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Neighborhood Network: Austin

United Way of Metro Chicago - Neighborhood Network Sponsors

Austin, located on the west side of Chicago, is the largest (by population) of the city's 77 officially defined community areas with 97,643 residents. The Austin Neighborhood Network was formed in 2010 after a group of like-minded community leaders, calling themselves Austin Coming Together (ACT), joined forces to discuss how to better coordinate efforts to create systemic change in their community. In 2016, in partnership with United Way, ACT released Thrive 2025, a strategy which sets bold “impact goals” to help Austin improve early childhood education outcomes and access to living wage employment opportunities for residents.



Launch Date: 2016

Austin Demographics

Total Population: 97,643
Major Healthcare Facilities: 16
Chicago Public Schools: 19
Median income: $31,634
Unemployment rate: 19.5%
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Bold Goal: By 2025, Austin Coming Together members will provide high-quality early learning opportunities to 3,900 low income children living in the Austin community.

BOLD GOAL: By 2025, Austin Coming Together members will assist 2,775 Austin residents attain and retain living wage work.

COMMON AGENDA: Expand access to early learning programs, create safe community spaces for families, and support economic stability and success for parents and guardians in order to prepare children for success in 3rd grade and beyond.


Our Results

  • Austin has connected 916 children (25% of goal) to early learning programs
  • In 6 months, Austin as double its placement and now 20 residents have secured employment.
  • The coalition has grown to 27 actively participating agencies
  • Austin Coming Together selected by the Erikson Institute to administer Early Development Instrument to increase ability to connect children and families with appropriate supports
  • Austin Career Connection and Access United placed 41 clients in a welding program and carpenters pre-apprenticeship program
  • 15 Network staff trained in Restorative Justice Peace Circle Keeping
  • Administered first annual survey to assess collective impact effect in network, evaluate collective impact approaches from ACT

Our Partners

Lead Partner: Austin Coming Together

  • Austin Childcare Providers Network
  • Be Strong Families
  • Childserv
  • Erikson Institute
  • Mercy Housing Lakefront
  • New Moms
  • Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry
  • Positive Attitudes
  • The McCormick Center
  • Teach for America
  • Community Organizing and Family Issues
  • Bethel New Life, Dominican University
  • American Heart Association
  • Illinois Action for Children
  • Inspiration Corporatio
  • Jane Addams Resource Corporation
  • Manufacturing Renaissance – Project Exploration
  • Safer Foundation
  • The Cara Program
  • St. Joseph Services
  • Westside Health Authority
  • Youth Guidance
  • The Peace Corner
  • Westside Health Authority
  • Rape Victims Advocates
  • St. Joseph Services
  • Academy of Scholastic Achievement
  • World Vision
  • By the Hand Club
  • Chicago Jesuit Academy
  • Church on the Block
  • Circle Urban Ministries
  • Empowerment Through Education and Exposure
  • Prevention Partnership
  • Salvation Army