined by a federal committee. 

After those groups are vaccinated, the Department of Public Health will then shift to inoculating the broader population by means of mass testing sites and partnering with doctors and pharmacies. The timeline for this stage of the vaccination process still remains uncertain at this time. It will be determined by the availability of vaccination doses in the coming months. 

CDPH is working with hospitals, health care providers, and community leaders on flexible COVID-19 vaccination programs that will accommodate different scenarios. At this time, there is not a public registration for the COVID vaccine. As more details become available on vaccine clinics throughout the city, CDPH will update its COVID vaccine website page

Dispelling Misinformation

There has been some misinformation circulating online about the COVID-19 vaccine. Leading up to the pandemic, there have been decades of research on coronaviruses broadly. In January 2020, the genetic sequence for COVID-19 was released, which allowed researchers worldwide to begin working on a vaccine immediately. 

Before a vaccine is introduced to the broad public, it goes through a rigorous trial process, including being tested in laboratories and on animals. These tests help scientists identify which candidate performs the best before introducing it to clinical trials on humans. 

Once a vaccination candidate is introduced to human trials, it goes through three phases. During these phases, scientists identify any short-term side effects and risks and any relationship that exists between the dosage size a participant receives and the immune response. Scientists then compare participants in the human trials receiving a vaccine to those who are receiving a placebo. 

At all stages, from the laboratory to the final third stage of human clinical trials, scientists are rigorously evaluating and documenting results. These results are then reviewed by Institutional Review Boards to ensure their scientific validity, the integrity of the trials, and to protect participants. The process is thorough to protect the greater public health from any adverse outcomes. 

What This Means for Right Now

The development and approval of the vaccination is an incredible milestone in our battle against this global pandemic. However, we are still several months away from achieving herd immunity. As we face the holiday season, it is more important than ever to continue social distance and wear a mask any time we leave our houses. Right now, those are the best tools we all have in our toolbox to combat this deadly virus. 
Stay Home Except for Essential Travel
The number of COVID-19 cases continues to surge across the city at an alarming rate. This week, our city hit a positivity rate of 13.3%, up from 11.6% last week and 13.6% the week of November 23.

As expected, the city's positivity rate has climbed up once again in the weeks following Thanksgiving. This demonstrates how consequential our actions are during this crisis. As we enter the holiday season, please work with members outside of your family to reimagine your traditions this year to keep you and your loved ones safe. Instead of meeting for a family meal, schedule a Zoom call instead. Only celebrate the holidays with members of your household. The best gift we can give one another this holiday season is keeping each others' health a priority. 

The spread of COVID-19 is spreading across all demographics and all zip codes in the city. The main driver of the spread of COVID-19 appears to be from within households, where people let down their guards the most.

The number of available ICU beds in the Chicago region (region 11 for the state of Illinois) continues to shrink, as does the number of available ventilators. Deaths continue to increase as hospitals become overwhelmed and healthcare workers are spread thin. As of Wednesday, at least 13,666 people have died from COVID-19. The number of deaths we're seeing now are surpassing those we saw in the spring.
In Rogers Park, we're seeing the number of positive cases increasing. As of Saturday, December 5, 1 in 19 people in our community have tested positive for COVID-19. 
Because the situation grows more dire by the day, the city implemented measures to bend the curve once again. 

Mayor Lightfoot announced a new Protect Chicago plan to curtail the spread of COVID-19. The plan includes a new stay-at-home advisory for the city that is currently in effect. The advisory includes additional restrictions, including:
  • No guests in private residences (except essential homeworkers such as healthcare workers or educators);
  • Avoid all social gatherings;
  • Avoid all non-essential travel; and
  • Create a COVID-19 protection plan for your family (available online).
The Department of Public Health is also asking that social events and meetings do not take place in-person unless absolutely necessary. Only when absolutely necessary, those meetings should be limited to ten people who should be socially distanced and wearing masks. These restrictions also apply to houses of worship for funerals and other ceremonial events. 

Workers who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, have a positive COVID-19 test, are awaiting COVID-19 test results, or have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 should stay home. Employers cannot retaliate against workers who stay home because they are positive with COVID-19. Any violations of the anti-retaliation ordinance can be reported to 311, by filling out an online complaint form, or contacting our office ( or 773-338-5796). 

For the latest information on COVID-19, visit the city's Coronavirus Response Center website. For more information on the Restore Illinois plan, visit the State of Illinois' Coronavirus Response website
State Eviction Moratorium Extended to December 12
Governor Pritzker announced that the State's eviction moratorium will be extended to December 12 as the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact our state and our country. 

On November 14, protections for Illinois tenants were changed under the latest eviction moratorium extension. Landlords can now file evictions unless tenants give them a written declaration that they should be protected by the COVID Eviction Moratorium. The Lawyers Committee for Better Housing. Tenants can use IDHA's declaration template to provide their landlord with written notice that they've been financially impacted due to COVID-19. That declaration is available online

The Department of Housing has put together a Know Your Rights website for tenants who are facing illegal lockouts during the eviction moratorium. The Lawyers Committee for Better Housing has also put together information for tenants facing an illegal lockout and may be able to provide legal assistance to income-eligible tenants. Learn more on their website here
Updates to the Emergency Travel Order

The Chicago Department of Public Health announced updates to the Chicago Emergency Travel Order.  A new Travel Order is effective as of Friday, November 13, 2020, at 12:01 a.m.

All states and territories will be categorized into three risk levels: Red, Orange, and Yellow. Anyone traveling from a state on the Orange list is directed to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in Chicago or quarantine for a 14-day period (or the duration of their time in Chicago, whichever is shorter). Anyone traveling from a state on the Red list must quarantine for a 14-day period or the duration of their time in Chicago, whichever is shorter.

