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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, Homeless & Housing, Housing Development, Construction & Management, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Job Training, Vocational Rehabilitation

Mission: We strive to reach out to an inner-city neighborhood, North Lawndale, which is struggling with the traumatic consequences of urban poverty: poor schools, low levels of education, drug addiction, unstable housing, crime, high rates of incarceration, and homelessness. Our mission is to establish, educate, and empower North Lawndale families to gain the economic and spiritual tools that lead to hope and self-sufficiency.

Programs: Affordable Housing program: We build affordable, single-family homes for low-income North Lawndale families. Our homes are considered to be the most affordable in Chicago, as well as the best product for the price, according to Chicago's 24th Ward Alderman, Michael Chandler.Our APL Teaching Factory provides an intensive, six-week course that equips participants with the basic skills needed for entry-level employment, industry trade programs, and GED programs. We also provide ongoing placement services, as well as family, spiritual, and career development counseling. Additionally, we will soon open our Manufacturing Credentialing Center, which will provide participants nationally-recognized manufacturing credentials. APL Teaching Factory is particularly successful with our large number of ex-offender participants, who face extreme barriers to re-entering the workforce.Beneficiaries: Steans Family Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, LISC, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Wells Fargo Housing Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Khesed Foundation, First American Homeownership Foundation.

Community Stories

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

To Whom it may concern: I like coming to the Apl Teaching Factory because I like the computer skills. I especially spend a lot of time working on a math website. It helps me with my math skills. I have learned how to send e-mails(I have a gmail account now !). It is fun. Devotion, which is led by Mr. Connie, is broken down. Some of it I understand, some of it I don’t. BreakingGround gets me motivated and helps me get back on my feet. Right now I stay at a homeless shelter but somehow the employees there got in contact with someone here. I thought it was going to be another program that didn’t really help me but now I’m glad I get up everyday to come here. The teacher here tells me to speak up for myself and not to be afraid of what she or anyone else thinks. It makes me feel good to know that someone cares. I was put into a special class that teaches at a slower pace and allows me to catch up with the world. Some people might think a smaller class means ‘dum’b , but it just means I get more attention to get what I need. And they assured me grades have nothing to do with getting a job. It’s following the rules and how I act. I want a job so I’m sticking to the rules! Sincerely, Joseph Barnes

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

To Whom It May Concern: In May of 2009 a friend had told me of Breaking Ground. As I walked into this building I did not know what to expect out of it. But as time went by I was surprised to learn all that A.P.L has to offer for learning the computer and brushing up on more other skills. I look forward to the morning devotions I learn so much every day that I come to class. I look forward to coming hear and I am eager every day to learn more. The teachers are so helpful and the staff is so joyful they make the experience of learning so much fun. I still have much to learn but with the grace of GOD I know he will lead me in the right path that is right for my life. In closing I am truly grateful for this program and I am looking forward to next year to come back to a new experience. Sincerely, Ronald G. Seat

5

Former staff

Rating: 5

To whom it may concern: I like BreakingGround very much because they can help you get a job. The people that run the organization are good Christian folks. The C.E.O seem to take a special interest in my making the classes. When I first came, I wasn’t enthusiastic and sorta just sat in the back of the classroom looking bored. And I was bored. But then, for whatever reason, I was put into a special class and the teacher there, Margaret Brown, not only was able to teach me but made me want to learn. Soon, I was the first one chosen to do individualized tutoring on the computer. I am able to sit on my own and follow directions from the software. This makes me happy and makes me feel there is a chance for me. It made me want to participate in general devotional time even more. I come in now and read the scriptures before my classes start. We also have a period called “tell it like it is”….it is one of my favorite parts. I get to express how I feel and maybe even help someone else. Sincerely, Melvin Jeans

