Center on Halsted Employee Reviews

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4.0
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The Best and Worst of the Non-Profit World
Administrative Team (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILJuly 18, 2018
At a non-profit the size of CoH, it's important to preface this review by saying that every department, area, level of management, and day-to-day activities will vary widely, so this cannot and will not describe what everyone goes through.

The plus side of this job is that you have the chance to impact people every day. Those who are visiting Chicago, people in crisis, people working to find stable housing, people who want to find their community. 1,400 of those people walk through the doors every day and it's our job to help them find what they're looking for. We have tables at Pride, we pass out condoms at bars, we sponsor city events, we created the Get2Zero campaign to reduce HIV transmission. Every time you clock in at work, you are doing things to positively effect the lives of LGBTQ Chicago citizens.

But in an organization that's trying to do everything, they can't dedicate themselves fully to any one thing. We dip our fingers into many pots, but without focus and a narrowed scope, we look good without really changing much. Parts of the admin team are horrible (shoutout to H.R. to being the absolute worst in my entire working experience at interviewing, on-boarding, job support, employee appreciation, or really......any resourcing of humans that's supposed to happen). Our CEO does good work and brings in fantastic grants, but is more dedicated to holing up in his office and driving his Range Rover than helping with anything that makes our organization stay alive from day to day. Their draconian part-time policy means that, up to 26 hours a week, you can work but
  more... expect no PTO, no insurance, no discounts, no 401(k) or NPO equivalent......we don't even get free parking in our own building. Some people have a talent for pinching a penny until it begs for mercy.

I have heard CoH described as the "white feminism" of non-profit orgs. Without trying to ruffle too many feathers, I'd have to say I agree. While we look great leading the pack in terms of Grand Social Advancement, our organization is too caught up in appearances to effect meaningful change. Additionally, while we are broadening the scope of who we focus on, there are still many left behind and never given a seat at the table. Ultimately, we're certainly doing more good than harm, but CoH is by no means the savior of the Chicago LGBTQ community as we paint ourselves.
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5.0
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A great place to work.
Volunteer (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILMay 5, 2018
A great place to work for anyone, and everyone of all ages. The people were wonderful. The services we provided were second to none. It was nice and friendly and very relaxed.
Pros
Great people
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4.0
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No matter what gender you are
Cook/Dishwasher (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILNovember 21, 2017
If you struggle with being yourself or dealing with identity crisis or choose to be a man or women here is a work place that let you do both that give you the opportunity to work in a safe comfortable environment at your own pace
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1.0
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Run Away
Clerical work (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILMarch 7, 2017
Politics gets in the way of services for clients. Management will be offended if you attempt to develop programs past their set parameters. Management does not like adhering to client-based services. Center on Halsted is simply there for a show.
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2.0
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I would not recommend working here unless you are a friend of the CEO. Otherwise, the compensation is poor and there's no room for advancemen
Line staff (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILJanuary 9, 2017
I enjoy my job and many of my colleagues but there is no room for advancement. When positions become available, they are only posted internally after someone has already been hand-picked and hired so there is no opportunity. The CEO forces you to participate in activities but then completely disregards anyone else's input but his own. All in all, unless they get some new leadership (or you're desperate), I'd recommend looking elsewhere for employment.
Pros
Great colleagues - wonderful working in an LGBTQ environment
Cons
Low pay (if you do any job that involves serving clients), Very poor health insurance benefit, . Unreasonable workloads, inflexible schedule
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5.0
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Great space for lgtb people to hang out or work
Cook/Dishwasher (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILNovember 23, 2016
Center on halsted is a nice working space but also a fun environment to hang around n lounge around it opens its doors to everyone and no one is denied there right to be themselves.
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5.0
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Great program with a lot of benefits
Chef Apprentice (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILOctober 26, 2016
Center on Halsted has a wonderful job readiness program and they can also help you find employment as well as housing.
During my time there I learned a few new techniques and tons of useful information regarding my career.
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3.0
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Good 1 year company
CDC Department, Youth Health Educator (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILJuly 6, 2016
The company mission does not align with what is actually put into practice. The targeted populations are not serviced accordingly. Atmosphere is too similar to that of corporate America.
Pros
Learn a lot
Cons
bad healthcare benefits, compensation NOT competitive
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4.0
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Good training for the restaurant business
Chef Apprentice (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILApril 11, 2016
going to this program every other day was fun and a good experience to learn how to work in the restaurant industry. The people that work there made sure they were there for you every step of the way and they stay in contact with you after the program is over. job placement program
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4.0
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Warm and Passionate
SAGE Program Intern (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILFebruary 4, 2016
Every person whom I had the pleasure of working with was very passionate about their work, and they all seemed to genuinely enjoy their job. The people in charge were all energetic, helpful, and would always give you direction.
Pros
kind staff, clean, fair management
Cons
clean up, short hours
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3.0
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Center on Halsted has become too "corporate"
Administrative Support Staff (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILJuly 11, 2015
I initially enjoyed my time here. As part of a workforce development program I was allowed - and urged - to develop many skills and work with many amazing folks in various departments doing amazing work in helping clients and patrons to get ahead.

