Crisis Care Now
No matter what brings them to us, at-risk and homeless youth get the critical care they need and deserve.
Covenant House Illinois’ Youth Development Center is a place where homeless or at-risk youth’s most urgent needs are met immediately. A team of trained youth advisors and staff welcome youth into a safe, patient environment where they have receive basic necessities, including food, showers, laundry, and a place to rest. And, thanks to support from the Chicago Youth Storage Initiative, youth may reserve lockers to store their belongings to protect them from loss or theft.
Visitors to our Youth Development Center do not need a referral and any at-risk or homeless young person will be welcomed and met with support.
Medical and Mental Health Care
Through collaborative agreements with leading agencies, CHIL is able to provide access to medical and mental health services on-site.
During the intake process, CHIL’s trained staff works with the youth to identify any immediate needs and determine the best plan of action for each individual. Youth then work with CHIL staff to access current health insurance or enroll in an Affordable Care Act plan. Through our medical health partnerships, visitors to our daytime services center can receive standard lab tests to check for any chronic or acute health issues they may be facing. Based on these results, along with family and medical history, we will schedule necessary follow-up appointments for any further treatment required.
Like physical health, mental health is a major focus of Covenant House Illinois. Many young people coming to the center face issues ranging from depression to drug and alcohol addiction to trauma. Those who choose to may access treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues through our community partnerships.
Food and Shelter
Our goal is to give at-risk youth a safe space to address even the most basic of needs.
Everyday, any youth (ages 18–24) can drop-in and receive breakfast and/or lunch. Visitors also have access to showers, laundry machines, a computer lab, space to rest, and lockers (subject to availability).
Creating an environment to access these basic needs offers youth a place of security and a sense of structure. As homeless young people find more and more consistency addressing their immediate needs, they can begin focusing on other barriers to independence, such as joblessness, lack of educational and vocational training, and mental and physical health.
Legal and Workforce Aid
Covenant House Illinois also has collaborative agreements with agencies to provide legal aid and workforce services on-site.
Visitors to our daytime drop-in center can engage in case management and receive legal assistance to address their needs. Our partnerships with Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and Cabrini Green Legal Aid offer youth access to ongoing legal aid in both civil and criminal legal matters.
We have also partnered with Cara to provide a comprehensive range of workforce training, support, and job placement services. Realizing the ongoing dedication and perseverance required in building a more stable life, youth can come to the center as many times as they need to access these services as they continue to work toward better futures.