News from The Children’s Place Association

Dear friends,

While we welcome the return of spring to Chicago, The Children’s Place faces a new concern. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget for FY16 completely eliminates The Children’s Place Association line item which supports the Early Learning Center.

As you know, our Center provides specialized early education to 73 children from low-income families struggling with illness and poverty. We successfully help them overcome both academic and medical challenges. There is no other preschool in Illinois like ours.

But without State funding, we cannot continue helping these kids. And without Children’s Place, they will enter school far behind their peers, and likely fail to catch up, creating yet another generation mired in poverty.

With the help of our loyal supporters, The Children’s Place has persevered through State budget struggles in the past, and I’m confident that we will overcome this current challenge as well. Together we can continue to make sure our most vulnerable children and families get the services, resources and hope that will help them live their best lives.

We will keep you updated on developments as the budgeting process continues in the State legislature.

With gratitude, 
Cathy Krieger, President & CEO

Overcoming Obstacles – A Family’s Story

One family’s story illustrates how our programs work together to put children on the path to reach their full potential.

Six years ago “Yvette,”* a single, HIV-positive mother, and her son moved into Children’s Place Family Housing. As you know, we offer vulnerable families living in our apartments more than a place to stay – we also provide supportive services and resources to help children and caregivers flourish.

Yvette’s son attended our Early Learning Center, getting a strong developmental foundation before moving into Chicago Public Schools (CPS). While with us “Michael” was diagnosed with behavioral disorders, ADHD and a speech problem. The Children’s Place developed an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and worked with therapists and a speech pathologist to make sure he got the help he needed to succeed in school.

Michael graduated from the Center and The Children’s Place continued to work with him as he entered school. The Children’s Place connected the family to Equip for Equality, an organization helping children and adults with disabilities. Together we helped Yvette apply to a therapeutic school where her son could get special education services.

Michael began attending the therapeutic school in December 2014 and has been thriving there ever since.  He has found a school that meets his needs – one he wants to go to every day.

*Names have been changed to protect the family’s confidentiality.

West Humboldt Place Building Update

Construction continues on our West Humboldt Place building! This new facility will expand The Children’s Place Supportive Housing program with 13 apartments for low-income families with disabilities, including HIV and other conditions. Its first floor will provide program services and community event space for residents and other Children’s Place families. The new structure is blocks from our other sites in Chicago’s Humboldt Park community.

Since construction began in August 2014, all three floors have been completed. Apartment walls are being put up and build out of the first floor offices and community area is underway. We expect West Humboldt Place to open in the fall of 2015!

Funding for this project comes from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, City of Chicago, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and private donors.

The Fun in Fundraising

Friends of The Children’s Place supported us at two recent events! Citizen Bar hosted our Professional Partners on Feb. 12, raising $1,106.  

Long-time supporter Wheeling High School again selected us as a beneficiary of the 21st Annual Dance For Life’s Next Generation benefit concert. The evening showcased the talents of more than 150 young dancers from 10 groups, and raised over $7,440 for The Children’s Place!

Thank you to these orgzaniztions and everyone who attended these events! Your generosity will help hundreds of Chicago children and families who struggle with illness and extreme poverty.

Once Upon a Time Gala

Step right up for a spectaclar evening at the 2015 Once Upon a Time at Fete du Cirque Gala on Saturday, April 18!

Bill Rancic, 2015 Gala Emcee
SPLASH Magazine, Official Media Sponsor

Join The Children’s Place Association at our2015 Once Upon a Time Gala, honoring Zurich as the 2015 Champion for Children!

The Champion for Children Award recognizes the crucial role businesses play in improving the lives of Chicago-area children and encourages the for-profit sector to strengthen its commitment to local communities by investing in youth.

Guests will enjoy an extravagant night of dinner, dancing and spectacle! Purchase tickets, make a donation, and get information on sponsorship levels!

New Grants – Thank You to our Donors!

We are pleased to acknowledge several new and renewing grant contributions:

An anonymous family foundation granted $15,000 to support aFamily Success Coach for our Supportive Housing clients. This special staff position builds on the role of a traditional case manager to help families assess their strengths, needs and challenges then develop goals and plans for achieving them. The Coach connects clients to resources, provides information, advice and encouragement and celebrates successes with our families.

The Field Foundation of Illinois made a $15,000 renewal grant to ourHome-Based Early Head Start program.

The MAC AIDS Fund renewed its $10,000 to our Supportive Housing program for families affected by HIV/AIDS.

An anonymous donor made a $4,500 general operating gift.

A new funder, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), awarded a $10,000grant to support the Early Learning Center (ELC). Returning funderA. Montgomery Ward Foundation also granted $5,000 to the ELC.

Our thanks to these funders and all the friends, donors, volunteers and other supporters who make our work for children facing illness and poverty possible!