The lists are updated every two weeks based on state and Chicago case averages. There are no travel restrictions within Illinois. However, non-essential travel to the areas of high incidence is discouraged. If essential travel is needed, follow the prevention techniques such as using a face covering, frequent hand washing/sanitization, and maintaining social distancing.

Please visit for additional information.

Latest Information on COVID-19 from the
Chicago Department of Public Health

For the latest information on COVID-19 in Chicago, visit the Chicago Department of Health's (CDPH) website at For the latest information on COVID-19 in Illinois, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health's (IDPH) website

Ward Updates
Community Meeting on the Dec. 8 Police Involved Shooting
On Tuesday, Dec. 8, police were attempting to take an individual into custody when he fired shots at them. They shot back and the man was wounded. He is thankfully in stable condition at the hospital. No officers were wounded in the shootout. While there are charges against the man who was shot, there is also an investigation to determine if officers acted responsibly during the incident. On Monday, Dec. 14, Alderwoman Hadden will host a meeting with representatives from the Civilian Office of Police Accountability (COPA) for residents to learn about the investigation process. Registration required: 
Share Feedback on the
Proposed Development at 1233 W. Pratt
On Thursday, our office hosted a community meeting to discuss a proposed development for the vacant lot located at 1233 W. Pratt. We would like to hear from residents their feedback on the proposal.

Details of the proposal are available on the 49th Ward website at You may complete a feedback form online by visiting The feedback form will remain open through January 10. 
Complete Your Holiday Shopping in Jarvis Square this Sunday
Get in the holiday spirit by supporting our local businesses in Jarvis Square. Find unique gifts for your loved ones this holiday season from local artists and merchants. The event will take place from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm on Sunday, December 13, in Jarvis Square, 1500 W. Jarvis. 
Shop Local this Holiday Season

The Rogers Park Business Alliance (RPBA)  has compiled all the information you need this holiday season to celebrate all things Rogers Park. With an unprecedented public health crisis devastating small businesses disproportionately this year, we ask that you shop local this holiday season. 

You can find a variety of unique and thoughtful gifts right here in our community without having to travel. Furthermore, when you spend money in our neighborhood, every dollar stays in the community. This helps us build stronger businesses, provide more employment opportunities, and help create a more sustainable and vibrant neighborhood. 

Plus, when you collect $150 or more in receipts from at least 4 different independently owned Rogers Park businesses through December 31, you can receive a $50 rebate. If you collect $200 or more in receipts, you can be eligible to receive a $75 rebate. For more information on the Live Love Shop Rogers Park campaign, visit RPBA's website

Last Chance to get
“I Survived the Rogers Park Tornado” Merchandise!
The fundraiser to help repopulate the Rogers Park trees will close on December 31, 2020.

Rogers Park lost hundreds of mature trees in an unprecedented tornado on August 10, 2020. The trees of RP are an important natural resource that not only give the neighborhood much of its natural character but also provide clean, fresh air and wildlife habitats.

Tee Shirts, Hoodies, and Mugs from T-Mart make great holiday gifts. There are a variety of designs, colors, and products to choose from. A portion of every sale is donated to the Rogers Park Business Alliance for the purpose of tree repopulation. And who doesn’t need a new hoodie or mask for dining al fresco at an RP restaurant in the Winter? Please support a local business while supporting the cause. All purchases made in December qualify for the Live, Love, Shop rebate too!

Neighbors came together in the days and weeks following the tornado to raise money that will help repopulate our trees as soon as possible. Three local artists generously donated the graphics. As we all understand, the City budget during a pandemic and economic crisis is not going to be enough to rebuild our neighborhood’s natural infrastructure. Together we can help the City not only plant trees but also maintain them and ensure that they reach healthy maturity.

Since August, more than $3,000 has been raised through merchandise sales and individual contributions. Additionally, tree planting measures are being considered as possible participatory budget priorities. These efforts have helped Rogers Park gain the attention of a potential private grant.  

Let’s not stop yet! The cost to maintain a parkway tree to healthy maturity can be triple the original cost of purchase. We will need funding and volunteers from across Rogers Park to make this happen.

Tee Shirts, Hoodies, and Mugs from T-Mart make great holiday gifts. There are a variety of designs, colors, and products to choose from. A portion of every sale will be donated to the Rogers Park Business Alliance for the purpose of tree repopulation. And who doesn’t need a new hoodie or mask for dining al fresco at an RP restaurant in the Winter? Please support a local business while supporting the cause. All purchases made in December qualify for the Live, Love, Shop rebate too!
Ward Sees Uptick in Mail Delivery Delays
The 49th Ward office has seen an uptick in complaints about delays in mail delivery. Our office has contacted USPS about the concerns we're receiving and has learned that, unfortunately, the delays are a result of postal carries coming down with COVID-19. As we continue to see cases surge across the city and state, the virus is now touching more aspects of our lives. Please understand that we're working to address these delays with USPS.

Our office is working with Congresswoman Schakowsky's office to prioritize the escalation of essential mail items, including checks, medication, and bills. In our communications with Congresswoman Schakowsky's office and USPS, we have been informed that the Rogers Park station is hiring eight additional mail carriers who should begin to deliver mail in the coming weeks, which should help alleviate the issue. 

This additional staffing should help, but please know that we need you to reach out to our Congresswoman and senators to ask them to advocate on behalf of USPS. Earlier this year, we shared information on the Trump administration's systematic efforts to undermine the USPS system. 

With a new Executive Branch administration taking over the White House in January and a critical Senate race in Georgia around the corner, much of USPS's future is still unknown. What we do know, though, is that we cannot live without this critical government service.

