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West Region

 About this Region
Catholic Charities West Regional Services provides an array of emergency, immigration and social service programming to youth, adults, the elderly and families living in west Cook County. Services are offered at the Regional Office located at 1400 South Austin Boulevard in Cicero and at outlying sites. We invite you to explore our site. Volunteers are always welcome.

Our West Region serves the following communities:  Franklin Park, Northlake, Melrose Park, River Grove, Elmwood Park, Schiller Park, Berkeley, Bellwood, Maywood, River Forest, Oak Park, Hillside, Westchester, Broadview, Forest Park, Berwyn, Cicero, Riverside, Lyons, Brookfield, LaGrange Park, Western Springs, LaGrange, Hinsdale, and Oak Brook.
Central Information and Referral (CI&R) is the point of entry for clients and others on their behalf who are seeking information, assessment, emergency assistance, advocacy, linkage and/or referral to appropriate Catholic Charities’ programs or community resources. Central Information and Referral completes applications for service in the following programs: Emergency Assistance Program, Community Casework and Counseling, Holbrook Center for Counseling and Psychotherapy and Family Shelter Services.
For information contact CI&R: 708.222.1491 *   **

Emergency Assistance Program (Food Pantry) provides quality food to people coming to our office for assistance. The food package is sized to the family. This service is meant to be supplemental until the person is connected with another food resource.
For information contact CI&R: 708.222.1491 *   **

Clothing Room provides clothing to families in need on a monthly basis. Clothing is provided via donations received at the West Suburban office.
For Clothing Room hours or to make a donation: 708.222.1491*   **

Commodity Supplemental Food Program "Nutrition Services for the Elderly" - USDA supplemental food and nutrition program administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services and operated by Catholic Charities. Service is available to eligible persons who are 60 years or older.
For information contact: 708.222.1491 * **

Mother and Child Food and Nutrition Program "Food for Growth" - USDA food and nutrition program administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services and operated by Catholic Charities. The program provides nutritious food items to supplement the diets of low-income, post-partum women and children between the ages of five and six.
For information contact: 708.222.1491 * **

Catholic Charities New Hope Apartments provides scattered site transitional apartment housing and wrap-around case management services for homeless familiesin West Suburban Cook County.
For information contact CI&R: 708.222.1491*   **

Community Casework and Counseling provides professional problem solving, case management and counseling services to families and individuals who are overwhelmed by multiple and varied problems. These problems may include: 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. Initial contact would be through Central Information and Referral.
For information contact CI&R: 708.222.1491 *   **

Holbrook Center for Counseling and Psychotherapy provides therapy for individuals of all ages, couples and those in relationships. Our professional staff are licensed by the State of Illinois to provide counseling services. Fees for services are available through insurance coverage, private pay or from subsidies based on income and family size if insurance coverage is not possible. Counseling in Spanish is available. Satellite meeting sites in the West include the following churches: St. Bernardine in Forest Park, St. John of the Cross in Western Springs and St. Anthony Church in Cicero. By appointment only.
For information contact CI&R: 708.222.1491 or visit *   **

LOSS (Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide) provides services for those who are grieving a death by suicide of a family member or close friend. LOSS offers weekly groups for the newly bereaved in 10-sessions groups, individual and family counseling and a monthly newsletter.
For information contact: 312.655.7283 or visit *

Immigration and Naturalization Services - This accredited program provides assistance with the lawful permanent residency and naturalization processes. Staff is available to provide legal information and assist with the completion of forms. This program also provides educational and informational community presentations.
For information contact: 708.329.4031 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. *   **

Outreach and Interpretation Project - Public Benefits Coordinator - provides outreach and interpretation on public benefits for all immigrants.
For information contact: 708.222.1491 *   **

Maternity and Adoption Services - 312.454.1717 or 1.800.-CARE.022 - Adoptive Parents, Maternity and Adoption staff are available for speaking engagements to inform the public about adoption as a positive option. Adoption Services include both domestic and inter-country adoptions. Pre-adoption counseling, adoption studies, licensing, placement and post placement services are provided to families. Families are able to adopt children from several foreign countries. Adoptive family support groups are provided. Through the Adoption Guild families are able to participate in various activities.
For information contact the Intake Department: 312.655.7086

The Maternity Department provides counseling for the pregnant woman, birth father, and their families to assist in planning for themselves and their baby. Services include arranging for prenatal care and delivery, providing temporary care of infants in licensed homes for a short period of time while a permanent plan is made for the child. If adoption is the plan of choice by both parents, they are encouraged to actively participate in the selection of an adoptive family.
For information contact a maternity counselor: 1.800.CARE.022

Central States Institute Alcohol and Drug Assessment Services (A.D.A.S) is located in the Circuit Court of Cook County at Maybrook Court in Maywood, Illinois. The service provides evaluation and assessment services to DUI offenders referred by the Circuit Court and the Secretary of State’s Office.
For information contact the administrative offices: 312.655.7529

