WOODLAWN — A group helping female veterans find housing found a new home in a former firehouse Wednesday.
The Chicago City Council voted on Wednesday to lease a decommissioned firehouse at 6843 S. Harper Ave. in Woodlawn to Doll Inc., a south suburban group that is developing a system of housing for women in south suburban Ford Heights.
“Instead of working out of two or three spaces, we can all work together in the same space,” said Doll Smith, CEO of the group.
Smith said she was able to secure the old firehouse after firefighters planning a museum there found a better home at another former firehouse at 5349 S. Wabash Ave.
“Providing housing and educational services that will help homeless female veterans is a great use of this space,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said after the City Council approved the lease. “The use of vacant facilities by nonprofit organizations that provide social services at no cost to city taxpayers is exactly how we should make use of the city’s available space.”
Doll Inc. is working with Cook County to provide housing for nearly 100 homeless veterans who are women.
“We will not be doing intake or anything in that [Woodlawn] space, but will use it as our main corporate offices,” Smith said, adding that she is working on fundraising now before moving into the building in September.
Doll Inc. will host its next fundraiser on Sept. 20, a golf outing in south suburban University Park.
Smith said she was also planning a motorcycle run from the new firefighters’ museum to Kankakee, for later in the year.
The veterans group will be providing updates on its work on www.thesmithresidences.com.