8th Avenue Strong Neighborhoods House brings critical resources to local residents

Strong Neighborhoods House

(Rockford, Ill. - 12/01/2015) – United Way of Rock River Valley, in collaboration with Rockford Police Department and ZION Development, unveiled the first of two Strong Neighborhoods houses for Ellis Heights and Midtown residents. The 8th Avenue Strong Neighborhoods House, located at 908 8th Avenue, will become a resource for residents, where local police officers will have regular office hours as a way to help facilitate problem solving and build a safer and stronger neighborhood.

"All families deserve an opportunity to live in a safe and healthy neighborhood," says Paul A. Logli, President/CEO of United Way of Rock River Valley. "The house will be a great center of activity for police to set up in the neighborhood and build positive relationships with residents. When those positive relationships start to develop then we also have a safer neighborhood."

The house is the culmination of nearly half a year of collective work by United Way, volunteer groups and key partners such as ZION, which serves as landlord of the property, and Northwestern Illinois Building and Construction Trades Council. United Way invested about $40,000 in house renovations. As a result, the 8th Avenue Strong Neighborhoods House will serve a number of functions in addition to the regular police presence. The house provides a space for community gatherings and delivery of critical human services.

"This house is intended to be a warm and welcoming place for the residents. United Way will be out in the neighborhood listening to and helping residents identify key programming that will improve their quality of life," says Logli.

Currently, United Way has secured a free tax assistance program at the house for residents through Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois and is in planning with University of Illinois Extension to bring summer youth programming.

The 8th Avenue Strong Neighborhoods House is a direct response to needs discovered through United Way's Strong Neighborhoods initiative, which is dramatically improving the quality of life for children and families in two of the region's most challenged neighborhoods. Over the past year, United Way's community impact team has visited with residents, businesses and agencies in Ellis Heights and Midtown neighborhoods to learn their aspirations and needs. Safety, healthy living, school readiness, job training, and access to critical resources were priorities identified through the community engagements.

The second Strong Neighborhoods House is scheduled to open in the Ellis Heights neighborhood in early spring 2016. For more information, please contact Linda Sandquist, vice president of United Way of Rock River Valley, at 815-968-5400 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


United Way of Rock River Valley

United Way of Rock River Valley creates lasting change for everyone in Winnebago and Ogle counties by reducing childhood poverty and building hope for families in neighborhoods. We unite people and organizations to focus on results-driven solutions that create a community of healthy, well-educated and financially-stable individuals and families. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to make the change happen.