Cleanslate Launches Ward by Ward in Chicago’s 29th Ward

Cara Staff

Social enterprise initiative signals a $300k investment in neighborhood revitalization.

Cleanslate has launched its Ward by Ward initiative into Chicago’s 29th Ward. The move marks a three-year, $300k+ investment in the community, made possible by the generous donations of Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan, Daniel and Vicki Brennan, John and Rita Canning, Matt and Lisa Carolan, Mark and Betsy Carroll, and William and Laurie Conroy. The move will deepen Cleanslate’s mission of beautifying Chicago neighborhoods through the cleanup of streets and parkways and by changing their landscape by building safer, more vibrant communities through transitional employment to its citizens.

Alderman Chris Taliaferro and Cleanslate Managing Director Brady Gott introduced Cleanslate to the 29th Ward with a special inaugural ceremony at Austin Town Hall Park. The event also featured live entertainment from the LowDown Brass Band as well as remarks from Alderman Taliaferro. Over this three-year term, Cleanslate is expected to create more than 60 additional jobs for citizens of this community.

“I sincerely thank Cleanslate and the sponsors for investing in the 29th Ward and its residents,” said Alderman Taliaferro in a statement. “Because of your generosity, we will be a cleaner ward, but most important, your generosity helps to continue building the foundation and reason why we are so proud to live in Austin.”

Cleanslate crew members and sponsors of the 29th Ward pose with Alderman Chris Taliaferro at the Ward by Ward 29th Ward launch.

As an initiative of Cleanslate, Ward by Ward is dedicated to building a crew-based work model that creates jobs – and thereby peace – directly in communities most vulnerable to violence. The program launched this past August in Chicago’s 27th Ward through sponsorships from The Habitat Company, the Owens Foundation, and Waterton.

“I am very grateful for all the sponsors who have shown their support of Ward by Ward,” said Gott. “It’s inspiring to launch a crew in a new community and see Cleanslate’s transformative magic go to work. Scores of 29th Ward residents will now get the access to employment and opportunity that they have been hungering for and the work they perform on our crew will improve the vibe of the business corridors throughout the ward and beyond.”

Since its inception in 2005, Cleanslate has cleaned up more than 850k bags of trash and more than 275k bags of recycling in 33 Chicago neighborhoods and suburban communities. The primary focus of Cleanslate’s work is exterior maintenance, landscaping, and snow removal, with an emphasis on sustainability. Nearly 2,500 Cara participants have worked in nearly 2,700 transitional jobs created by Cleanslate, with 986 individuals securing permanent or long-term employment through their involvement with the social enterprise. Learn more at www.cleanslatechicago.org.