New Facility for Scattered Sites

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Hispanic Housing Development Corporation opened its new offices for the Scattered Sites North Central program, 1402 N. Kedzie, on May 1.

The director of this agency is Hipolito “Paul” Roldan. In an interview with him, I asked if it was difficult to manage this agency:

“In life, nothing is easy,” he responded. “It all depends on how one works to reach their objective; if everything is accomplished positively, you can see the difference accomplished in struggle.”

“Also,” he added, “the problems are not as important as the work that we do to resolve the problems of the community and its needs.

“Here [at HHDC] we don’t distinguish people. Here we interview all types of people without giving importance to race, color or economic situation. Our job is to serve the community and until now, we have accomplished that. We are completely satisfied because we have united to serve the people of our community.

“Ninety-five percent of the families that we serve are decent people of different religions and races who live an exemplary life. But there are always people with different ideologies and then we have to intervene to resolve those cases. Our purpose is for everyone to live like brothers and enjoy their homes.”

I asked Roldan if he knew about the new “One Strike” Policy. He told me that this new law is sending a very important and powerful message to persons who do not want to understand that they have a commitment to the community and that they have to be part of it.

“Our objective is to make residents feel like united families and enjoy their new homes,” said Roldan.

I also spoke with state Sen. Miguel del Valle (D-Chicago), who was also invited and enjoying the company of his compatriotas. He said, “This scattered sites program is very important because it ensures that low-income residents have a decent place to live. But for this program to work well, the residents need to be organized. We have to ensure that the people that are going to reside in these units are responsible people, that they are not going to allow gangs or drug activities in these units or around the community.

“It is very important,” continued del Valle, “that the residents unite like brothers to enjoy their new homes in peace and harmony. We are creating a Latin museum that is being constructed in the park that will be a source of pride in the community, like our library and our vocational center. The streets are being repaired and you can see the positive change in our community and there is still much to do but the progress is within sight of the whole community,” said del Valle.

I asked Mrs. Magdalena Martinez, “Why are you so happy?” and she told me, “We are a group of residents in the community and also members of the Federation of Block Clubs since 1993 or 1994. We fought to have this building constructed for scattered site offices but also so that it could be a community center to serve the community and so it could be constructed for the residents, children and youth to better their economic and social situation. This is the purpose of these activities and we feel very happy for the accomplishment reached today,” said Martinez.

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