Thursday, February 12, 2009


Saving Our Neighborhoods (S.O.N) Foundation Narrative January, 2009

The S.O.N Foundation’s mission: is to address the needs of the Roseland Community by developing programs to stimulate community revitalization, promote self-determination, rehabilitation and restoration of positive images in its citizens. The S.O.N Foundation is a 501©3 non-profit community based organization committed to saving the community one block at a time.

Founded in 1991, as a grass root organization, the S.ON Foundation has strived to provide community support to help address the diminishing and decaying of our most valuable resource.

Mr. Douglas, Sr. the founder and CEO of the S.O.N Foundation, is husband to Jacqueline S. Douglas and the father of five children. Being personally connected to the Roseland community, including his entire life, he is determined to evoke change in the Roseland community by offering community development, mentoring, educational and professional training services and overall teen and adult training in these areas. The Executive Director has grown up in the Roseland Community and has lived in Roseland for 30 years. He is a graduate of Christian Fenger High School and currently attends Chicago State University, majoring in

Description of current programs and activities:

The Roseland Community needs programs designed to empower self-esteem, leadership skills, social skills, rehabilitation, and helping to achieve academic success, employment, deterrence of gang and use of illegal of illegal drugs.
Through the S.O.N Foundation’s Prisoners Re-Entry program and the relationships with Chicago Workforce Development and Illinois Department of Employment Services, S.O.N provide mentoring and employment support to ex-offender’s to assist with their successful re-entry in to the community.
S.O.N Foundation conducts outreach to employers explaining the benefits and incentives to hire ex-offenders, building relationships critical for eliminating employment barriers.
Proposed Program Services: Construction Jobs Training, Job Readiness Training, At-Risk Youth Mentoring, After School Activities
The S.O.N Foundation has the access to additional organizations that support community development and has established relationships within the Roseland community.

Program Achievements (2007-2009)
The S.O.N Foundation facilitated early childhood education at Curtis Elementary school, where students and parents are engaged in areas of social development, the policy committee and early childhood education during 2008
The S.O.N Foundation is a member of the Chicago Youth and Services Department’s policy committee that addresses prisoner re-entry
The S.O.N Foundation received its certificate for job development with Chicago Job Council in December, 2008 which provides services in the area of employment and employment retention.
The S.O.N Foundation received a capacity building certificate that allows for workshops to be facilitated from the Safer Foundation, Chicago Illinois, a premier organization devoted to the rehabilitation of ex-offenders.
The S.O.N Foundation’s Executive Director is a member of the Southside Minister’s Coalition that serves in the capacity of job developer with the Southside Job Collaborative. In this organization he has provided job development, employer recruitment, and job retention and job readiness to Southside Chicagoans.
The S.O.N Foundation administered programs with After School Matters that targeted Roseland teens and provided them with job training in the area of literacy during summer, 2008 at the Catholic Charities in the Roseland Community. Teens, upon completion of the program eligible to work during the school year, teaching younger children how to read.
The S.O.N Foundation’s Executive Director is the Vice-President of Roseland Preparatory School, proposed to Chicago Public School started in 2008 to address the issues of low test scores, low parental involvement, drop out rates and addressing these issues at the elementary level.
The S.O.N Foundation’s Executive Director is a member of the 4th ward Aldermanic Minister’s Committee that has been addressing spiritual enrichment of the South Chicago Community.

B. Purpose of Funding Request:
Operational Development support is essential for the continued facilitation of programs that affect the Roseland community and surrounding members. The Executive Director and his Contract Administrator have embraced the Roseland Community and seeks to see a change. The problematic issues of Roseland include unemployment, teen dropout rates, sex-offenders, ex-offender recidivism, drug, substance abuse issues.