Maywood Adolescent Parent Program (MAPP) provides a specialized parenting group to students at Proviso East High School. The group meets weekly at Proviso East during the students’ lunch hour and also provides a meeting after school within the community. Workshops include training on well baby care and a variety of other parenting and life-skill topics. Home visits are also included in this program.
For information contact Ludella Gilmore: 773.995.1737

Catholic Home Care provides professional services to persons residing in their own homes who need assistance in completing daily activities. Services could include nursing assessment, certified nurse’s aide and homemaker. Payment for services is through government contracts, insurance, or fee for service.
For information contact: 312.655.7415

Keenager News is a free monthly publication of the Catholic Charities of Chicago with 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 or visit

Accolade Adult Day Care - located in Oak Park - provides supervised care, socialization, nutritious meals, and recreational services for frail older adults.
For information contact: 708.445.1300

Affordable Housing for the Elderly

Bishop Goedert Residence – federally subsidized, independent living apartment facility for senior's aged 62 and over, located on the Hines VA Campus. While preference is given to veterans all eligible seniors are encouraged to inquire.
For information contact: 312-655-7440

Donald W. Kent Residence - federally subsidized, independent living apartment facility for senior's aged 62 and over, located in Northlake.
For information contact: 312-655-7440

Cooke’s Manor – long-term housing and supportive services for Veterans recovering from addiction to drugs/alcohol. Location: Hines VA Campus.
For information contact: 708-343-2873

Catholic Charities St. Mary of Celle Family Center – developmentally appropriate, affordable child care (ages toddler to five) and family strengthening programming. Located in Berwyn.
For information contact: 708-303-3650 **


* Programs have offices on site
 **Services available in Spanish

 Regional Advisory Board
John P. Barrett                             Clare Idaszak 
Jack Norton                                  Benjamin A. Jagoe
Michael R. Benson                    Robert F. Kastenholz
Michael R. Benson Jr.               Douglas Kurtenbach
William J. Darley                       Michelle Latz
Paul Dragich                                Clem Martin
Mary S. Feeley                           Dr. Ken and Karen Nelson
Lauretta M. Froelich                John J. O’Leary
Ellen Gorney                               Patrick VanDeWalle
Jeanne M. Hardy                       Fabiola Zavala
James R. Hellige                        Mark Czajkowski

 Volunteer Opportunities
Sign up through Volunteer Bridge!
Below are examples of what you can volunteer for:

Food, Clothing and Shelter Program Opportunities
■Food Pantry
■Commodity Supplemental Food Pantry
■Food Drives
■Clothing Room Support
■New Hope Apartments

Youth Programs/Service Opportunities
■Maternity and Adoption
■SMART Homework Assistance Program
■Babysitting Support

Senior Service Opportunities
 ■Accolade Adult Day Care
■Bishop Goedert and Donald W. Kent Residences

Food Pantry

Sort and organize food products. Assist with packing, distribution and delivery.
Monday - Thursday A.M. or P.M. - Cicero Location

Commodity Supplemental Food Program

Assist with carrying boxes for clients, a number of whom are senior citizens. Delivery of food boxes to homebound seniors.
 Friday 9a.m. - 12p.m. Food delivery times are variable and can be based on volunteer availability - Cicero location

Food Drives and Collections

Gather non perishable food products, personal care items, diapers, hats and gloves for winter.

Clothing Room Support

Sort and organize incoming donations. Assist when the Clothing Room is open to the public (Wednesdays).
 Monday - Friday A.M. or P.M. - Cicero Location

New Hope Apartments

Assist in setting up apartments for new residents. Provide homework help to student residents. Participate in seasonal and Holiday activities such as basket assembly and delivery, BBQ's, and other fun.
 Cicero Location

Maternity and Adoption

Coordinate collection of baby items for our Maternity and Adoption program. Program staff are willing to come out and speak to a group about these valuable programs.

SMART Homework Assistance Program

Tutor children in the primary grades.
 Monday / Tuesday / Thursday (during the school year) - Cicero Location

Babysitting Support

Babysitting support on Tuesday mornings, from 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at the West Regional Office.

Accolade Adult Day Care

Conduct arts and crafts classes, donate supplies, stencils, fabric paint, etc. Hold current events and book club discussions. Plan seasonal programs. Sponsor monthly birthday party.
 Monday - Friday A.M. or P.M. - Oak Park Location

Bishop Goedert and Donald W. Kent Residences

Coordinate Bingo Day, complete with prizes and refreshments, Assist with the delivery of commodities to seniors apartments, assist with gardening in the springtime.
 West Region 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

West Region:

1400 S. Austin Boulevard
Cicero, IL 60804

Esmeralda Zepeda, West Regional Director
Phone: (708) 329-4022
Fax: (708) 222-1495

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