Roosevelt Square Community Center Project Announced

SOS Children’s Villages Illinois provides hope to the most vulnerable children. SOS Illinois helps children in foster care thrive instead of merely surviving by providing a place to call home and the tools to restore their physical, psychological and emotional wounds.

Nurturing the Community, Transforming Lives

For over 25 years, SOS Illinois has provided the highest quality of care for Illinois’ most unprotected children and families by providing a place of healing, a place of harmony, and ultimately a place of hope.

Currently operating four sites (three distinct Villages comprised of over 50 individual homes and one preventative services facility), SOS Illinois provides a loving family life, critical resources, and quality services to children placed in foster care so that they may have a better and brighter future.

The SOS Illinois Difference

The SOS Illinois model of foster care is about keeping families close. In the past year, nearly 500 children were served through SOS Illinois programs and services helping to reunite a total of 64 sibling groups who were previously living apart. SOS Illinois offers a unique alternative to traditional foster care in that:

  • Children live together with their siblings
  • Children receive care and support from a full-time, professionally trained Foster Parent
  • Children grow up in a private, single-family home
  • The Village model is designed as an intentional community of care

With a rigorous focus on education, SOS Illinois continues to show that living in the Villages ensures the changes in home placement do not affect school district changes or placement. This is evident in the outcomes of SOS Illinois’ school children where 99% of youth attend more than 90% of school days. And one of the most significant successes that distinguish the SOS Illinois model versus national foster care is the remarkable 100% high school graduation rate.

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Building the Future of Foster Care

Through numerous collaborations, partnerships, and commitments, SOS Illinois opened the Roosevelt Square Village on Chicago’s near west side in November 2014. The Village of fourteen individual homes can collectively serve up to 84 children, 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year.

To provide the children and families in the Roosevelt Square Village and the surrounding communities with a valuable resource to gather, learn, and strengthen their neighborhood, SOS Illinois is embarking on an exciting chapter in its history with the building of the Roosevelt Square Community Center. Seeking to nurture and transform lives through this co-located Community Center, located at 13th Street and Blue Island, the Center will be a hub of family reunification, therapeutic, academic, social, civic, enrichment, and recreational activities.

The Community Center Project

The construction of the 17,000+ square foot facility, designed by internationally recognized architect Juan Moreno, is projected to serve over 5,000 individuals annually from University Village, Lower West Side/Pilsen, Little Village, North Lawndale, and other surrounding neighborhoods.  The Center will serve as an urban prototype for the delivery of human services that will specifically provide:

  • Academic, therapeutic, social, and recreational outlets for youth and families served at the Roosevelt Square Village homes
  • A communal center for neighborhood residents – a safe place where they can meet in the community and connect to public resources and engage in training, activities, seminars and special events
  • Family meeting rooms and learning center providing financial and educational training

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Additionally, a Centerpiece Culinary Kitchen designed to educate the community about nutrition and culinary education including relevant job skills training will be a key component of the Center:

  • 2,600-square-feet of kitchen and dining space, plus additional square footage in a roof-top terrace
  • Intentional design for culinary demonstrations, hands-on learning experiences, and special event entertaining space
  • Stations for cooking instruction and student prep area to promote culinary and nutritional education programming including access to the community garden

Make an Investment in Children & Families

With the collective and collaborative effort of individuals, corporations, and foundations, SOS Illinois is currently half-way towards the $7.6 million goal to build the Community Center.  Through the generous commitment of time, resources, and financial support of many, SOS Illinois is determined to raise the necessary investments to build the Community Center and provide a beacon for the Village residents and surrounding neighborhoods.

The Center will be the ultimate example of the collective power of Foster Parents, staff, the surrounding community, dedicated donors and friends. SOS Illinois is seeking partners to invest in the Community Center initiative and help fulfill the mission of giving children the opportunity to live in a nurturing, stable, single-family home with their brothers and sisters.  We look to maximize opportunities to reach the funding goal with the anticipated opening of the Community Center in 2019.

To learn more about this exciting SOS Illinois initiative, please contact Amy Kaczmarek, Director of Development at (312) 372-8200 or akaczmarek@sosillinois.org.