Description of capital campaign: The S.O.N Foundation is attempting to complete the following projects: an after school program involving literacy of teens, a program that involves art air brushing, an entrepreneurship/tutoring program for teens that provide them with the skills that allow them to go out and teach elementary aged students, drug awareness, teen pregnancy, violence prevention, conflict resolution, ex-offender recidivism prevention and entrepreneurship programming in the Roseland Community. Roseland has yet to recover from the effects of those decades of economic decline. The evolution and growing influence of community organizations, however, offer the possibility that Roseland might come to share in Chicago's new prosperity.
The projects that the S.O.N Foundation was involved in is an After School Matters program for the Summer, 2008 (and will continue for Summer 2009) that “Makes Reading Fun” which teaches literacy to teens that allows them to be employed during the subsequent school year as reading tutors. The students come from Roseland area high schools.
The S.O.N Foundation is in negotiation with Chicago State University to facilitate an entrepreneurship program that runs under the Chicago Public Schools, Education to Careers, small business planning curriculum. In this role, the S.O.N Foundation will seek to not only provide job readiness training but job placement for the teens upon completion.
The S.O.N Foundation will provide job placement for the teens that have completed the above mentioned program. These teens will be tracked to ensure that they are completing their area of study. They will be interviewed and surveyed to ensure that they are meeting the standards of the S.O.N Foundation that means they will meet the minimum requirements for assistance: that they graduate from high school, that they go to post-secondary programming, that they secure a job and that they meet with the S.O.N Foundation regularly (once a week) to discuss post secondary planning).
This is a collaborative program with other entities. The additional institutions/organizations that the S.O.N Foundations work with include organizations that have developed a relationship over time that have sustained the organization.

The S.O.N foundation works collaboratively with organizations in the following communities including: Roseland, West Pullman, Englewood, West Englewood, Rossmoor, Little Village, Woodlawn, Maywood, Auburn Gresham, and the Lawndale Community.

All program will be supported with additional organization support through and throughout the remaining time of grants. Because S.O.N feel so confident of this organization, S.O.N are endeavored to apply for funds that supply teens and adults with the demands of the community and the various needs that they demand that require that require action now. The S.O.N Foundation is seeking to provide programs in the areas of: Construction job training, Job readiness, At-Risk Youth Mentoring and After School Activities. The S.O.N Foundation is in a situation right now, the Chicago Public School students dying, the adults dying, the family un-unification, the single family homes, the amount of individuals on public assistance, the number of violent acts in the community, the number teen pregnancies, and community incarcerations should let you know that Roseland in a state of emergency, The community members that try to do the correct thing are constantly being deterred due to the presence of societal ills.

C. Evaluation
Effectiveness of programming:

The S.O.N Foundation will work to familiarize the community with this relationship that it has with other organizations in the community that provide other such services. It is not a joke and there are very few individuals that you would find that willingly able to walk away without looking for anything or any compensation without looking to create a criminal act to get the substances that they need. The Executive Director is one of these people that demonstrate these traits. The S.O.N Foundation will evaluate its programs on participant attrition and retention, participant attendance rates, participant recidivism rates or criminal activities beyond the program, level of educational completions, post-secondary planning and completion and family relationship re-unification, based on parental and teen involvement.
The proposed programming is anticipated to begin in 2009 through the remainder of time that funding is available.
The S.O.N Foundation uses the program methodology of direct instruction, surveying and continual evaluation, hands-on demonstration and final products/projects. The final product/project is essential because it allows participants to evaluate their own proficiencies and work toward an end goal, which builds self-esteem and re-enforces content delivery
The S.O.N Foundation will hire instructors for programming (content specialists); administration consists of an Executive Director and Contract Administrator. Upon the receipt of funds, additional staff will be hired, primarily a business manager.

Collaboration with other organizations include: The Woodlawn Organization (TWO), Westside Minister’s Association, Chicago Workforce Development One-Stop-Center, Illinois Department of Employment Services, Safer Foundation, 4th Ward Alderman, Resurrection House, God’s Gang, Hood Ministry Mission of Faith Baptist Church, Michael Reese Hospital, and DD&S Consultant Services.
Thank You All
Robert M. Douglas
S.O.N Foundation