Finally, please consider leaving a note of gratitude for your mail carrier as they have worked tirelessly through a pandemic and an unprecedented election season to provide residents across the country with postal services.
Support Our Local Restaurants
New restrictions have been implemented to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in our city. With these new restrictions, it's more important than ever to continue to help support our local small businesses so they can survive. 

The City of Chicago has launched a new challenge called the Take Out Chicago Campaign. Order from 10 different restaurants between now and December 15 then email with your name and the name of 10 restaurants that you ordered from to be entered to win one of 10 VIP tours of select Chicago destinations.

If you can, order directly from the restaurants. Third-party delivery apps can charge restaurants up to 30% of the final bill. An ordinance was passed during the last City Council meeting, which now caps those fees at 15%.
Reminder: Winter Parking Restrictions Now in Effect
The City of Chicago's overnight parking ban went into effect on Tuesday, December 1. In order to ensure that the most critical roadways in Chicago are kept clear at all times, the City of Chicago institutes a Winter Overnight Parking Ban on 107 miles of vital arterial streets from 3:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. between December 1st and April 1st. This ban remains in effect regardless of snowfall. 

In the 49th Ward, the overnight parking restriction applies to Clark Street. Streets with a two-inch snow restriction include:
  • Devon Avenue
  • Sheridan Avenue
  • Ashland Avenue
  • Pratt Boulevard
  • Rogers Avenue
  • Howard Street
For more information and an interactive snow-route map, visit the 49th Ward website at
Loyola University Announces
Preliminary Plans for its Spring Semester
Loyola University announced preliminary plans for their Spring semester last week. The plans would include having 1,200 freshmen return to campus to live. Students would not be assigned a roommate and would instead have single occupancy dorm rooms. The number of students that would potentially return to campus amounts to about 25% of the overall on-campus housing capacity. 

The plans call for regular testing of students and staff so any COVID cases can be quickly identified, contact traced, and stymied before an outbreak occurs. Loyola University is applying to become a part of the University of Illinois's Shield Illinois program, which would allow rapid saliva tests to be conducted on the Loyola community. 

Loyola came to this decision after surveying their student body about the impact COVID-19 has had on their educational experience and personal lives. They found that juniors and seniors were faring better because they already had the social fabric component of their college experience established before the COVID-19 crisis. However, they found that freshmen were struggling academically, emotionally, and socially. Many freshmen feel that they are missing out on a major transition in their life by not being on the university's campus. 

At this time, no plans have been finalized. The decision is contingent on several factors, including if they're accepted into the Shield Illinois program as well as the positivity rate in January 2021. Our office is working with Loyola University to schedule a community meeting in early January to discuss their plans. 

Ahead of that meeting, we ask residents to share any feedback or concerns they have with our office so we can catalog it and share it with Loyola University. Please take a moment to fill out a feedback form online to share your thoughts or concerns.
Community Aid
The Winter Wonderland Express is Coming to
Pottawattomie Park December 19
The Chicago Park District's Winter Wonderland Express will visit Pottawattomie Park, 7340 N. Rogers, from 10 am to 12 pm on Saturday, December 19. 

The Winter Wonderland Express will help families in need make the holiday season extra special this year by handing out new, unwrapped toys. To celebrate safely, the event will be grab and go and outdoors. 

For more information, call 312-742-7529. 
Local Holiday Drives and Resources

A Just Harvest

A Just Harvest, 7549 N. Paulina, is raising funds to buy/deliver holiday gifts to the families they serve. Donations will be used to purchase toys, hats, scarves, and gloves for children under 12. Donate at until December 20. 


C24/7 Father’s Arms Ministries 

C24/7 Father’s Arms Ministries, 1348 W. Howard, is hosting a special Christmas pantry open to all community members on 12/16 from 3-5 with fresh catered food from Urban Tables. 

They are accepting donations for the 12/16 event, looking especially for: Jewel gift cards, wipes, diapers, body soap, dish soap and laundry soap. 

Family Matters

The young women of TGP (That Goddess Power), the female-identifying, youth-centered group at Family Matters, are creating care packages for people experiencing homelessness, especially supplies for women. 

Donations can be dropped off at Family Matter, 7731 N. Marshfield, That Goddess Power's Winter Care Package Drive requested items (consider purchasing from a locally-owned business):⁠

  • Watertight gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bags⁠
  • Water bottle (reuseable)⁠
  • Socks, gloves, raincoats, blankets⁠
  • Tuna and crackers; granola bars or cereal bars; fruit snack or -applesauce cup; crackers with peanut butter or cheese⁠
  • CTA bus passes⁠
  • Gift certificate to fast food⁠
  • Hand wipes; packs of Kleenex; hand sanitizer, daily face masks⁠
  • Maxi pads⁠
  • Toothbrushes & toothpaste; hydrogen peroxide; deodorant⁠
  • Band-aids; Mints, cough drops, or gum; toilet paper⁠
  • Nail clippers; chapstick; comb or small brush⁠
  • Superglue, zip ties, duct tape, flashlights, bungee cords⁠

Gale Academy

Through December 17, Gale Community Academy, 1631 W. Jonquil, is accepting toy donations for their holiday drive. They kindly ask that gifts are not wrapped. Donated gifts can be dropped off at Gale between from 8-4, M-F. They are requesting coloring books, slime, toys, rollerskates, scooters, bikes, remote controllers, etc. All gifts are greatly appreciated! 

Good News Partners

 Good News Partners, 1600 W. Jonquil Terrace, is accepting donations for their annual Christmas Market for their residents, where people can donate new items that they markdown and sell to residents at very discounted prices. The Market will take place this Sat 12/12, and they are accepting donations up until this Thurs 12/10, which can be dropped off at the Jonquil Hotel (1600 W Jonquil Ave). 

