A young lonely boy in the park checking his mobile phone

A Comprehensive Response to Youth Needs

50 Years 50 Stories

Breakthrough Services: CCBYS

Comprehensive Community Based Youth Services. CCBYS. It was 40 years ago this week!

In early-April 1982, state Sen. Aldo DeAngelis of Olympia Fields introduced SB1500, legislation that would establish a statewide network of local agencies to coordinate and provide 24-hour crisis intervention, counseling, employment and training aid, emergency and short-term foster care, medical and legal assistance, community recreation and delinquency prevention services. The network was expected to serve approximately 20,000 youth, many of whom were expected to be referred by local police departments thanks to another Deangelis-sponsored bill – SB 623, also passed in 1982 – which removed youthful “status offenders” from the court system.

newspaper clipping from april 1982, community-based youth services

SB 1500 was hailed by the National Conference of State Legislators. This was no small change. And it was no surprise this pair of bills had come from Olympia Fields, right next door to Aunt Martha’s home in Park Forest. In reality, both pieces of legislation were strongly (and proudly) influenced by Aunt Martha’s leadership, our board of directors and Gary Leofanti, whose work was by then being recognized on a national level.

When SB 1500 was finally enacted in February of 1985, Aunt Martha’s was awarded an annual contract of $111,193. Our staff were on-call 24/7, covering a 10-township service area south suburban Cook County and eastern Will County, including Bloom, Rich, Bremen, Crete, Washington, Monee, Will, Peotone, Green Garden and Frankfort. Today, our CCBYS team is still covering these areas – and so many more!

We are honored to serve our communities and give youth and families in crisis a safe place to land – one without judgement and one that works to support the whole person through any situation.

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