11

Client Served

Rating: 5

To Whom It May Concern: My experience at Breaking Ground has been a positive undertaking since I first came here in October. I have learned many things about myself and others. I’ve learned how to listen and respect other’s opinion even when I don’t agree with their perspective. For example, I’m one of those guys who think he knows it all; this organization is a big plus for me. It has also taught me diligence and effective planning which lead to my improvement in my life. I have met some excellent people here. This is one of the reasons why I’ve made it this far: the staff has a lot of patience and understanding. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to meet a staff with such a positive attitude and love for the human race. They set a family type of environment that extends to us students here A.P.L We also have devotional meetings. In the meetings, not only do we read God’s word, but we discuss it until we understand His word; allowing us to find inspiration in each other. I’ll end by saying thank you, and GOD bless Breaking ground. Sincerely, Otis Hicks To Whom It May Concern: My experience at Breaking Ground has been a positive undertaking since I first came here in October. I have learned many things about myself and others. I’ve learned how to listen and respect other’s opinion even when I don’t agree with their perspective. For example, I’m one of those guys who think he knows it all; this organization is a big plus for me. It has also taught me diligence and effective planning which lead to my improvement in my life. I have met some excellent people here. This is one of the reasons why I’ve made it this far: the staff has a lot of patience and understanding. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to meet a staff with such a positive attitude and love for the human race. They set a family type of environment that extends to us students here A.P.L We also have devotional meetings. In the meetings, not only do we read God’s word, but we discuss it until we understand His word; allowing us to find inspiration in each other. I’ll end by saying thank you, and GOD bless Breaking ground. Sincerely, Otis Hicks To Whom It May Concern: My experience at Breaking Ground has been a positive undertaking since I first came here in October. I have learned many things about myself and others. I’ve learned how to listen and respect other’s opinion even when I don’t agree with their perspective. For example, I’m one of those guys who think he knows it all; this organization is a big plus for me. It has also taught me diligence and effective planning which lead to my improvement in my life. I have met some excellent people here. This is one of the reasons why I’ve made it this far: the staff has a lot of patience and understanding. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to meet a staff with such a positive attitude and love for the human race. They set a family type of environment that extends to us students here A.P.L We also have devotional meetings. In the meetings, not only do we read God’s word, but we discuss it until we understand His word; allowing us to find inspiration in each other. I’ll end by saying thank you, and GOD bless Breaking ground. Sincerely, Otis Hicks To Whom It May Concern: My experience at Breaking Ground has been a positive undertaking since I first came here in October. I have learned many things about myself and others. I’ve learned how to listen and respect other’s opinion even when I don’t agree with their perspective. For example, I’m one of those guys who think he knows it all; this organization is a big plus for me. It has also taught me diligence and effective planning which lead to my improvement in my life. I have met some excellent people here. This is one of the reasons why I’ve made it this far: the staff has a lot of patience and understanding. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to meet a staff with such a positive attitude and love for the human race. They set a family type of environment that extends to us students here A.P.L We also have devotional meetings. In the meetings, not only do we read God’s word, but we discuss it until we understand His word; allowing us to find inspiration in each other. I’ll end by saying thank you, and GOD bless Breaking ground. Sincerely, Otis Hicks To Whom It May Concern: My experience at Breaking Ground has been a positive undertaking since I first came here in October. I have learned many things about myself and others. I’ve learned how to listen and respect other’s opinion even when I don’t agree with their perspective. For example, I’m one of those guys who think he knows it all; this organization is a big plus for me. It has also taught me diligence and effective planning which lead to my improvement in my life. I have met some excellent people here. This is one of the reasons why I’ve made it this far: the staff has a lot of patience and understanding. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to meet a staff with such a positive attitude and love for the human race. They set a family type of environment that extends to us students here A.P.L We also have devotional meetings. In the meetings, not only do we read God’s word, but we discuss it until we understand His word; allowing us to find inspiration in each other. I’ll end by saying thank you, and GOD bless Breaking ground. Sincerely, Otis Hicks To Whom It May Concern: My experience at Breaking Ground has been a positive undertaking since I first came here in October. I have learned many things about myself and others. I’ve learned how to listen and respect other’s opinion even when I don’t agree with their perspective. For example, I’m one of those guys who think he knows it all; this organization is a big plus for me. It has also taught me diligence and effective planning which lead to my improvement in my life. I have met some excellent people here. This is one of the reasons why I’ve made it this far: the staff has a lot of patience and understanding. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to meet a staff with such a positive attitude and love for the human race. They set a family type of environment that extends to us students here A.P.L We also have devotional meetings. In the meetings, not only do we read God’s word, but we discuss it until we understand His word; allowing us to find inspiration in each other. I’ll end by saying thank you, and GOD bless Breaking ground. Sincerely, Otis Hicks To Whom It May Concern: My experience at Breaking Ground has been a positive undertaking since I first came here in October. I have learned many things about myself and others. I’ve learned how to listen and respect other’s opinion even when I don’t agree with their perspective. For example, I’m one of those guys who think he knows it all; this organization is a big plus for me. It has also taught me diligence and effective planning which lead to my improvement in my life. I have met some excellent people here. This is one of the reasons why I’ve made it this far: the staff has a lot of patience and understanding. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to meet a staff with such a positive attitude and love for the human race. They set a family type of environment that extends to us students here A.P.L We also have devotional meetings. In the meetings, not only do we read God’s word, but we discuss it until we understand His word; allowing us to find inspiration in each other. I’ll end by saying thank you, and GOD bless Breaking ground. Sincerely, Otis Hicks To Whom It May Concern: My experience at Breaking Ground has been a positive undertaking since I first came here in October. I have learned many things about myself and others. I’ve learned how to listen and respect other’s opinion even when I don’t agree with their perspective. For example, I’m one of those guys who think he knows it all; this organization is a big plus for me. It has also taught me diligence and effective planning which lead to my improvement in my life. I have met some excellent people here. This is one of the reasons why I’ve made it this far: the staff has a lot of patience and understanding. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to meet a staff with such a positive attitude and love for the human race. They set a family type of environment that extends to us students here A.P.L We also have devotional meetings. In the meetings, not only do we read God’s word, but we discuss it until we understand His word; allowing us to find inspiration in each other. I’ll end by saying thank you, and GOD bless Breaking ground. Sincerely, Otis Hicks To Whom It May Concern: My experience at Breaking Ground has been a positive undertaking since I first came here in October. I have learned many things about myself and others. I’ve learned how to listen and respect other’s opinion even when I don’t agree with their perspective. For example, I’m one of those guys who think he knows it all; this organization is a big plus for me. It has also taught me diligence and effective planning which lead to my improvement in my life. I have met some excellent people here. This is one of the reasons why I’ve made it this far: the staff has a lot of patience and understanding. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to meet a staff with such a positive attitude and love for the human race. They set a family type of environment that extends to us students here A.P.L We also have devotional meetings. In the meetings, not only do we read God’s word, but we discuss it until we understand His word; allowing us to find inspiration in each other. I’ll end by saying thank you, and GOD bless Breaking ground. Sincerely, Otis Hicks To Whom It May Concern: My experience at Breaking Ground has been a positive undertaking since I first came here in October. I have learned many things about myself and others. I’ve learned how to listen and respect other’s opinion even when I don’t agree with their perspective. For example, I’m one of those guys who think he knows it all; this organization is a big plus for me. It has also taught me diligence and effective planning which lead to my improvement in my life. I have met some excellent people here. This is one of the reasons why I’ve made it this far: the staff has a lot of patience and understanding. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to meet a staff with such a positive attitude and love for the human race. They set a family type of environment that extends to us students here A.P.L We also have devotional meetings. In the meetings, not only do we read God’s word, but we discuss it until we understand His word; allowing us to find inspiration in each other. I’ll end by saying thank you, and GOD bless Breaking ground. Sincerely, Otis Hicks To Whom It May Concern: My experience at Breaking Ground has been a positive undertaking since I first came here in October. I have learned many things about myself and others. I’ve learned how to listen and respect other’s opinion even when I don’t agree with their perspective. For example, I’m one of those guys who think he knows it all; this organization is a big plus for me. It has also taught me diligence and effective planning which lead to my improvement in my life. I have met some excellent people here. This is one of the reasons why I’ve made it this far: the staff has a lot of patience and understanding. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to meet a staff with such a positive attitude and love for the human race. They set a family type of environment that extends to us students here A.P.L We also have devotional meetings. In the meetings, not only do we read God’s word, but we discuss it until we understand His word; allowing us to find inspiration in each other. I’ll end by saying thank you, and GOD bless Breaking ground. Sincerely, Otis Hicks To Whom It May Concern: My experience at Breaking Ground has been a positive undertaking since I first came here in October. I have learned many things about myself and others. I’ve learned how to listen and respect other’s opinion even when I don’t agree with their perspective. For example, I’m one of those guys who think he knows it all; this organization is a big plus for me. It has also taught me diligence and effective planning which lead to my improvement in my life. I have met some excellent people here. This is one of the reasons why I’ve made it this far: the staff has a lot of patience and understanding. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to meet a staff with such a positive attitude and love for the human race. They set a family type of environment that extends to us students here A.P.L We also have devotional meetings. In the meetings, not only do we read God’s word, but we discuss it until we understand His word; allowing us to find inspiration in each other. I’ll end by saying thank you, and GOD bless Breaking ground. Sincerely, Otis Hicks To Whom It May Concern: My experience at Breaking Ground has been a positive undertaking since I first came here in October. I have learned many things about myself and others. I’ve learned how to listen and respect other’s opinion even when I don’t agree with their perspective. For example, I’m one of those guys who think he knows it all; this organization is a big plus for me. It has also taught me diligence and effective planning which lead to my improvement in my life. I have met some excellent people here. This is one of the reasons why I’ve made it this far: the staff has a lot of patience and understanding. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to meet a staff with such a positive attitude and love for the human race. They set a family type of environment that extends to us students here A.P.L We also have devotional meetings. In the meetings, not only do we read God’s word, but we discuss it until we understand His word; allowing us to find inspiration in each other. I’ll end by saying thank you, and GOD bless Breaking ground. Sincerely, Otis Hicks