Heartland Health Centers

Heartland Health Centers, 1300 W. Devon, is hosting their annual toy drive, accepting donations through Mon 12/14. They are accepting gifts via Amazon wishlist or financial donations. Check out the flyer for more information. 

Housing Opportunities for Women

Housing Opportunities for Women is accepting gift cards or gently used and new adult coats. Check out their holiday drive page for drop-off information or mailing address.

Mary Crane Center

The Mary Crane Center,1545 W. Morse, is hosting a holiday drive for children 6 weeks to 6 years old. Now through December 22, drop off donations from 10-5, Monday to Friday. Flyer attached.

The Night Ministry

The Night Ministry has a need for new or gently used coats in larger sizes, dark or neutral colors preferred. They also accept new winter gear such as hats, scarves, gloves and thermal socks, as well as new or gently used tents. Donations can be dropped off at 1735 N. Ashland Ave. The office isn't fully staffed due to COVID, so donors should schedule drop-offs ahead of time by emailing  

ONE Northside and Communities Partnering for Peace

ONE Northside and Communities Partnering for Peace are launching a toy drive. Goal is to collect items by December 15, to distribute the toys to children in the 49th Ward and Chicago's Northside who need our help.

Please consider helping families in need this holiday season by dropping off a gift on December 12 in person between 11 am and 1 pm at 4648 N. Racine, or ordering a present online and having it delivered by December 15. For a shipping address, please email Your donation will help brighten up a child's holiday season in an exceptionally difficult year. 

St. Ignatius Food Pantry / Parish

From Dec 9-23, St. Ignatius Food Pantry, 6559 N. Glenwood, will collect and distribute special holiday items and basic food items. Hours are Wednesday 2-4, Friday 10-12. Basic items that are always needed: 2 lbs. bags of rice, canned soup, mac & cheese, canned tuna or chicken, canned fruit.

United Church of Rogers Park 

The United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse, has an Angel Tree to give gifts to neighborhood children. This year they have 3 times as many children on the list as usual. Sign up to give a toy or gift card (especially good for older children) online.

Volunteer for Care for Real's Rogers Park's Food Pantry
Care for Real is seeking volunteers to help provide food to stock the pantry, prepare food for distribution, and distribute food to our neighbors. They're seeking volunteers for Tuesdays and/or Thursdays. Register to volunteer online.

If you or someone you know needs fresh vegetables, fruit, dairy, bread, grains, or canned food, visit the Care for Real food pantry located at the United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse, Tuesdays between 12 pm and 2 pm. 
Community Engagement Opportunities
Join Loyola University and LCBH for a Report on Eviction Filings, Unemployment, and the Impact of COVID
Join the Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing (LBCH), Loyola University's Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL), and community supporters as they unveil an update to LBCH's data portal. The data portal uses statistical modeling of the historical relationship between unemployment and eviction filings to predict and estimate eviction filings in Chicago. The report will include eviction data from 2018 and 2019 and address current concerns about a potential wave of eviction filings due to COVID-19. 

The event will take place on Thursday, December 17, at 10 am. More information and registration is online
Public Comment Period on the Chicago Police Department's
Use of Force Policies Open Through December 19
The Chicago Police Department has opened a public comment period on 10 draft use of force policies. 
LUCHA: Community Alliance Initiative December Workshops
The Chicago Housing Authority Community Alliance is a partnership with LUCHA and Spanish Coalition for Housing to increase awareness of CHA’s programs and activities across the Chicagoland area and increase the diversity of those able to take advantage of opportunities provided by the CHA.

Each month, the partners host a series of workshops specifically tailored toward seniors, property managers/owners, individuals interested in learning more about Scattered Sites program and Section 3 businesses and/or Job seekers and CHA applicants. Partners also facilitate info sessions for prospective realtors/develops and Community Based Organizations to get up-to-date information about CHA’s programs/activities.

Since its inception in 2016, CHA Community Partners have facilitated 1,365 workshops reaching over 11,000 individuals. Over 65% percent of those individuals belong to underrepresented populations.

The CHA provides interpretation and translation services to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) individuals through the Language Access Plan (LAP). LAP Services include written translations as well as in-person and telephonic interpretation. LAP services are available to CHA program participants and any individual receiving CHA services.

For more information about the Community Alliance, visit
Looking for Volunteer Opportunities? Sign-Up Here!
We are always looking for volunteers for the 49th Ward office to help with flyering, school supply distribution events, tabling events, data analysis, event facilitation, among other activities! If you're interested in helping out, we'd love to get your information. Sign-up online, and we'll reach out as opportunities come up!
Government Corner
With the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a lot of information and resources available to people at all levels of government. To make sure you're receiving all the information to help you through this time, please consider signing up for the following newsletters or keeping your eye on the following pages. See something that should be added to this section? Email it to the office at 

City of Chicago Resources:
City of Chicago Coronavirus Resource Center Website
City of Chicago Coronavirus Updates Distribution Sign-Up
CPS COVID-19 Resources & Updates
Chicago Park District COVID-19 Response Page
BACP COVID-19 Resource Page

Cook County:
Cook County COVID-19 Response Website
Contact Commissioner Suffredin's Office
Commissioner Gainer Newsletter Sign-Up

State of Illinois:
State of Illinois COVID-19 Response Website
Sen. Steans Newsletter Sign-Up
Rep. Cassidy Newsletter

Federal Government:
Sign-up for Congresswoman Schakowsky's newsletter
Federal Government COVID-19 Response Website
Need to Know Info
Each week we've been updating this section with the rapid information coming down from all levels of government. This has resulted in a long email with the information running for several weeks. To shorten the length of the newsletter and provide the freshest content, we have archived all the COVID-19 newsletters on the 49th Ward website. You can also refer to the Rogers Park Community Response Team's website, where resources and information are abundantly available for our neighbors. 
Get a Free Flu Shot on December 19
Trilogy Behavioral Health has partnered with Heartland Health to provide free flu shots. If you haven't already yours, please swing by 1400 W. Greenleaf on Saturday, December 19, between 9 am and 1 pm to get yours. 
The CTA Will Still Deliver Holiday Cheer this Season
One of Chicago’s most beloved holiday traditions - the CTA Holiday Train & Bus - will continue in 2020, though with restrictions in place to keep everyone healthy for the holidays.

