Overview of City
With 77 very unique and culturally diverse neighborhoods, Chicago is a big city with a small city feel. Chicago has a long standing commitment to activism and community organizing, making it a great place to learn about race, poverty, and other issues of injustice. DOOR Chicago is housed at First Church of the Brethren in the East Garfield Park neighborhood. East Garfield Park is a community full of potential and has a rich history of strong community leaders and activists, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who had an office in First Church of the Brethren as he fought for fair housing rights. DOOR Chicago partners with established and well rooted organizations and churches that have been serving the city for many years to provide service opportunities for participants. Read about our commitment to local communities on our blog, here.
The Executive Director of DOOR talks about misconceptions of Chicago in her blog post.
Discover is DOOR's short term mission trip/service-learning program that includes time for service, learning, and reflection. Read more about the Discover program.
Discover groups stay in East Garfield Park, just off the CTA's Blue Line. Groups learn about the assets of the neighborhood, including the Garfield Park Conservatory, public transportation, grassroots and social justice organizations, community gardens, social service providers, and churches. In addition to service opportunities with a variety of local agencies and churches, Discover participants spend time hearing from local leadership, being involved in experiential hands-on activities, and reflecting on their experiences.
- An elderly care center that allows groups to interact with senior citizens of differing abilities through playing games, participating in crafts, and sharing stories
- An urban gardening network throughout the city that allows groups to garden alongside neighborhood stakeholders
- A local church committed to being peacemakers in their neighborhood parks and invites groups to play alongside their neighbors
- An outreach center that provides opportunities for groups to serve in the three shelters of their homeless prevention program: a daycare facility, a free store, and a soup kitchen
DOOR's Discern program provides summer staff and local yearlong engagement opportunities for young adults. Read more about the Discern program.
DOOR Chicago's Discern program features:
- Leadership development through staffing the summer Discover program and participating in weekly leadership development training sessions with the City Director
- Discernment of calling/vocation (including assessments, discussion, sharing stories, and planning for personal, educational, and job goals)
- Acquiring city competency through learning city transportation, meeting city leaders, studying the history and current issues in Chicago, and preparing a social justice presentation of an issue facing Chicago
As a DOOR Chicago Discern participant, you will receive:
- Housing at Faith House, next door to First Church of the Brethren. This community house is for staff only. Both bedrooms and bathrooms are shared. Faith House also serves as a place for local staff to hangout and relax between afternoon and evening responsibilities.
- All meals are covered during Discover program weeks.
- Public transit- an unlimited monthly CTA pass is provided during the summer Discover season
- $150 weekly stipend during the summer Discover season
- Orientation week and an end of summer debriefing retreat are included.
Read more about the Discern experience within Chicago from the DOOR Executive Director, here.
Dwell is a yearlong program for young adults interested in dedicating a year to service, intentional community, discernment, and faith development. Read more about the Dwell program.
In Chicago, Dwellers will:
- Explore many of Chicago's 77 culturally diverse neighborhoods
- Learn about race, poverty, and other issues of injustice from local leaders and residents with a long-standing commitment to activism and organizing
- Spend time as a Dwell community sharing meals, reading and discussing books, doing service, and praying together
- Grow and develop as individuals by setting goals, stepping out of their comfort zone, and building cross-cultural relationships with neighbors, co-workers, and fellow Dwellers
- Participate in community days where Dwell participants and the City Director will connect and learn from each other as they explore Chicago; meet with community leaders; attend cultural events; and reflect, serve, and advocate for disenfranchised populations together
- Participate in several retreats during the year that may include storytelling, silence and reflection, connection with Dwellers/YAVs from other cities, and a year end celebration
Contact DOOR Chicago:
Nicolette Marie Faison