“Aunt Martha” considered as name for couseling center
Study Remedy for Runaways
Mrs. Janice Greenberg was chairman of the Park Forest Youth Commission’s ad hoc committee that analyzed information on a national problem – teenage runaways – that was hitting closer and closer to home in south suburban Cook County by the summer of 1972.
According to the July 9, 1972 edition of the Park Forest Star, more than 100 runaway cases had been reported to Park Forest Police in 1971. In most communities, the only agency actively involved with the runaway problem is the police force.
Seeking incorporation of facility for youths
By the evening of Wednesday, July 5, Mrs. Greenberg’s ad hoc committee had finished its study. The idea to develop a youth service facility to deal directly with the challenges of keeping young people from leaving home, which the politically-savvy committee knew had significant public support, became its official recommendation to the Village.
In fact, that evening the ad hoc committee announced it had already taken steps was in the process of incorporating a youth services facility to be located in the Village. The center would be located initially in the basement of a co-op rental office.
Robert Mondlock, Youth Commission chair, said the facility will be located in Park Forest but “there will be no geographical boundaries” to its services.
“There aren’t too many Aunt Marthas anymore”
After the Commission meeting, Mrs. Greenberg shared a discussion she had with Park Forest Police Chief William Hamby. He remarked that fewer and fewer kids had family nearby who they could talk to when they were upset with their parents.
“I made the comment that there aren’t too many Aunt Marthas anymore,” Mrs. Greenberg said. It stuck.
Who’s Aunt Martha?
The name Aunt Martha’s came from one of the founders who really wanted this organizatio to create an environment where a young person can go, if they don’t feel comfortable going to their parents, and talk about whatever life challenges they were facing.
I picture Aunt Martha to be this caring individual that, you know, if you wanted cookies and warm milk at night, Aunt Martha would do that for you.
But I also see Aunt Martha being tough as hell. She’s not going to let anybody mess with her. No municipality, no faction of individuals that discriminate, that are not embracing equity and diversity and inclusion regardless of sexuality, gender, race, religion, color, medical condition.
Aunt Martha has the ability to cover the range of what needs to be covered, to do the right thing for people. If you had to dissect Aunt Martha, you’d find thousands of people in that makeup.
Raul Garza, President and CEO