Very Important Process

Project Presence

Project Presence is the Firehouse Community Art Center VIP Outreach team joining community residents in North Lawndale to fight violence through pop ups for peace all over North Lawndale.

Looking for artist, cooks (grilling burgers and hot dogs), games with youth, basketball coaches, poets, visual artists!

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P.A.C. is our V.I.P. Curriculum

P.A.C. stands for Purpose, Authority and Character and this P.A.C. guides everything we do.

 It is our belief that a positive identity develops through an ongoing process of discovering one’s life mission (Purpose), igniting your power to make decisions aligned to your mission (Authority) and operating in alignment with your truth (Character). 

V.I.P. Overview Video

V.I.P Workforce development 

Young men who are a part of our VIP program and grow in their Purpose, Authority and Character enter into our Workforce Development Program. We work with 3 groups per year composed of 15 individuals each. These men are exposed to a number of fields with high placement rates and, over the course of 9 months, provided intensive training to ensure they are prepared to compete for high paying jobs. 

These fields include:

Job Placement Rate
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Our job placement rate is 70% with men who are formerly incarcerated, on probation or parole, and other hard to employ backgrounds.

Young Men Placed over 3 Years

We have placed over 250 young men in jobs over the past 3 years who have maintained their position for a minimum of 6 months. 

Once placed, we continue to track their employment status and provide continuing support services to maximize their chances of long term success.

Hear from some of our young men in V.I.P.:

The way in which we make this happen is to journey with young men ages 18-25 over a 12 to 18 month period connecting the young men with a navigator and various trainings during this time.

Cognitive Behavior Intervention

CBI is problem focused and action-oriented intervention. Intensively discuss and identify emotions and actions that lead to destructive behaviors.


Helping young men accomplish obtaining their High School Diploma, while also setting goals toward higher education and/or a trade.

Holistic Health

One on One Therapy and Group Therapy Sessions.

Skills Training

Skills development and training for participants who have potential to obtain full time employment but need individual skills development

Culinary Arts

Participants prepare for the workforce through culinary arts. Learning to cook, cut, prep, and prepare food allows the participants to learn a useful trade while practicing for Job Readiness

Kitchen instruction

Participants obtain sanitation licenses, to qualify for employment in food service.


Boxing is an activity that helps manage anger and aggression, while conducting physical exercise. The participants also develop listening and precision skills when participating in the boxing courses.

Job readiness

Training-on soft skills and to identify job placement and developing job skills to go on to transitional job placement.


Yoga is an activity that helps manage anger and aggression, while conducting physical exercise.

1 Mic

Each young man will learn audio engineering, while telling their story of trauma, hope and transformation. Young men will record their stories while learning the skills of audio engineering and production. They will produce a compilation CD that they will be able to sell as a social enterprise.

Film/Video Production

Teaching the art of story telling through video and video production as a marketable skill and engaging the video arts toward healing.