The Pritzker Traubert Foundation recently announced that the Sankofa Wellness Village in West Garfield Park is the winner of the 2022 Chicago Prize. Leading the proposal, the neighborhood has assembled a unique team called the Garfield Park Rite to Wellness Collaborative. This collaborative includes New Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church, West Side United, and The Community Builders as well as important health and nonprofit partners: Rush University Medical Center, Erie Family Health Centers, the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, and others. Set to receive $10 million in funding, the overall $50 million project includes the development of five sites.
Positioned as the largest building within the village, the Sankofa Village Wellness Center will provide West Garfield Park’s more than 17,000 residents with health care and wellness programs, before and after-school care, and create quality jobs. Designed in collaboration between Bureau Gemmell, Moody Nolan, and New Office, the 60,000 square foot building will rise at the corner of W. Madison St and S. Kildare Ave.
Erie Family Health Center plans to provide more than 6,000 patients annually with comprehensive health care services. Through a partnership with the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, thousands of people will have access to fitness activities and childcare programs. A new credit union on the ground floor will help 10,000 residents open a bank account, thereby providing strengthened economic security and mobility.
Continuing their work with Bureau Gemmell, the St. Barnabas Episcopal Church at 4239 W. Washington will be renovated and converted into the MAAFA Center for Arts and Activism. Set to offer access to artistic expression and job training, this will result in hundreds of residents having better access to well-paying jobs.
The village will also add a new facility called The K. Set for a site at the corner of W. Madison St and S. Kostner Ave, the space will provide best-in-class entrepreneurial support to help residents start and grow wealth-creating businesses.
As part of the project, a community grocer initiative will manage pop-up grocery markets to provide access to fresh, healthy food until a permanent grocery store opens. The team is looking at opening a Save A Lot on S. Pulaski Rd near the Eisenhower Expressway as well as a grocery store at the previous Aldi site along W. Madison St near Garfield Park.
The Sankofa Village Wellness Center could break ground by the end of the year and the entire village could be complete by 2025. The remaining finalists will each receive $500,000 from the foundation to further their plans.