Open Communities
990 Grove St. Suite 500
Evanston, IL 60201
P: 847.501.5760
F: 847.905.0523


Open Monday thru Friday from 9am to 5pm

Individual staff can be accessed via e-mail by [firstname]

Visit our team page to find more information about our staff.



For any press- or media-related questions, contact Laura Kochevar, Manager of Communications and Development 990 Grove St. Evanston, IL 60201 Office: (847) 501-5760 x111
Open Communities has its roots in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. A group of young mothers in Wilmette were worried that their children were growing up in a community that lacked diversity, and they began to discuss how they could organize for change. There were no fair housing laws at that time, and housing discrimination was common. But although local housing ads often stipulated, "No Negroes, Orientals or Jews," the women, joined by local clergy, believed that many community members shared their concerns about housing discrimination. In 2012, recognizing it takes more than influencing housing policy and enforcing non-discrimination laws to bring about inclusive and diverse northern suburbs, the agency broadened its scope and changed its name to Open Communities. As the agency turned 40 in 2012, it published the results of focus group research of Outsider Perspectives of the Northern Suburbs, funded under a HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program grant. Our findings show that the new fair housing frontier is the fostering of suburbs that are both welcoming of diversity, and have the transportation, education, social services for immigrants, youth, and seniors, and cultural resources to support different populations. Open Communities is proud of its grassroots history as an integral part of Chicago's Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Read more about who we are >