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Former CPS Teacher Builds Community With Co-Working Space In Humboldt Park

By Mina Bloom | December 12, 2016 5:59am
 Erryn Cobb (left) helped her wife, Mariah Cobb, open Homiey, 3455 W. North Ave.
Erryn Cobb (left) helped her wife, Mariah Cobb, open Homiey, 3455 W. North Ave.
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DNAinfo/Mina Bloom

HUMBOLDT PARK — After eight years of working as a teacher for Chicago Public Schools, Mariah Cobb was looking to change careers.

The 31-year-old surveyed Humboldt Park, where she and her husband, Erryn, bought their first home, knowing that she wanted to start her own business in the neighborhood she had grown to love. 

It wasn't long before Cobb, with help from her creative husband, landed on opening a co-working/event space at 3455 W. North Ave., just a few blocks north of their home.

"We were realizing that there's nowhere for people to go [to work] without going to Logan Square or Wicker Park," Cobb said.

"We wanted to put something in the neighborhood so people from the neighborhood can use it and get more people over here west of the park."

Homiey — which combines "homie" and "home" — opened about two months ago with a goal of bringing together both longtime residents and newcomers to work and collaborate.

The main work area at Homiey, 3455 W. North Ave. [DNAinfo/Mina Bloom]

To do that, Cobb is offering a package that starts at $5 an hour. A day pass costs $15 and a monthly membership costs $80, which is substantially less than most co-working spaces in the city.

"That was purposefully done to encourage folks in the neighborhood. Maybe they don't want to come in everyday and work, but they just want to pop in and use the WiFi for only an hour or so," she said. "We want to be part of the community, not something added from the outside."

Homiey also hosts regular events and functions as an art gallery, and folks can rent out the venue for their own events, workshops or work gatherings. Since opening, Homiey has hosted everything from a brunch supper club to a performance and Q&A with Chicago-based hip hop artist R.O.E.

A recent event at Homiey. [Provided]

The work of Atlanta-based artist Jermaine Clark is currently on display, and he's one of many artists the couple intends to showcase.

As for its location, Cobb said she believes in the resurgence of North Avenue west of the park. Part of the reason she decided to open on North Avenue was because of the amount of empty storefronts.

"It's just a matter of time. It's definitely coming this way. Why wait?," she said.

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