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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
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.

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