How a Non-Profit and High School Geometry Students are making a Difference in Evanston
In 2013, Chicago Green Insulation was honored to install spray foam in a home that was built almost entirely by freshmen and sophomore students from Evanston Township High School.
It had three bedrooms and two bathrooms with a detached garage. When finished, it transformed the life of a single father, Chuck, and his son.
This was the first of several houses built through a collaboration between Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) and the “Geometry in Construction” class at Evanston high school. When we heard about the collaboration, we saw an opportunity to provide aid through spray foam insulation.
An Initiative to Provide Affordable Housing
Due to the nature of the economy, many Evanston residents find themselves in a position where they want to own a home, but it simply isn’t within their means. At Chicago Green Insulation, we understand that a community cannot thrive without inclusive housing.
To help address the housing situation, CPAH develops affordable homes for sale and for rent. It also provides a full range of services, such as pre-purchase counseling, down payment assistance, life safety home repairs, and foreclosure prevention.
A High School Geometry Class – Changing Lives
Over at the high school, the students help provide the home itself. The class “Geometry in Construction” teaches freshmen and sophomores mathematical principles that are required to construct a house.
Half of the class is structured in a classroom setting, while the other has the high schoolers building a home in the back lot of the school. Once completed, the new home is moved to a lot that the City of Evanston can secure. It is then sold at a reduced cost to an income-qualified applicant from the area. The goal of the project is to help a family secure permanent, affordable, secure and safe housing.
Returning Home to Set Up Roots
That first home we insulated was sold to Chuck, a paraprofessional at Evanston Township High School. In addition to his classroom duties, he coaches the debate team after school and helps coach sports in the summertime.
Chuck was able to return to the neighborhood in which he grew up and now lives close to his work, friends and family. Thanks to the program, his living expenses are also within his means. The home provided him with a sense of stability and permanence that he had been seeking. As a result, he now has a highly optimistic outlook for the future.
A Fresh Start
Chuck is a single dad of a wonderful son. Over the years, prior to owning his home, he was living in temporary situations like rentals and with his parents. Chuck longed to have a home where he could establish roots, but buying always felt out of reach on his modest income—until he found CPAH and the Geometry in Construction project.
“This opportunity is life-changing,” Chuck says. “Our lives are full, and we are happy just being home. We take pride in our house and feel invested in the future.”
Seven Houses and Going Strong
During this season of giving thanks, we would like to thank CPAH and Evanston High School for contributing to the lives of the students who make a difference and to the families who are forever changed by their new surroundings.
Currently, the class is on its seventh build and going strong. It takes an incredible level of commitment to accomplish what these organizations have for the community, and we commend everything they’ve achieved. We’re also thankful to have been a part of these positive changes in the community.
At Chicago Green Insulation, we handle all aspects of demo, foam and replacement of the drywall to get you back in your living space over the garage. We cannot help with the screaming child, but we can make your home space warm all winter long.
If you have any concerns about air leakage and insulation in your home, call us today at 847-987-3626. The best time to have a conversation is during the planning stages of a construction project so that your crawl space, kitchen remodel or room addition above the garage is everything you want it to be—and not your worst nightmare.
However, if you’re calling post-construction, we can still help. As I always say: Comfort is only a FOAM call away!