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

To Whom It May Concern: BreakingGround has been a great place for me to learn more about other peoples’ religions and it has helped me brightened my horizon about the Bible and my own Christianity. The teachers are wonderful and act like they care about what happens in my life. BreakingGround helped me because I was just sitting at home and wasn’t working my brain. Every since I ‘ve been here I learn more; about the bible and about life too. I really think it’s a positive place to be at because it keeps me out of trouble and out of jail. It’s a positive place because they try to help us get jobs and try to teach us about keeping a hob. I have learned so much in my APL classes about computers and my math skills. I have learned so much about responsibility and accountability. They taught me to be more of a gentlemen by not using profanity. It is not accepted there and I don’t want to accept it, any more, in my life. And Ms. Blair is the greatest! Mr. Connie is the greatest! Ms. Ora is so special…she is a beautiful person, full of life. Mr. Friday is the greatest! The deconstruction teacher, Mr. Nolan taught me a lot about OSHA and safety on the job I like coming to BreakingGround!

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

To whom it may concern, My name is Clifton Hammond and since I’ve been attending the A.P.L. classes at breaking ground, I have become egger for work; both spiritually and financially. I know that this is the place for me until I get a job. The lessons taught by Mr. Milton during devotions are giving me a new look on life and opportunity. They’re teaching me to be someone in this world. The classes at A.P.L allow me to work at my own pace. The teachers are never mad at me if I go slower than the rest of the class. They are kind and understanding toward every thing we do. I appreciate them taking the time to help us. Sincerely, Clifton Hammond

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

To Whom It May Concern: My experience at Breaking Ground has been very helpful I’ve learned a lot from the teachers in the program. When I first came I didn’t know anything about computers but the teachers were so patience and took there time and made sure that I knew what they were teaching me about the computer. I didn’t know how to go on line or no e-mail address stuff that looked to be very hard was simple. Thanks to Mr. Muller and Ms Blair. I’m not a wiz but I’m better then before. Another part of the program is devotion and that class is taught by Mr. Connie, he is a very bright man that has been through a lot and it’s a blessing to be around a positive person such as himself. He is a motivation to me because. He has been delivered and through his faith in the Lord you can learn from the way he takes his time to show each and every student in the class it is a better way, and by faith we have open class discussion. It’s no right or wrongs because after the reading of the word he will ask what have we gotten out of the message. Now everyone would tell what they got out of the message in a respectful way. and he will give us the revelation that the lord put on his heart to let us know what was happing in that passage to the best of his knowledge. Thanks, Breaking Ground for being patient with me because all the crazy stuff I used to has turned into positive stuff thank God for positive people. Sincerely Jeff Hodges

4

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Robert Thomeson To Whom It May Concern, my time at Breaking Ground has turned out better than I expected. Being that I’m young, I thought I wasn’t going to have much interest in this program because of the fact that I wanted to be outside and hanging out with friends. But this is turning out to be a good experience. I just recently graduated from high school and didn’t intend on going to a college or university. I was finding times were hard to get a job and was starting to stress until I was informed about this program. I thought it was a blessing. Now I have something to do with my time instead of sitting in the house all day. I think this program will be beneficial in the near future. I enjoy the class and the students here at Breaking Ground. I’m glad I’m here. I thank the Breaking Ground family for this experience during these hard times because without the help they gave me from this program, I think I would still be going through a struggle trying to figure out what I will do with my future. Sincerely, Robert Thomeson

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

BREAKING GROUND Here at Breaking Ground has been a new and wonderful thing, learning new skill and refreshing on old thing. It’s not just a learning place you can also get a trade here. I been here about three months and I have learned lot of things about the bible that i didn’t know before so that is wonderful thing too. The teacher here are willing to take there time with you and there willing to talk to you on a personal level; and they’re real understanding and I like that I think we need more program in the community like Breaking Ground .I get a lot out the program. So far I learn some basic computer skills; how To put a business plane together and also i need to bring my math skill up to get in the manufacturing class So I sill need a little help in that area Your; Truly Antoine Williams

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

To; Whom it may concern: I am determined to get a job at the end of this program. I will be sending my resume to at least 10 companies by Feb. Hear at breaking ground I have learned leadership, education and experience and a new attitude. This is an opportunity for me at breaking grounding, not only that but the teacher hear at breaking ground, really do care. And i thank god for them. Sincerely Arbie Rogers