Community Support

Strengthening communities, empowering individuals, improving lives.

Community Support services comprise prevention measures to help families remain intact, and keep children and youth out of the child welfare or juvenile justice systems. We promote healthy lifestyles, strengthen our communities, and improve the self-sufficiency of children, young adults, and families. Aunt Martha’s community-based programs ensure that vulnerable youth and families have a safe haven to address their health and social wellness needs such as:

Community Support services include Supportive Housing for young adults

Supportive Housing

Aunt Martha’s Supportive Housing services follow a global harm-reduction philosophy of meeting youth “where they are,” suspending judgment to build rapport, and helping youth feel comfortable, and primarily provides services to young people 18 to 24 years old.

A Housing First, Positive Approach

The Supportive Housing Program combines a Housing First model with a Positive Youth Development approach to care. We put Housing First, make it our priority to help people experiencing homelessness by providing housing while they pursue employment, education, financial and other goals. This approach is guided by the belief that people need basic necessities like food and a place to live before attending to other areas of focus, such as getting a job, budgeting properly, or dealing with healthcare issues. 

We utilize an integrated service model that connects participants to other supportive services, both within the Agency and with our vast network of external partners.  A participant may initially reach out looking for support with housing, and the team may identify that medical services, job support, and food stability are also focus areas that can be supported by the Agency. 

Crisis Response and Intervention

Aunt Martha’s Family & Youth Crisis Services work closely with schools, healthcare providers and local police to identify youth in crisis, and provides a broad range of services to help youth, parents and families recover from crises and strengthen family relationships.

The following people and organizations can make a referral to us by calling (708) 679-8100. Click here for more information.

  • Parent/Guardian
  • School
  • Friends
  • Police
  • Other Providers

Workforce Development

Since 1978, Aunt Martha’s has helped more than 3,000 people find jobs through our comprehensive employment programs connecting job seekers to employers. The focus is sustained employment, providing participants with educational enhancement opportunities, career planning, occupational certifications and job readiness training in preparation for part-time/full-time employment.  The programs are goal-oriented and work with individuals to determine their best career path for reaching self-sufficiency with a range of resources, such as

  • Occupational training (based upon federal eligibility guidelines)
  • Resume writing
  • Interview skills
  • Financial literacy
  • Job placement
Community Support services include job training services through the Chicago-Cook Workforce Partnership

Juvenile Justice Reporting Center

The Reporting Center (RC) is a short-term community-based program for youth involved with the Cook County Juvenile Court system. Staff engage youth through educational activities, life-skill development workshops, and job readiness programs. The goals of the program are to:

  • Provide highly structured, well-supervised individual and group activities. 
  • Provide opportunities for youth to enhance their strengths and gain new skills to reduce their risk of re-offending. 
  • Provide evidence-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. 
  • Ensure court appearances and reduce the likelihood of re-arrest while allowing the youth to continue attending school and remain at home. 

Aunt Martha’s Community Support services area funded in part by:

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