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Northwest Region

 About this Region
Regional Directors, assisted by Regional Advisory Boards, facilitate collaboration between Catholic Charities, local parishes and the community. This includes the development of resources, local funding, volunteers and other support required to sustain Catholic Charities services, as well as efforts to increase awareness of Catholic Charities services.

Our Northwest Region serves the following communities:   Barrington, Bartlett, Hanover Park, Dundee, Palatine, Inverness, Rolling Meadows, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Prospect Heights, Wheeling, Mt. Prospect, Des Plaines, Harwood Heights, Schiller Park, Franklin Park, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Streamwood.

Office Hours: Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

For clients seeking information, emergency assistance, advocacy or referral to Catholic Charities programs or community resources.

  •     Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. An appointment is recommended but not required.
  •     All other times by appointment only.

Food Pantry:
Distribution of four-day supply of food based on household size. Clients are allowed one visit per month. No appointment is necessary.

  •     Monday, 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3 p.m.
  •     Wednesday, 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 6 p.m.
  •     Thursday, 10 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 3 p.m.
  •     Closed on Tuesday and Friday

Clothing Room:
Clean, gently used clothing and outerwear. Clients are allowed one visit per month. No appointment necessary.

  •     Tuesday, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
  •     Wednesday 1 to 3:00 p.m.
  •     Thursday, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
  •     Closed on Monday and Friday

Tuesday/Thursday Night Suppers
Free meals are provided at 6 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday night (except on holidays). Guests may visit as often as they’d like.

Central Information and Referral (CI&R) is the point of entry for clients and others on their behalf who are seeking information, emergency assistance, advocacy, linkage and/or referral to appropriate Catholic Charities’ programs or community resources. Services are available to the Spanish-speaking. For a complete listing of all our services, please call CI&R at (847) 376-2100.

Emergency Assistance Program (Food Pantry) provides quality food to people coming to our office for assistance. This includes meat along with non-perishable food items for four days. The food is meant to supplement existing food supplies until the person can connect with another food resource. For information, contact CI&R at (847) 376-2100.

Community Casework & Counseling provides professional problem-solving through in-home case management and counseling services to families and individuals who are overwhelmed by problems including family violence, sexual abuse, homelessness, grieving, coping with a disability or medical illness, incest, parent-child issues, marriage difficulties or other issues that affect the family’s or individual’s ability to cope. For information, contact CI&R at (847) 376-2100.

The Senior, Mother and Child Nutrition Program (SMCNP)
is a supplemental food and nutrition program serving seniors 60 or older, postpartum women six to 12 months, and children 5 or 6 years of age. Program participants receive nutritious food in monthly packages, plus nutrition and health information. It is administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services and provided locally by Catholic Charities. For more information contact Denise Yonkers at (847) 376-2101.

Catholic Charities Legal Assistance (CCLA) offers clients basic legal advice and referral services from CCLA attorneys via a telephone hotline and in person. Most services are free and available in Spanish. Intake: (312) 948-6821.

Public Benefits Screenings help clients determine potential eligibility for public benefits, including health insurance for all children under age 19, parents and caretakers of children and pregnant women; Medicaid coverage for low-income seniors and for disabled and/or blind persons; Medicare cost-sharing programs; help with Medicare drug plan costs; breast and cervical cancer program; food stamp program; food assistance and nutrition program that helps pregnant women, new mothers, babies and children under 5; and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides a one-time benefit to eligible households to be used for energy bills.  For information or to schedule an appointment contact (847) 376-2100.

Holbrook Counseling Center provides therapy for individuals, couples and families with emotional, behavioral and relationship or family problems, or marital or premarital concerns. Fees for service are determined on a sliding scale based on income and family size. Insurance payments are also welcome. Counseling is available by appointment in English as well as Spanish. For information, contact Leticia Martinez at (312) 655-7725.

Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) provides services for those who are grieving a death by suicide of a family member or close friend. The LOSS Program offers monthly group meetings at Catholic Charities in Des Plaines, Holy Family Church in Inverness and St Joseph’s Church in Wilmette. LOSS offers weekly groups for the newly bereaved in 10-week sessions, individual and family counseling as well as a monthly newsletter. For information, contact intake coordinator Jessica Mead at (312) 655-7283 or 7284 or Deborah R. Major at (312) 655-7285.

Maternity/Pregnancy Services
include professional counseling services for pregnant teens, women, birth fathers and their families who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Medical care planning and assistance are provided throughout the pre-natal, delivery and post-natal periods. Clients receive social services and educational support in making a plan for the care of their baby. For information, contact a maternity counselor at 1-800-CARE-002 OR (312) 454-1717.

New Hope Apartments Program
provides scattered-site shelters and transitional apartment housing, and permanent supportive housing for homeless families and individuals from North/Northwest suburban Cook County. For information, contact CI&R at (847) 376-2100.

Adoption Services include both domestic and inter-country adoptions from various foreign countries, including a direct child placement program with Poland. Pre-adoption counseling and education, adoption studies, licensing, placement and post placement services are provided to families.  Adoptive family support and a children’s playgroup are available.  
Through the Adoption Guild, families are able to participate in various activities. Intake (English): (312) 655-7086; intake (Polish): (312) 655-7084; intake (Spanish): (312) 655-7070.

Frances Manor provides independent senior apartment living in an affordable and federally assisted building located in Des Plaines. We serve people 62 and older who are able to take care of themselves and qualify as having a low income. For information, contact Gregg Fucik at (847) 390-1270.

Northwest Suburban Senior Services provides supportive services to older adults living in the northwest suburbs in the townships of Barrington, Hanover, Palatine and Wheeling. Located in Arlington Heights, this office provides information, assistance, case management, assessment and linkages to home-delivered meals, housekeepers, homemakers, adult day care, respite care, senior advocacy, money management and information about Medicare fraud and abuse. This program is the agency designated to investigate allegations of elder abuse and neglect in this area and to provide appropriate intervention. For information or elder abuse calls, contact (847) 253-5500.

Keenager News is a free monthly publication of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago for persons 60 and older. It contains explanations of benefits for older persons, humor, nostalgia, health and safety tips, puzzles and recipes tailored to the needs and pleasures of seniors. To subscribe, call (312) 655-7425.

Catholic Home Care
This department is a state-licensed home health care agency providing the services of registered nurses, nurse’s aides, homemakers and adult day services on a government, insurance or private pay basis to seniors and disabled adults in their own homes or in assisted living situations. For information, call (312) 655-7415.

Central States Institute Alcohol and Drug Assessment Services (ADAS) is located in the Circuit Court of Cook County in Skokie and Rolling Meadows. The service provides evaluation and assessment services to DUI offenders referred by the Circuit Court and the Secretary of State’s Office. For information, call (312) 655-7530.

Suppers for the Hungry and Homeless are held every Tuesday and Thursday evening at our Rand Road site. Volunteers and donations for the meals are always needed.

Immigration and Naturalization Services is an accredited program that provides assistance with lawful permanent residency and naturalization processes. The staff is available to provide legal information and assist with the completion of forms. This program also provides educational and informational community presentations. The office of this program is located at Maryville Academy Campus Mulcahey Building. For information contact (847) 375-8831 Wednesdays and Fridays. Phone calls are accepted from 2 to 4 p.m.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families
provides supportive services to extremely low or very low-income veteran families residing in or transitioning to permanent housing. To qualify for the program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, clients must be homeless or at imminent risk of losing their homes and meet income guidelines. For information contact Polly Maschinski at (847) 376-2114.

Michael Kendall, Chairman
Sandra Adamczyk
John Altmeyer
Gregg Belgard
Fr. Corey BrostCharles Drews
Howard Kovochich


Bob Lindeman
Marilyn Marturano
Romeo Mura
Patty O’Brien
Felipe Ovalle-Alba
Jim Pauwels
Camille Rogell
Christopher Saternus
Ella Woodford-Parker

 Volunteer Opp
Sign up through Volunteer Bridge!

