On September 8th, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the recipients of the last rounding of funding from the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund. The Fund granted $7.5 million to seven non-profit organizations throughout the state that serve Black and Latinx communities. One of those selected was DREAAM House, which provides social and academic development for African-American boys in C-U. With $400,000 in grant money, DREAAM House will partner with The Well Experience, a C-U non-profit with similar goals of reaching underserved families and youth, for their Hope in Action Project.
I spoke with DREAAM House founder and executive director Tracy Dace in 2017 about the mission and work that the organization was doing in the community, so I took this opportunity to follow up with Dace and find out more about this new initiative.
- We will serve 300 participants through a multi-tiered, evidence-based system of services and supports that are accessible, coordinated, and take a holistic view of the individual and families. .
Specifically, The Well Experience will engage 20 families in wraparound services and culturally-responsive supports and launch a program for pregnant teens.
DREAAM will form a community think tank to design individual-level and small group interventions to address gun violence that profoundly derails the lives of Black teen males
Twenty-five young adults (ages 18-30) will receive career training, paid work experiences, and supportive services (life coaching, financial assistance) to increase life opportunities and disrupt generational poverty
DREAAM will provide full-day childcare and educational services to up to 40 DREAAMers
Other individuals and DREAAM/TWE families will receive financial support with short-term needs.
DREAAM House is also a community partner of Community Foundation of East Central Illinois, and a part of their Community Solutions Incubator.