Santa and his elves will stay socially distanced this holiday season, meaning that customers won’t be able to board the CTA Holiday Train or the CTA Holiday Bus. Instead, the CTA Holiday Fleet will run along each rail line and multiple bus routes, spreading holiday cheer across the city.

As in previous years, when the CTA Holiday Train rolls through stations throughout the CTA system, riders will see an eye-catching, fantastically festive, six-car train decorated with holiday scenes, thousands of sparkling lights and bright LED signage displays. Santa and his reindeer, once again, will ride along outside, on a flatbed car in the middle of the train, traveling from line to line to wave to children and their families. The CTA Holiday Train begins service on Friday, November 27, the day after Thanksgiving, and goes dashing through the snow – and any other weather - on all CTA rail lines.

Santa still loves a good road trip too! So, beginning Tuesday, December 1, the CTA Holiday Bus will visit neighborhoods across the city to light up faces with love and laughter. On the exterior of the bus, customers will see “Ralphie the Reindeer” and his bright green nose. In addition to hundreds of twinkling lights outlining the bus, Santa will pop up through the roof to greet and wave to families.

Passengers hoping to catch a glimpse of these one-of-kind holiday attractions can find the CTA Holiday Fleet schedule by visiting:
Complete Ready for 100's #PowerUp Surveys

The Ready for 100 Collective, a coalition of local environmental and community organizations working to ensure Chicago’s transition to 100% clean and renewable energy is accessible to all, recently held a #PowerUp series. The series was comprised of 4 community conversations to learn what matters most to residents in a just transition to 100% renewable energy (information and recordings of those conversations can be found here).  From those conversations, the campaign built surveys to help prioritize issues and generate new ideas for crafting policy for the city.  

To ensure the residents' voices are heard and incorporated into the energy transition plan, Ready for 100 is asking that you take a moment to complete four surveys. There is one for each #PowerUp topic: jobs, health, saving money, and electric transportation.  

#PowerUp JOBS survey

#PowerUp SAVING MONEY survey

#PowerUp BETTER HEALTH survey


Please take a moment to complete the surveys by clicking on their respective links. 

Financing Available for Public Health Upgrades
Chicago PACE, a program of the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), is inviting building owners, developers, and energy service professionals to inquire about private funding for building infrastructure measures that increase public health and resiliency.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, PACE financing can help your office, industrial, residential, hospitality or healthcare facility with any of the following improvements:
  • Implementing ASHRAE safety standards (building air flush, increased filtration) that may stress existing HVAC infrastructure
  • Making significant changes to building automation to reduce touch points, such as elevators
  • Monitoring for airborne pathogens or other air quality data
  • Planned maintenance of HVAC systems
Each of these infrastructure improvements is an important component of adapting to the “new normal,” and because they typically save energy, they can qualify for Chicago PACE financing, which provides critical long-term non-recourse funding for energy saving and water conservation projects.

Please introduce your project on the PACE website, and a program representative will contact you to assess your funding needs and program eligibility. Thank you in advance for your interest.
Speak Up Hosts 8-Week Course on
How to Talk to Children about Race
Children are internalizing implicit messages about race every day. Research shows that children begin to adopt society’s harmful racial biases at an early age even when their parents and teachers don’t share those biases. Talking with children explicitly about race and racism is the only thing that has been proven to interrupt problematic comprehensive racial learning experiences. 

Join Speak Up's 8-week virtual course for Chicago area parents/caregivers on engaging in antiracist conversation and practice with children.

Learn more and sign up online
IDHS Expands Health Insurance Coverage for Immigrant Seniors
The State of Illinois has launched a new program that gives medical coverage to people of age 65 and older, regardless of their immigration status. For more information on the new policy, you can view the IDHS policy memo online.

Heartland Health has staff available for questions or referrals. FOr more information, contact Stephanie Castrejon, Community Outreach & Enrollment Supervisor, at

Heartland has assistance available in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Tagalog. Interpretation is available in 200+ languages.
Shared Cost Sidewalk Program Opens January 11
Homeowners interested in splitting the cost of sidewalk replacement with the city can join the Shared Cost Sidewalk Program. The program allows homeowners to have new sidewalks installed at a significantly reduced cost over what they would pay a contractor.

The Chicago Department of Transportation will open the 2020 Shared Cost Sidewalk Program at 6:00 am on Tuesday, January 11, 2021. Those interested should call 311 or log onto the 311 website. When you call, make sure to specify that you are interested in the Shared Cost Sidewalk Program. Applications made prior to this date will not be accepted. 

This is a very popular program that fills up within hours. Do not delay enrollment on January 11 if you are interested. 

For more information on the Shared Cost Sidewalk program, visit the city's website.
First Installment Property Tax Bills Now Available Online
Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas announced this week that next year’s First Installment Cook County property tax bills are available at The Cook County Treasurer's office released the bills early so property owners can make payments before the end of this year or plan their finances for 2021.

