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Community Asset: Center on Halsted

23 Jun

For about 10 days my cable and internet were off. At first it wasn’t so bad because I have a Blackberry, and my Sanford and Son and All in the Family DVRs were still playing (as well as Southpark). I was able to manage until about day 7 when I received a call to complete a research project for a friend. Without hesitation I agreed to do this project, especially because it was a paid opportunity.

I was sure that with all the public spaces boasting to offer free Wi-Fi, having no internet was an easy obstacle to overcome. I immediately threw on a pair of jeans and sneakers and headed to Starbucks. Every electric socket was in-use. So, on to the next location. A friend of mine recommended Whole Foods. Great for me, because it was still in walking distance from the Starbucks. But, to my (no) luck, Whole Foods managers said they did not have any plugs.

The search continued.

Attached to Whole Foods was this lobby where many people were eating food and mingling. I walked through and discovered that I was in the Center on Halsted- Chicago’ s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center.

THANK GOD! They had an open computer lab.

The Dr. David J. Lochman Cyber Center’s mission (located in the Center on Halsted) is to provide technology and internet resources to help eliminate the digital divide, specifically for the LGBT populations in Chicago and surrounding communities.

During the week there is a 90 minute time limit on each station, and during the weekends, there is a 60 minute time limit on each computer.

The Cyber Center also offers various computer classes including Microsoft Excel, and an introduction to PC.

The Center on Halsted has 15 additional programs including, The Anti-Violence Project, HIV testing and prevention, Legal and Referral Services, Mental Health Services, and even Student Training Programs for Doctoral and Masters level students.

The atmosphere at the Center on Halsted is very relaxed and friendly. Located in the heart of LakeView, next to Whole Foods and a variety of other interesting stores, including the Kit Kat Lounge, The Center on Halsted is a unique Community Asset serving over 365,000 people annually.

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