Timeline

Winter 2015:
HPRP founder Dorothy Pytel and other community members explore options for resettling a refugee family in Hyde Park.

October 2016:
HPRP begins partnerships with RefugeeOne, the largest refugee resettlement agency in Illinois. More information here.

December 2016:
HPRP welcomes its first refugee family. Thirty volunteers assist the new family to resettle in Hyde Park. More information here.

February 2017:
The Hyde Park & Kenwood Interfaith Council, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization, formally recognizes the HPRP as one of its official programs. More information here.

February 2017:
A second family sponsored by HPRP joins the Hyde Park community. The number of volunteers working to resettle refugee families grows to 40. More information here.

June 2017:
HPRP begins assisting two more refugee families resettled by World Relief, another resettlement agency, who were already in the neighborhood, bringing the total number of families to four. There are now 50 volunteers working with HPRP. More information here.

September 2017:
HPRP sponsors a discussion series “Coming to America”; members of refugee families provide delicious dishes for lunch; 70 community members attend.

December 2017:
HPRP begins to help another extended refugee family already in Hyde Park. The HPRP now assists five families.

June 2018:
HPRP organizes a two-week summer camp for refugee and immigrant children. More information here.

September 2018:
HPRP starts an after-school program for 20 English-language learners at Ray Elementary School and collaborates with STRIVE, a local tutoring organization; 15 high school students volunteer as tutors. The total number of volunteers working for HPRP expands to 70.

December 2018:
A successful community fundraising effort allows HPRP to provide Chromebooks for refugee children in middle school and high school, as well as for mothers who want to learn basic computer literacy. More information here.

April 2019:
RefugeeOne honors HPRP with the “Lighting the Path Forward” award for outstanding work in welcoming refugees. More information here.

Summer 2019:
The HPRP summer camp expands from two weeks to four, with a paid program coordinator and 30 volunteers serving more than 30 refugee and immigrant children. The summer camp is now able to offer a wide range of enrichment and learning activities, including field trips. The total number of project volunteers is now at 120. More information here.

October 2019:
HPRP presents a Trauma-Informed Care and Person-Centered Care Workshop, led by Anna Zonderman, LCSW, MPH, a social worker in the Comprehensive Care Program at The University of Chicago Medicine, along with Alison Myers, BSW, a graduate student at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.

January 2020:
HPRP establishes a partnership with Bethany House of Hospitality in Hyde Park, which offers housing and support services to young immigrant women as they seek asylum in the U.S. Bethany House is sponsored by more than 30 Catholic women’s religious orders in the Chicago area.

March 2020:
HPRP offers mentoring and other assistance to a sixth family already living in Hyde Park.

Spring 2020:
HPRP receives a generous community response to a GoFundMe appeal for $10,000 to help support refugee families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Twelve adults and 28 children begin to receive financial assistance for housing, utilities, car insurance, and moving expenses. More information here.

July 2020:
The third summer camp of four weeks begins with more than 40 registrants. This year the camp is “on-line” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here.

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