In November, the Cook County Board of Commissioners voted to waive late fees for two months on both property tax installments due in 2021, giving cash-strapped property owners more time to juggle their finances.
The Board unanimously waived for two months the 1.5 percent per month late fee on all Tax Year 2020 property taxes, according to a news release. Specifically:
  • The First Installment of 2020 taxes is due March 2, 2021, with application of late charges moved back to May 3, 2021.
  • The Second Installment of 2020 taxes is due August 2, 2021, with application of late charges moved back to October 1, 2021.
For more information, visit the Cook County Treasurer's website.
Open Enrollment for Medicare and the Affordable Care Act

Enrollment for 2021 is now open for the Affordable Care Act. If you need health care coverage or work for an employer that provides health care through the Affordable Care Act exchange, you can enroll or make changes to your coverage for 2021 now.  Get started by visiting Get Covered Illinois. You can be matched with a Certified Application Counselor who can help you choose the right plan for you and your family. Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act closes on December 15. 

Affordable Housing Initiative Series
King Invest Solutions is hosting a series centered around affordable housing initiatives every Saturday at 10 am through December 12. 

For more information and the Zoom link, email
Grants for Restaurant Workers
The Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's Restaurant Employee Relief Fund is providing one-time $500 cash assistance grants to eligible restaurant workers who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Applications, full eligibility requirements, and a list of required documents are available in English and in Spanish. If you would like to help restaurant workers in need, you may make a tax-deductible donation to the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund online.
Peoples Gas Bill Assistance Available
Some residents may be eligible to receive financial assistance with their gas bill through Peoples Gas. To check your availability for assistance, call CEDA at 800-571-2332. 
ComEd Helping Hands Program

ComEd's Helping Hand program provides the most in-need customers a one-time grant of up to $300 towards a past due balance. The program is available until funds are exhausted.


Combined household income for the 30 days prior to application (gross income for all household members, before taxes are deducted) is at or below 250% of the federal poverty level, and one of the following concerns is expressed:

  • An unexpected loss of income or reduction in income (including job loss or furlough)
  • Sudden illness to you or family member
  • Other stated COVID-19 impacts

To apply for the one-time bill assistance, call 1-800-EDISON-1 (1-800-334-7661) and mention the Helping Hand program. To learn more, visit ComEd's website

ComEd Bill Assistance Program

ComEd is providing bill assistance for eligible, limited-income households earning up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. To verify if you meet the income criteria, visit

The ​Bill Payment Assistance program runs through December 31, 2020, or when program funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first.

Eligible customers can receive a one-time bill assistance of up to $500 for past due balances, up to the amount of the balance. Funds are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. 


  • LIHEAP qualified residential customers with a past due balance
  • Undocumented residential customers with a past due balance may also apply for LIHEAP

If you have not yet applied for LIHEAP, please visit or call 1-877-411-9276 to start your LIHEAP pre-application. Once approved for LIHEAP funds, please fill out your information below.

To apply for the one-time bill assistance or learn more, visit ComEd's website.

CEDA Utility Program
Cook County residents are qualified to get help paying their light and gas bills than Check out the new, expanded income guidelines to see if you qualify. To fill out the application click here. Open to residents of the City of Chicago and suburban Cook County. To get more information about other CEDA utility programs to help you through COVID-19 recovery click here.
SARFS Program
The SARFS program provides safety, security, and accessibility improvements and repairs that may include grab bars, lever faucets, door repairs, floor repairs, bathroom repairs, kitchen repairs, and carbon monoxide detectors.

To be eligible for this program, seniors must be a resident of the City of Chicago, live in Wards 38, 39, 40, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, be 60+ years old, be a homeowner in a single-family home or condo with 7 or less units, and have an income of less than 80% of Median Income.

For more information, visit the Northside Community Resources website
Need Help?
Call or email the Rogers Park Community Response Team!

The Rogers Park Community Response Team is an action-oriented group created in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. RPCRT was created by 49th Ward Alderwoman Maria Hadden in coordination with local service providers and community organizations. Partners include IL State Representative Kelly Cassidy, Protect RP, Northside Community Resources, Loyola Community Nursing Center, and hundreds of deeply committed community volunteers.

We are working together to support each other. We will do so, to the best of our combined ability care for all of our RP family, with fierce love and compassion. We want every Rogers Park resident to know that you are cared for and not alone.

Contact us at or call our Support Hotline at 773-831-7668. Volunteers are available to answer your questions and direct you to resources now.

Please also take a moment to look at the Rogers Park Community Response Team's robust website, This website acts as a centralized location where a variety of resources can live to help residents in the wake of COVID-19. 

Business Updates
ComEd Bill Assistance Program for Small Businesses
ComEd introduced a new bill assistance program available to ComEd small business customers.

ComEd is offering one-time grants equal to 30% of the business's balance, up to $1,000. The assistance program is aimed to help small businesses who are struggling amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

For more information, eligibility requirements, and to apply, visit
Apply for an SBA Economic Disaster Loan
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering small businesses impacted by civil unrest between May 36 and July 30 low-interest economic disaster loans (EIDLs). The loans are available to businesses of all sizes and small agricultural cooperates that suffered economic losses during this period. 

Businesses can apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information, and download applications at . Businesses may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.
PPP Loan Forgiveness for Small Loans
If your business borrowed $50,000 or less through the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), you can be eligible for speedy loan forgiveness. To learn how you can qualify, click here. 

You can click here for the instructions and here for the form needed to apply.
State Opens Second Round of Business Interruption Grants
Governor JB Pritzker joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) this week to announce the latest in a series of grants made available for small businesses in Illinois. These grants will be made available to businesses suffering losses as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as communities impacted by the recent civil unrest. 

Applications for the second round of the Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program are now open and will offer $220 million in funds for small businesses hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic.

One of the criteria for applicants in the second round of grants is for disproportionately affected areas, which does include the 60626 zip code. 