North/Northwest regional office
1717 Rand Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016
Contact: Denise Kendra-Yonkers
(847) 376-2101

Below are examples of what you can volunteer for:

Hearts for Homeless Families fundraising event
Volunteer to chair and/or work on a committee for the annual Hearts for Homeless Families fundraiser.  Committees include: Invitation, Publicity, Solicitation and Auction.

Become a Northwest Regional Advisory Board member
Board members are asked to attend five meetings per year and participate in one or two different areas such as the Hearts for Homeless Families fundraiser, Mother’s Day Appeal or community/parish/legislative outreach.

Food Pantry

Volunteer to stock shelves, pack bags, and serve clients in our food pantry. Pantry hours:

Monday: 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m.

Wednesday: 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 6 p.m.

Thursday: 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m.

Clothing Room

Volunteers to sort and organize clothing donations in our clothing room during the week and assist and supervise clients with selecting clothing for themselves and their children on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Wednesday afternoons.  Bilingual helpful.

Tuesday: 4:45 p.m. to 6:30 or 7 p.m.

Wednesday: 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m., 3 to 5 p.m.

Thursday: 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m., 3 to 5 p.m., 5 to 7 p.m.

Organize drives

Organize drives to collect:

New and gently used clothing and coats.

- Canned and dry goods for the food pantry.

- “Baby shower” items (diapers, lotion, shampoo, baby wash, powder, etc.) for adoption/maternity baskets.

- Small household items (dishes, towels, sheets, pots and pans, cleaning supplies, etc.).

- Gift cards.

- Paper products and toiletries.

- New or gently used children’s and young adult books.

Hearts for Hope fundraising event

Volunteer to chair and/or work on a committee for the annual Hearts for Hope benefit, which raises funds for Catholic Charities services in the northwest suburbs. Committees include: Invitation, Publicity, Solicitation and Auction.

Become a Northwest Regional Advisory Board member

Board members are asked to attend five meetings per year and participate in one or two different areas such as the Hearts for Hope fundraiser, community/parish outreach or government advocacy.

Driver for picking up food donations

Need a driver or driving team to pick up food from local stores that donate to Catholic Charities. This is usually in the morning and takes about two hours. 

Public benefit screenings

Help potentially eligible clients complete Illinois Department of Human Services applications for public benefits. Computer skills required.

Administrative support

Tasks include coordinating volunteers and logging volunteer hours, data entry, report preparation, processing “thank you” letters, etc. Computer skills and training required.

 News Header

News & Events

 NW News Satellite
Cardinal Cupich, Monsignor Boland Address Historic 100th Meeting of Chicago Catholic Charities Board
Wednesday, October 04, 2017 by Communications
The nation’s largest Catholic Charities convened its 100th meeting of its 700 member Board of Advisors on October 2. Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, Monsignor Michael M. Boland, President and CEO of the agency, and Len Wiatr, Chairman of the Board, addressed the audience, offering a message of hope for the future and for all those served by the agency. 

Each year nearly 1 million people count on the agency, which serves immigrants, refugees, children, women, families, veterans, and seniors. With an operating budget of $203 million, the agency has 154 locations across Cook and Lake counties. 

In his remarks, Cardinal Cupich reminded the Board of the great responsibility it has to support the least among us.
“There is no greater connection to the mission of the Church than Catholic Charities,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago. “Catholic Charities is Chicago’s Good Samaritan,” Cardinal Cupich said.

“Catholic Charities is the Church’s field hospital in our most desperate and under-resourced communities; a shining light in areas that can feel covered in darkness,” said Monsignor Boland. “Today 3,000 staff, 15,000 volunteers and more than 400 community partners, including parishes, help us fulfill our mission of providing compassionate care to anyone in need. Where Catholic Charities is, we know there is hope.”

