CEDA relocates to different Evanston office, no longer serves as region’s headquarters

Audrey Cheng

One of the largest community organizations in the United States – the Community and Economic Development Association – no longer has its regional headquarters in Evanston.

Though CEDA still retains a branch office in the city, Mount Prospect, Ill., will now serve as the main location for CEDA’s north suburbs division.

A consulting company looked at where the poverty areas were for Cook County and recommended to CEDA that instead of having 12 sites, the organization should consolidate into three main sites in Chicago’s north, west and south suburbs.

“The reason the facilities were moved was not directed by the budget cuts, but pursued because the original Evanston location was not located in the center of poverty,” said former Evanston mayor Lorraine Morton, a CEDA board member.

CEDA, whose organization includes services for everyone from pre-natal babies to seniors, changed locations from 1229 Emerson St. to the lower floor of the Family Focus building, 2010 Dewey Ave. Despite the move, CEDA officials maintained clients would experience no changes in the services they receive.

“The budget cuts are primarily on the administration side away from the clients,” said Marsha Belcher, director of marketing and resource development. “We actually now will have more money for direct client assistance.”

Morton added that the new location will be beneficial.

“What is so good about it is that many of the community services designed to help people are also at Family Focus, so people can go there not only to get help for weatherization, but also to get help from other agencies located there,” Morton said. “The difference is going to be the way the services are rendered in terms of the days and weeks.”

Family Focus, a not-for-profit that provides family services and supports the well-being of children, runs its own programs. The agency is located in a former three-story school and also leases out space to other nonprofits, such as CEDA.

“Within Family Focus, there’s a lot of synergy with a lot of the same population that we serve,” Belcher said. “We also had to downsize the amount of square footage that we paid for. Family Focus is affordable for us.”

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