For more eligibility requirements and information on how to apply, please visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development's website
BACP Issues Outdoor Dining Guidelines for Winter
As we enter the fall and winter months, BACP has issued guidance for safe and responsible outdoor dining and drinking. Please read this flyer for the latest information on structures, heating devices, and other safety considerations for outdoor service. Specifically, please note the following guidelines:
  • Temporary structures that fit multiple parties must have at least 50% of the sides open to be considered outdoors
  • Enclosed structures, such as plastic domes, may be used for individual parties and must have adequate ventilation to allow for air circulation
  • Temporary structures must be weighted, anchored or secured to the ground, but cannot be anchored with any method that requires screwing, cutting or drilling into the public way (i.e. on streets or sidewalks)
  • Electrically powered heating devices are permitted in open or enclosed areas
  • Natural gas heaters or any device fueled by propane are only permitted in open, uncovered areas 
Please read the full flyer for all relevant information to ensure safe operations.
Rogers Park Business Alliance COVID-19 Resources

The site maintains updated information on how we can support our small business community as well as resources for businesses in how they can adapt during this unique and challenging time. From their site:

Rogers Park Business Alliance is proud of the caring, work ethic, dedication and resiliency of our community. We firmly believe that, together, we will meet the challenge that we are all faced with today and going forward.  

Out of an abundance of love and concern for the health of our community we are closing our offices. Based on recommended precautionary measures and public health guidelines, team RPBA will be working remotely until given the all clear. We are available via phone and email. We appreciate your patience at this time. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our office at (773) 508-5885 or

You can view our growing list of Rogers Park businesses that are open and/or receiving donations. You can also checkout the Chicagoland Dining at a Distance list.

CPS Expands its Chicago Connected Program

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) announced the expansion of eligibility criteria to all low-income students without wired internet for the Chicago Connected program that provides no-cost, high-speed internet service to CPS students in their households. With the eligibility expansion, ‘Chicago Connected’ can benefit as many as 53,000 additional students.

Chicago Connected outreach and eligibility was initially conducted using a tiered system, beginning with outreach to families most in need based on students who met the most priority indicators, which included students eligible for free lunch, students identified as having special needs, students experiencing homelessness, and students living in communities with the highest hardship based on the UIC hardship index. Chicago Connected has now expanded eligibility to any low-income student in need of high-speed internet who does not currently have wired internet, based on free and reduced lunch status.

Because the date for form submission that designates low-income status has been extended, if students were listed as low-income last school year they are still considered eligible and the eligibility will be updated again once the final metric is complete. Newly-eligible families will receive a letter notification and they can check eligibility status and access their activation code by entering their child’s student ID number and birthdate into CPS’ eligibility tool at

For more information, please visit

Girls in the Game Offering Virtual Programming

Girls in the Game provides sport, health, and leadership programs for girls of all ages. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, they've adapted their programs to a virtual setting to continue to offer girls a high-quality experience and opportunity to grow. 

Through their virtual programming, participants have had the opportunity to connect and have fun together. Girls in the Game have found that their participants especially enjoy having the opportunity to connect with girls from different neighborhoods and cities. 

I’m reaching out to inform you about our virtual programs and to invite you to pass the information along to the girls in your Ward.  We want to give girls from different schools and communities an opportunity to learn and have fun together.  We’ve found that girls love having the opportunity to connect with girls from different neighborhoods and cities. 

All sessions do require an RSVP and parent or guardian consent to participate. To learn more and sign up, visit the Girls in the Game website

Apply for the Future Founders Startup Sprints Program

Apply for a fun-filled day of creativity and entrepreneurship! In less than one day, you’ll get a crash course in startups, work with a team to build a creative business, and do it all with the guidance of your own startup coach (a real-life entrepreneur)! This free opportunity is open to high school students enrolled in Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Charter schools, and Big Shoulders schools. Accepted applicants are provided credit to a food delivery service as a lunch stipend and have the opportunity to compete for $125 cash among other exciting prizes!

The one-day experience will be offered twice (Monday, December 21, and Tuesday, December 22). Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis through Monday, December 14, and can be completed online by clicking here.

CPS Modifies Timeline for Students to
Return to In-Person Learning
CPS announced this week that they are planning to begin opening school buildings for families who choose to return in 2021 following winter break. Students enrolled in pre-k and moderate and intensive cluster programs will have the option to return on Monday, January 11, 2021, and students in K-8 will be able to return on Monday, February 1. High school students who learn in general education settings will continue learning at home, and CPS will continue to evaluate options for a return to in-person learning for those students in 2021. 

To prepare for the safe return to school buildings, families of children who are eligible to return will be contacted later this month to understand their preferred learning setting following winter break.

Tentative timeline for returning to school based on public health conditions and guidance:
With the plans to bring students back after winter break, school buildings will look different in the new year. To support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s five key strategies for mitigating COVID-19 transmission, schools will take the following safety measures:
  1. Anyone entering a school building for more than 10 minutes will be required to complete a health screener before coming to school to ensure they are free of COVID-19 symptoms and to support the Chicago Department of Public Health’s contact tracing efforts.
  2. Students and staff who are symptomatic or have had close contact with someone who tested positive will not be allowed to enter the building. They will be provided access to free COVID-19 tests through either established primary care providers or city partners.
  3. Anyone entering a school building will also have their temperature checked and be required to wear a face covering, which the district will provide for every student and staff member.
  4. Signs have been installed throughout the building to help students socially distance, and desks and classroom furniture will be spaced further apart.
  5. Hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout the building to help everyone practice good hand hygiene.
  6. Classrooms have been cleaned from top to bottom, and facilities staff members will implement an enhanced cleaning routine. 
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, every classroom will have a HEPA air purifier to help capture particles, clean the air, and reduce the risk of indoor transmission of viruses and bacteria.

