CHICAGO – Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn celebrated the grand opening of the South Side Community Federal Credit Union - the first of its kind to serve Chicago’s South Side. Quinn served as keynote speaker.
“The nonprofit South Side Community Federal Credit Union is a grassroots effort that will offer low-income residents an alternative to the devastating effects of predatory lenders, high-priced currency exchanges and the lack of basic bank services on the South Side,” said Quinn.
The credit union is community owned and operated, and will offer reasonable-rate loans, free and low-cost financial services, and financial literary education to its members. This will help reverse the cycle of divestment in South Side neighborhoods by keeping members’ deposits in the local community.
“This is a great example of every day people taking their community’s economic fate into their own hands,” said Quinn. “Credit unions are an ideal way for their members to save, borrow, and build personal and community wealth. It’s community reinvestment at its best.”
South Side Community Federal Credit Union organizers have so far raised $1.7 million in grants and large deposits from foundations, banks, and other credit unions to support the initial operation of their credit union. Organizers have also been able to obtain over $1.5 million in pledges from over 1,000 South Side residents, 10 elected officials and over 30 South Side community organizations.
The credit union’s territory will cover areas between 22nd Street and the city limits on the south and between the lake and Western Avenue.
The credit union will also house the South Side Home Ownership Center. With funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and made possible by the National Credit Union Foundation, the Center and credit union will make first mortgages and home equity loans and provide comprehensive pre-and post-closing homeownership counseling.
Quinn joined Vice Chairman of the NCUA Board JoAnn Johnson, WVON Talk Show Host Cliff Kelly, along with representatives of banks, foundations and other elected officials.
Quinn has had a long-time interest in credit unions, working with Congressman Danny Davis to establish a neighborhood credit union on Chicago’s West side. As part of Governor Rod Blagojevich’s initiative to address the needs of the state’s poorest communities, Quinn and Reverend Jesse Jackson recently worked with Credit Union One officials to provide desperately needed financial services and credit to the residents of Pembroke Township, near Kankakee, Illinois.