West Side youth create their own quality-of-life plan for Austin

A group of about a dozen youth created their own quality-of-life plan for Austin this summer, modeled after a similar plan being implemented by Austin Coming Together. The youth’s plan focuses on public safety, mental health and youth empowerment, and will be unveiled later this fall by the group Territory.

Austin celebrates first year of 5-year quality of life plan

In its first year, the campaign to improve Austin garnered $13 million in investments. That includes a record $10 million gift from BMO Bank. “It’s been a really momentous year. There’s been a lot of success,” said Darnell Shields, executive director of Austin Coming Together. The nonprofit, launched in 2010, is the driving force behind the quality-of-life plan.

BMO Harris Bank giving $10 million to bolster Austin

The donadtion – the largest corporate gift in United Way of Metro Chicago’s history – will be used to help implement Austin’s quality of life plan and to support social service infrastructure and development in the city’s most-populated community area. The investment was announced last week at an event hosted by Mayor Lori Lightfoot and attended by several local elected officials.