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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
Chicago Catholic Charities Staff Reflect on Relief Work in Houston
Tuesday, October 10, 2017 by Communications
The Catholic Charities USA Annual Gathering was scheduled to be held September 28-30 in Houston this year. After Hurricane Harvey caused mass destruction and flooding in the city, the gathering, which primarily hosts conferences and workshops, was in flux. After it was decided the gathering would still be held, a decision was made that half of the attendees’ time would be out in the field assisting with relief efforts. The neighborhoods visited were on the outskirts of town and many families, whose homes had been completely destroyed, had not been assisted yet.

Sister Donna Markham, President and CEO of CCUSA, said:

"We decided to change the focus of the conference to provide opportunities for these 500 professionals to be turned loose on the city and help." 

Below, those attending the conference from Catholic Charities Chicago share their stories of what it was like to be on the front lines of the relief work.

From Katrina to Harvey

Kathy Donahue, Senior Vice President of Program Development

While serving, Kathy met a woman who was losing her home for the second time because of a hurricane. The woman had moved to Houston from New Orleans in 2005, after losing her home after Hurricane Katrina hit. When asked if she felt comfortable sharing her story, the survivor replied:

“Of course, I trust you. I still have Catholic Charities.”


A former homeowner, she had been renting a home for the past 12 years in Houston and storing her belongings in a shed. The shed was now flooded from Hurricane Harvey and all of her items were on the lawn, ruined. What caught Kathy's attention the most was the woman's perseverance and hope. 

The woman said, "God bless you on your journey and thank you for coming to talk to me."

Canvassing through Chaos

Laura Rios, Vice President of Child, Youth & Family Services

No man is an island... We are all interconnected and need one another."

Laura's task during the conference was to knock on doors to complete intake forms then provide families with the supplies they needed. She remembered that at many of the homes, gates were padlocked shut to prevent others from looting what remained of their belongings.

Laura described the dire circumstances: “Household items, wood, drywall, and insulation littered the road in front of homes. As you stepped closer, the unpleasant musty, mildew smell of water-saturated buildings and furniture was prevalent. It was overwhelming when I realized that many of the residents were still living in these homes. I could only imagine what those conditions were doing to their health. Young children, adults, and senior citizens…”

Blessed and Grateful

Mary Ann Bibat, Vice President of Senior Services 

"It was such an awesome experience being able to work side-by-side with fellow Catholic Charities staff doing what we all do best – helping others. Seeing just how vulnerable so many people still remain after several weeks was overwhelming. I remember feeling very blessed and grateful for everything I have, and offering silent prayers throughout our experience for all those who continue to suffer."

Grounding and Inspiring

Peggy Arizzi, Vice President of Family & Parish Support Services

“If I had one word to describe this experience beyond ‘inspiring’, I would say it has to be ‘grounding’. It truly grounded me in our mission ever more deeply...”

Peggy remembered feeling humbled as she was able to bring her faith to life in a tangible way. She said, “...All seemed to trust that Catholic Charities would see them through.” Peggy recalled feeling unified in a shared mission to meet the needs of clients. She described leaving Houston with “hope” in her heart after assisting those in need.

“It was not just about the material assistance we provided. It never is. That's what makes Catholic Charities different than other helping organizations. It's our spirit. It's how we do what we do with love.”


Can you help those still in need? Support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by clicking here.

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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