CPS has also hired independent state-certified environmental specialists to test schools for indoor air quality. Classrooms have been checked to ensure they are properly ventilated and meet ASHRAE’s standards. Families can check the status of their child’s classroom by visiting

The Chicago Teachers Union has expressed concerns about the proposal to have students, faculty, and staff return to school as the city continues to see a surge of COVID-19 cases wreak havoc across our city. Our office understands that there are no easy choices during this unprecedented crisis. Still, we believe that all our residents' health and safety should be prioritized while we continue to combat COVID-19. We will be working with the Chicago Teachers Union to see how we can support their members ahead of any re-openings in 2021. 
CPS Developing Whole School Comprehensive Safety Plan
CPS is embarking on a new initiative to provide a more comprehensive approach to school safety. Their goal is to provide all schools with a Whole School Comprehensive Safety Plan that accounts for a range of school safety needs by the start of the 2021-22 school year. 

As a part of the planning process, CPS intends to partner with up to five community-based organizations (CBOs) who will work together to design a citywide engagement process for our stakeholders. Selected CBOs will be tasked with gathering community feedback on alternate school safety strategies.

CBOs interested in applying should submit an application. For information on the whole school comprehensive safety plans, please visit our website.
Go CPS Application Now Open
GoCPS is now open. GoCPS allows families to learn, research, explore, and apply to nearly every CPS school and program through one online platform. Parents can select the grade level for their student to get an overview of the application process and timeline by visiting The Round 1 application deadline has been extended to January 8.  
Employment Opportunities
Communities Partnering 4 Peace Hiring Victims Advocates

Victim advocates support victims of crime as they deal with the financial, legal, medical, and emotional impact of their experiences. Working with investigators, lawyers, and other criminal justice professionals, victim advocates attempt to carry out the law so it serves those it protects.

You will help victims cope with stress and navigate the criminal justice system. This work involves counseling, social work, one-on-one services, and practical support for victims.

Victim advocates may also help advance state legislation to support victims’ rights.

They are looking to hire someone hopefully before the year ends. If you’re doing this line of work or have a passion to help others email Ralph Edwards -

Doctors Test Centers (DTC) Job Opportunities

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) has long been an economic engine for the City and region at large. They recently announced that they will begin offering the most comprehensive COVID-19 testing of any airport in the country at O’Hare and Midway International Airports.

The program will require a workforce to fill the more than 100 available positions.  Doctors Test Centers (DTC) has been selected as the vendor to assist the CDA with the endeavor. They have a variety of employment opportunities open and are seeking applicants. For more information, visit DTC's website here

2020 Virtual Concessionaire, Small Business & Vendor Expo
The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) will host a Virtual Concessionaire, Small Business & Vendor Expo for local companies to learn about doing business with the CDA. Expo information will include - how to obtain ACDBE/DBE/MBE/WBE/Certification, as well as up-coming contracting opportunities.

To register for this event, please complete the 2020 CDA Expo Registration Form at
Chicago Park Concessions Application Now Open
The Chicago Park District has announced a Notice of Availability for the 2021 Concession Program Opportunities.  In order to learn more or complete an application, visit Once there, you will find step-by-step instructions on reviewing, completing, and submitting the application. 
Additionally, there is a non-mandatory pre-submittal meeting that will take place virtually on Monday, December 14, at 10 am C.S.T.  Meeting details are as follows:
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 891 4418 9093
Passcode: 058376
One tap mobile:
+13126266799,,89144189093#,,,,,,0#,,058376# US (Chicago)
The application should be submitted electronically via the website by Monday, January 18, 2021, by 3:00 pm C.S.T.
Find a Job with the CSBG Transitional Jobs Program
The Transitional Jobs Program helps those seeking employment gain work experience and get connected to quality jobs. The program offers participants up to 4 weeks of paid work experience and help with transitioning into permanent employment.
  • Age Requirement – Applicants for the program must be 18 years or older
    • Valid (not expired) Driver’s License OR State ID with City of Chicago address
  • Social Security Number
    • Social Security Card (signature required on it)
  • Authorization to Work in the United States/Citizenship
    • Original Birth Certificate OR Hospital Record of Birth
  • City of Chicago Residency (Applicants for the program must live in the City of Chicago).

    For Homeless Individuals:
    • A letter from the shelter stating:
      • Resident’s name and family members, if applicable
      • Date when their residency began at IHP location 
      • Signed by the referring case manager with a current date
          For Others:
    • Landlord Statement OR Current Leave OR Eviction Notice with Current Address
    • Valid (not expired) Driver’s License OR State ID with City of Chicago Address
  • Income Verification (For six months, prior to the date of signed program application)
    • Check Stubs
    • Unemployment Insurance Document OR Printout from IDES
    • Social Security Award Letter OR Form SSA-1099 OR Printout from Social Security
    • Child Support (Verification of payments made on behalf of child/children if applicable)
    • OR any combination of the above 
  • Other Required Documents:
    • Current Food Stamp Award Letter indicating TANF (cash payments) and/or SNAP amount
    • Program application completely filled out, signed, and dated by the client
    • Copy of resume, if applicable
Those interested in participating should call Glenisha at 708-996-1191 to get started.
Alderwoman Maria Hadden | 49th Ward Service Office
1447 W. Morse Ave, Chicago, IL 60626
773-338-5796 |

Office Hours*

Monday: 9 am - 5 pm
Tuesday: 9 am - 5 pm
Wednesday: 9 am - 5 pm
Thursday: 9 am - 5 pm
Friday: 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

*Please note the physical office remains closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Our staff is working virtually from home and is happy to answer calls and emails.

Paid for and authorized by Maria for the 49th Ward.

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Alderwoman Maria Hadden · 1447 W. Morse Ave · Chicago, IL 60626 · USA