A World Where All People Have Dignity, Communities Thrive, and Everyone Belongs
Sol Flores is being honored as a Champion of Change for her work to combat homelessness among children and youth.
Justice, Family and Achievement. These are the pillars of my core values. My passion and determination to serve those in need is rooted in these values. It has been my greatest personal and professional privilege to be of service to others and work towards fulfilling our vision of a world where all people have dignity, communities thrive, and everyone belongs.
Ten years ago, with an enormous amount of passion, faith and dedication, a small group of people came together to step out on a bold mission of impacting youth, family and Latino homelessness in Chicago. As the founding Executive Director of La Casa Norte, I had the opportunity to design, develop and sustain an organization that has impacted the lives of thousands of youth and family households in Chicago. We have been accountable for ensuring that our mission is implemented such that our clients achieve their outcomes and that we exhibit the best possible stewardship with the resources allocated to us. As the Executive Director, I have provided infectious enthusiasm and boundless energy at La Casa Norte as we reshape the physical infrastructure of our neighborhood and rebuild broken lives to foster hope, stable homes, and healthy communities. When this happens, I know I am being true to my values.
La Casa Norte was established in July 2002, during the midst of an economic recession. Also in 2002, Chicago was one of the first municipalities to adopt a comprehensive city wide strategy for ending homelessness. During this time, there were few advocates articulating the challenges and needs of the youth and Latino communities within this sector. With this context, from its inception La Casa Norte distinguished itself with the following approach: 1) nurture a stellar board and staff leadership; 2) have strong community support for our work, and 3) take bold advocacy to articulate and represent an underserved community. As a result, La Casa Norte has developed a continuum of housing and support services steeped in a client centered approach and focused on moving homeless youth and families with children towards housing stability.
Under our vision, La Casa Norte is currently developing a new comprehensive community center and supportive housing project to serve youth and families with children experiencing homelessness. This unique, bold new endeavor will bring critical programs and resources, such as a nutrition center, a federally qualified health center, a youth drop-in program, technology center and permanent supportive housing units for homeless youth and families. The new development will also provide much needed economic redevelopment and revitalization on Chicago’s west side.
Sol Flores is the Executive Director of La Casa Norte (LCN), a community based organization whose mission is to serve youth and families confronting homelessness.