However, the focus of COH has increasingly shifted away from serving "at - need" populations to being An Impressive Corporate Presence. It's a large and prestigious organization, and of course it has become prominent because it's successfully attracted the funding to do so. The "corporate face" of COH projects an image of a younger, affluent, and handsome white gay male demographic. People of color, the homeless, transgenders, and other "minorities" are largely ignored; representatives of these groups will be trotted out for fund-raising purposes, then hidden away.

Lower - paid support staff are treated pretty poorly. Management can be clueless about resolving obviously glaring or important logistic or programmatic issues. "Who exactly should I report to...how many do I have to cc about this issue...is this an issue that *should* be addressed or not...???" Micro-managing is rampant. Very frustrating...

That said, Center has some outstanding programs: Senior Citizen programs, HIV, Mental Health Services, Arts and Culture, Silver Fork culinary training program, Cyber Center (computer center). These programs are outstanding because the folks that run them are outstanding, really "dedicated to the cause". And if you want to volunteer, Center is the very best place in the city to do so.

So Center has some good solid
  more... things going for it. I can't imagine Chicago without Center on Halsted. But Center has much work to do in regards to diversity, and also needs to be more respectful to staff, especially those on the "lower end" of the scale. As a former employee, I cannot, ultimately, recommend it as a fulfilling work venue. But if, as a patron or client, you can access some of their superb programming and services, then go for it!  less
Pros
Some great people - both staff and patrons, fantastic place to volunteer, nice programs for senior citizens
Cons
Increasingly corporate; does not strive for diversity; micromanagement
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4.0
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coh
VOLUNTEER & EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES (Former Employee) –  chicago ILMarch 22, 2015
I was a volunteer here I don't know much about working fior them but it was fun while it lasted I only do so much in the youth program
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5.0
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Amazing place of business
tutor for teens (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILMarch 5, 2015
Working at the Center on Halsted was a great working experience. The other tutors were all so very creative and they worked so diligently. A typical day at work, usually was at a fast speed. There was so much to get done in 6 hours. There was no hard part about working here. Most enjoyable thing was working with new people.
Pros
Geography
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5.0
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Fun. Laid back. Friendly Environment.
Volunteer (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILOctober 22, 2014
Volunteered for social events. Great place to volunteer for. Very friendly.
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3.0
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Great goals, but poor planning
Manager of the Anti-Violence Project (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILSeptember 8, 2013
The work done at the center is above and beyond other community centers I've engaged with. They hire very talented individuals, and have an incredible volunteer base. Sadly, they are unable to keep those employees long term, either because of burn out, or lack of safety at the building.
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5.0
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A very nice place to work
Office Clerk (Current Employee) –  Chicago, ILAugust 2, 2013
Excellent, would like to work there forever. It is a public place where people come from all over the city to meet others, make friends, and work together to make the Center on Halsted the best it could be.
Pros
Everything is good
Cons
Zero
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3.0
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LGBTQ Community Center
Keep It Up! Project Coordinator (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILMarch 25, 2013
On a typical day I would be entering participant data into the database. Otherwise, I would be offsite recruiting participants for the program. I learned a ton while working at the Center but what stands out the most are the counseling skills. Management was supportive and down to earth but had the tendency to micro manage a bit to much. My co-workers were helpful and very friendly. The hardest part of my job was working without a manager for about three months. The most enjoyable part was getting to travel a lot to promote the program.
Pros
great benefits, supportive team
Cons
micromanagment
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4.0
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Fun place to volunteer.
Volunteer (Former Employee) –  Chicago, ILFebruary 4, 2013
I enjoyed creating positive relationships with the youth.
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Overall rating

3.8
Based on 19 reviews
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3.8Work/Life Balance
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3.4Job Security/Advancement
3.4Management
3.9Culture

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2.0Family Support

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