ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A company that has been around for almost 40 years was honored at Monday night’s Rockford City Council meeting.

It is officially “Zion Development Corporation Week” in Rockford.

“As the mayor of the City of Rockford do hereby proclaim December 9th of 2022, the week of December 9th, 2022, to be Zion Development Corporation Week,” Mayor Tom McNamara said.

The non-profit corporation was honored for its work with the city. It came ahead of the 40-year anniversary of Zion Development. A group with one goal; Help the community.

“Most of what we’ve done over the years are job creation and affordable housing, and affordable housing development,” said Bob Campbell, executive director of Zion Development Center.

Zion aims to fix homelessness. They have already created over 160 affordable housing units.

“We have learned, as many others have, that the best way to end homelessness is providing people with a home,” Campbell said. “And, so, people pay rent, and all of the units are subsidized, but everyone has to pay some portion of the rent out of their own pocket, and it keeps people from reexperiencing homelessness because we have supportive services on site.”

Zion also works outside of housing if the community needs.

“Most of our focus is in the affordable housing world, but because of our willingness to branch beyond that, and because we know that the needs of the community have to be addressed, that’s the biggest priority, and we’ll just work alongside people who have the expertise necessary to meet the needs the community has,” Campbell said.

The ministry of Zion Lutheran Church has invested over $40 million into the community of Rockford in their 40 years of being open.

“On behalf of the City of Rockford, you look back and it’s just a small group of individuals that came together and wanted to make a significant impact,” McNamara said. “And you utilized underutilized buildings, brought new life to them, while also helping some of those who are in the greatest of need in our community. So thank you, and congratulations on 40 years.”

Winnebago County Chairman Joseph Chiarelli will be honoring Zion Development Corporation on December 9, which will be 40 years to the day for the non-profit.