Our team at Children’s Home Association of Illinois helps the kids and families who need it most because we believe their futures are worth fighting for.
We believe every child and family in our community deserves an opportunity to succeed, despite the insurmountable barriers they face. Meet Bradley, Brianna, Jatavia, and the Reed family: real Children’s Home clients with inspirational stories of impact and success.
Together, we can create a future where every child and family receives resources, care, and support so they can thrive. That’s a future we can all believe in.
Join us all month long by reading their stories, sharing this campaign, and making a contribution.
“Everyone here lifts me up.”
As a resident of one of our Supervised Independent Living Program (SILP) houses since 2020, Bradley has established himself as a leader in his house – mentoring and inspiring the other boys, while also offering them pieces of advice like: “Hands are not for fighting – they are for giving.”
The goal of our SILP program is to prepare youth for independence and eventually, move them into a less restrictive environment– which means staff focus on teaching life skills and social integration through field trips to places like Six Flags and sporting events, running errands like going to the gym, the grocery store, preparing for job interviews, and learning financial literacy.
“I like Children’s Home because they try to help us and show us the way.”
When he’s not working on his jump shot, he’s working at Children’s Home’s Scott’s Prairie Farm because he loves the sunshine.
“I now have a support system and the resources I need.”
After years of couch surfing, Brianna’s friend told her the Homeless Youth program at Children’s Home might be able to help.
After getting into the program, she worked closely with our staff to add more structure into her life and help with setting and achieving her goals so she can support her daughter, On’Estee: have a safe place to stay, have transportation, and have a reliable job.
Within six months, she was able to find both secure housing and her own vehicle, and this May she will graduate with her CNA and has a job already lined up at a hospital – which is when she plans to start working to become a Registered Nurse.
The Homeless Youth program helps Brianna with the cost of education and work expenses, assisted her in rebuilding her support network, supports On’Estee’s needs and arranges fun activities for them to do as a family. She is focused, determined, and unafraid to ask for help when she needs it.
“Children’s Home has made a good impact on my life – I am more focused and on track to complete my goals.”
“I wasn’t all together before, but now I feel like I’m completely together.”
Jatavia was referred to the Good Beginnings program here at Children’s Home while pregnant with her first daughter, Charity Queniece, in 2018. She received prenatal support and care, learned about breastfeeding, milestones, and swaddling to help prepare her for her next chapter: motherhood. But three days after she was born, Charity passed away. Jatavia began working through her grief and continued to receive support from our staff through one of the most difficult times in her life. About a year later, she became pregnant again and reentered the Good Beginnings program with her same mentor and a doula to prepare for the birth of Rhi’Lee and then a few years later, for the birth of Addison.
While in the program, Jatavia receives home visits, assistance with diapers and wipes, household items, community support, and daycare referrals so she can continue to be the best mother to her two girls.
So, what’s next for Jatavia?
“I want to go back to school to become an interpreter for American Sign Language. I want to be able to learn and help others.”
“My mentor helped keep me motivated to get a job and housing and get back on my feet. I recommend this program 10/10!”
“Children’s Home changed our lives.”
Jessica and Donald began receiving services in 2019 in our Foster Care program with the goal of reunifying with their three children, Harley, Keiono, and Hazel. Through therapy services, counseling, casework, connections to additional community resources, and guidance through the legal system, they stayed committed to their progress and were successful in welcoming all the kids back home.
Since receiving care at Children’s Home, they, along with some of their close friends, started their own nonprofit organization, streetfamily.com, that provides food, clothes, furniture, and hygiene products, along with community referrals to help people in need, all with the intention to pay it forward.
“We appreciate everything Children’s Home has done for us. They put things into perspective – and reminded us to not take things for granted.”