Ideas into Action: The Value of Business Partners Within Civic Actions

Point in Time website image

Point in Time proposes turning underutilized parish properties into senior residential facilities with shared common spaces.

It’s probably not a stretch to assert that most feel civic groups excel at doing good and businesses are often good at doing well.

So would it be controversial to suggest that both types of organizations are better at doing good and well when they heed sound counsel from each other — or at least leverage the respective skills that each other brings to bear?

Doing good and doing well are attributed to notable luminaries as far back as Benjamin Franklin, and the concept is taught every day in undergraduate and graduate business school curriculums, popular business periodicals, and church sermons. Taken alone, both well and good seem universally understood. But in trying to marry the two, we almost invariably fumble at reaching an equitable partnership. And this is not necessarily a functional gap, but perhaps, just as often, a perceived gap.

The November Ideas into Action meeting centered around some innovative ideas a local real estate design team is offering to help address some of the impending housing and lifestyle challenges older residents will face in the coming years.

Michael Reschke and Tom Smith of Point in Time presented their ideas to work with the Archdiocese of Chicago to convert underutilized parish buildings into group residences for the active 55+ crowd.  These group residences will feature shared amenities that could shift according to the preferences of each building’s residents. (DNAinfo has covered plans to convert Our Lady of Victory convent and St. Cornelius Church, both in the Jefferson Park area, into senior living facilities.)

Although some may initially question the idea of the church exploring a master lease with an outside party to devise affordable housing for seniors, a deeper look shows the powerful creativity business people can bring to critical neighborhood challenges.

After all, businesses know all too well that they can’t be All Things to All People. But when they work at finding a sweet spot, they usually find they can offer something valuable to a key segment of the community. At first look, this idea holds promise!

Are you looking to help Forward Chicago do well and good?

Join fellow neighborhood enthusiasts and civic activists for the next Ideas into Action gathering at the St. Matthias Convent (4927 N. Claremont Ave.) on Saturday, Feb. 20, from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

About Jeff Robison

Jeff is a DePaul neighborhood resident focused on seniors' interests and issues. With wife Ausra, he is co-founder of LincolnPark FamilyCare, providing local non-medical, in-home care to seniors. Jeff can often be found enjoying the company of others on Chicago's North Side, working to spark social, educational, and needs-based community involvement. An avid hunter-and-pecker, he admits to having no writing skills whatsoever.

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