Near West Side Partners in 2023: working to build stronger, more resilient neighborhoods

From encouraging resident engagement to driving economic development within local commercial corridors, Near West Side Partners has been a driving force in creating opportunity and enriching lives for those who live near the Marquette campus.

An array of community-based efforts were included as part of Near West Side Partners’ 2023 initiatives, focusing on social determinants of health, backing local business owners, defining new ways to promote resident safety and supporting new homeowners in the home-buying process. These projects align with the pillars that Near West Side Partners have prioritized to build stronger, more resilient neighborhoods: health, commercial corridors, safety and housing.

Marquette is one of five anchor institutions of Near West Side Partners, Inc., joined by Advocate Aurora Health, Harley-Davidson, Molson Coors and Potawatomi Business Development Corporation.

“I’m proud to say that this year, Near West Side Partners provided many tangible services to our Near West Side community,” says Executive Director Lindsey St. Arnold Bell. “Throughout 2023, there were more housing programs, safety initiatives, partnerships and other benefits brought to our neighborhood — and all were made possible thanks to partnerships fostered with our donors and our neighbors all year long.”

During 2023, Near West Side Partners: 

  • Conducted eight neighborhood cleanups in collaboration with Near West Side Safety Ambassadors and Marquette students 
  • Awarded $16,000 in home repair grants to residents of the Near West Side 
  • Collaborated with Advocate Aurora Mobile Wellness Clinic to provide additional services inside the Neighborhood House Food Pantry twice a month 
  • Facilitated the establishment of four new businesses in the Near West Side: Gray Jett Cafe, Buffalo Boss, Washington Park Media Center and The Academy of Skin & Beauty 
  • Hosted the annual Near West Side Week, engaging over 850 neighbors 
  • Announced CeLani Skin & Wellness as the Rev-Up MKE 2023 winner 
  • Installed cameras to aid in identifying problem areas and actors 
  • Received recognition for Near West Side Partners’ Neighborhood Markers Project as one of the recipients of the 2023 Mayor’s Design Awards 
  • Achieved 75% completion of Concordia 27 construction as of November 2023 

This impactful work is reliant on the support of the community and donors. If you are interested in helping enhance the neighborhood, consider donating on the NWSP website. Learn more about the work via the monthly Near West Side Partners newsletter.  

“You can make a difference in supporting another year of essential services, enriching programs, employment opportunities and unwavering support,” St. Arnold Bell says.