Board Chairman Len Wiatr reflected that at “the first meeting of the Board of Advisors on April 10, 2017, it was noted that one of the first orders of business would be to compile a list of all husbands, sons and brothers fighting in the war so the agency could care for the women and children left behind.” He continued that today, “that legacy continues and Catholic Charities serves anyone in need with compassion… and with a full 92 cents of every dollar going directly to programs to support those most in need.”

The agency commissioned 34 people to its Board of Advisors at the historic meeting. In addition, several awards were presented to members of the Catholic Charities Board of Advisors, community, and staff for outstanding service and commitment to the agency’s mission. 

Dorothy and Ed Wehmer – Recipients of the Compassion in Action Award, the Wehmers are long-time supporters of Catholic Charities, including serving as past Chaircouple of the agency’s largest fundraiser, the St. Nicholas Ball. The Wehmers also contribute greatly to the agency’s annual Christmas Toy Drive.

James Hellige – Recognized for his nearly 30 years of supporting Catholic Charities, James Hellige received the Dennis F. Kelly award. Hellige is a true ambassador for the agency, educating the legal community on the value of including Catholic Charities in estate planning.

Loyola University – A trusted and valued community partner, Loyola University received this year’s St. Thomas More Award for the decades the University has provided support through research, interns, and the hundreds of university graduates who have served as Catholic Charities staff and board members. University President Dr. Jo Anne Rooney accepted the award. 

Father John Nicola – As this year’s recipient of the Caritas Christi Urget Nos Award, Father John Nicola was recognized for his more than 60 years as an educator and a member of the Catholic Charities Legacy of Hope society. Father Nicola also has been a strong supporter of the agency’s 100th anniversary. 

Alzenia Melton – For 44 years Alzenia Melton has been the face of compassion at Catholic Charities. As a supervisor in the agency’s emergency assistant department, Alzenia daily has greeted individuals and families turning to Catholic Charities in their most desperate times. She is always known for having a listening ear, shoulder to lean on and an open heart and for her decades of service she received the Mission of Charity award.  

Ralph Metz – Receiving this year’s Volunteer of the Year award, Ralph Metz has faithfully volunteered his time at the Catholic Charities evening supper program for the homeless for 20 years. Ralph knows supper guests by their names and takes time to visit with each person, providing compassionate care and treating each guest with dignity and respect every week. 

Catholic Charities was founded just days after the country entered World War I, at a time when women were left caring for their families alone and children were left orphaned following the flu epidemic. Cardinal Mundelein called together a group of prominent businessmen, including Charles Comiskey, Marshall Field III, Dennis F. Kelly, and Edward Hines, to be the fundraising arm of the Church. This initiative quickly evolved to provide direct social services to those most in need. 

The agency that began at the once gritty intersection of Des Plaines and Randolph has grown to 154 locations across the Archdiocese, in the most vulnerable and under-served communities.

Catholic Charities services span a wide range, including housing, food, emergency assistance, counseling, veterans’ needs, senior services and support, child development, immigration and refugee support, youth mentoring, and more.

The agency is a pioneer in social services, leading the way in providing a holistic approach to both individuals and families in need. It led the way in many innovative social service programs and partnerships. It was the first to partner with Cook County to treat a DUI offense as a medical condition; with the VA and HUD to open the first permanent supportive housing for veterans, the St. Leo Campus; and with the federal government to develop the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) food centers in food desert communities, the first of its kind in the nation. 

Commenting on the agency’s future, Monsignor Boland added, “There is a tremendous need for agencies such as Catholic Charities, who are nimble and efficient, and also provide compassionate care. At all times our staff treats each person who comes to us with respect and dignity, with an ultimate goal of helping them become as self-sufficient as possible. This year we celebrate ‘A Century of Hope’ and reaffirm our commitment to the next century of providing help and hope to all of those need us most.”

For more information about Catholic Charities 100th Anniversary, including historic photos and stories, visit
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NW Region

1717 Rand Rd.
Des Plaines, IL 60016

General Information: 847-376-2100
Fax: (847) 390-8214

Michael J. Waters
Northwest Regional Director

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Phone: (312) 655-7525
721 N. LaSalle, Chicago, IL 60654