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Lake County Region

 About this Region
Annually, Catholic Charities serves over 53,000 residents of Lake County through a broad array of services provided out of multiple sites across the county. Services include maternity and adoption, independent living program, and our youth housing advocacy program. For seniors, we provide information, assistance, and referral/outreach services, homemaker/in-home services, case management, nursing home pre-screening, elder abuse investigations, and our senior nutrition programs — including Meals on Wheels and senior dining sites. Additionally, we offer a continuum of care for the homeless or those at risk of homelessness: emergency assistance and food pantries, emergency shelter, transitional housing at Samaritan House for women and their children, parish-supported Family Hope Program, and our nationally recognized Self-Sufficiency programs. We provide case management, counseling and food assistance to HIV/AIDS affected clients in the county. In addition to housing and budget counseling, individual, couples and family counseling is provided by our Holbrook Counseling Center as well as our unique counseling and support program Loving Outreach for Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) for those who are suffering the loss of a family member or friend through suicide.  We also provide case management and supportive services to veterans as well as assisting them with resume writing, employment searches and mock interviews through our Veterans Services.

Working together, we can create a brighter future. If you need assistance or would like to get involved, contact the Lake County Regional Office at (847) 782-4000.

Our Lake County region serves the following communities: Antioch, Wadsworth, Zion, Winthrop Harbor, Waukegan, Gurnee, Lake Villa, Ingleside, Fox Lake, Round Lake, Gurnee, Grayslake, Libertyville, North Chicago, Lake Bluff, Mundelein, Wauconda, Island Lake, Barrington, Lake Zurich, Vernon Hills, Lincolnshire, Buffalo Grove, Deerfield, Highwood, Highland Park.

Diaper Depot is an initiative to address the basic needs of low-income families and their infants, collecting and distributing diapers through partnering community agencies serving babies and children in Lake County. For more information, please click here or call: (847) 782-4117 

Maternity and Adoption Services provide counseling for the pregnant women, birth fathers, and their families to assist in planning for themselves and their babies. Services include arranging for prenatal care and delivery and 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 more information, call: (847) 782-4222. Post-Adoption Services: (312) 655-7088 Email:

Independent Living Program provides youth under the guardianship of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, ages 18 to 20, with intense case management services and placement into their own apartments with the goal of developing skills so they can successfully transition to independence upon emancipation at age 21. For more information, call: (847) 782-4223

Lake County Youth Mentorship Program pairs youth ages 9-12 from Waukegan with volunteer mentors, who can serve as positive role models, encourage good decision-making and be a friend during times of need. For more information, call: (847) 782-4224

Emergency Assistance provides emergency food, shelter, rental and utility assistance and crisis management services.  Emergency food services help clients in order to meet short term nutritional needs.  Shelter services include emergency shelter for homeless women, children and persons with disabilities as well as financial assistance to prevent homelessness.  Other services that help a client stabilize include pharmaceutical assistance, transportation assistance, clothing vouchers and case management services. For more information, call: (847) 782-4100
Family Self-Sufficiency Program assists low-income, single parents with dependent children, who are at least 18 years old, have stable housing, and are living a sober life, with education, training, employment assistance and case management services, for up to five years as they learn to achieve independence. Services are available in English and Spanish. For more information, call: (847) 782-4145

HIV/AIDS Case Management provides comprehensive HIV/AIDS case management, mental health counseling, supportive and substance use disorder services, transportation, and food pantry services, to those living with HIV/AIDS in Lake County. For more information, call: (847) 782-4265

Immigration and Naturalization Services is an accredited program that assists with the lawful permanent residency and naturalization processes. Staff can provide legal information and assist with the completion of forms. This program also provides educational and informational community presentations. For more information, and to make an appointment, call: (847) 782-4225 Monday thru Friday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families
provides veterans experiencing homelessness, or imminent homelessness, with emergency housing and homeless prevention, intensive case management services, and connections to benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). For more information, call: (847) 782-4152

Veterans Employment Program assists veterans in finding and maintaining employment by providing job readiness training, resume writing assistance, mock interviews, and job placement counseling. For more information, call: (847) 782-4219

Housing Advocacy Program, in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, serves families in Lake County referred by DCFS whose housing needs are vital for family preservation. For more information, call: (847) 782-4165

Critical Time Intervention-Representative Payee (CTI-RP) Program provides intensive housing case management services to the chronically homeless population with documented disabilities. For more information, call: (847) 782-4165

Rapid Re-Housing Program assists recently homeless individuals and families to quickly locate permanent housing. For more information, call: (847) 782-4165

Budget Counseling Program
helps participants increase their financial management skills and improve their financial status. For more information, call: (847) 782-4165

The Assets for Independence Program (AFI) is a matched saving account program designed to assist those of modest means establish a pattern of regular savings and ultimately, purchase a productive asset.  Savings and match money may be used toward the purchase of a home, to start a small business, or further your education or job training. For more information, call: (847) 782-4165

Samaritan House is a transitional, emergency shelter program for homeless women and their dependent children. Residents are provided with basic needs, individual and group counseling, parenting education, housing placement assistance and intensive case management services. For more information, call: (847) 782-4142

Holbrook Counseling Center provides professional counseling services for adult individuals, couples and families, with emotional, behavioral and relationship or family problems, and marital or premarital problems. Counseling in Spanish is available. Services are available in Mundelein. For more information, call: (847) 566-5168

Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) Program 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. Group, individual and family counseling is also available. The LOSS Program offers monthly support group meetings at Carmel High School in Mundelein on the 4th Thursday of each month.  The LOSS Program for Children and Youth addresses the unique needs of children and adolescents, ages three to 18, impacted by suicide of a family member or person close to them. For more information, call: (312) 655-7283 or visit

Senior Case Management Services provides comprehensive services so that seniors are able to live independently or with caregivers in their own homes and communities. We offer a wide variety of programs and services for older adults and their family members. Coordinators provide information, assessments and connect clients to services such as, homemaker, adult day care, emergency home response, caregiver assistance, and transportation, Meals on Wheels, self-neglect cases, money management and benefits assistance. Community Outreach presentations about our programs and services are also available. For more information, call: (847) 546-5733

Grayslake Senior Center provides health, recreational, educational, social, and nutritional programs, as well as a hot meal at noon, for seniors who come to the drop-in center. For more information, call: (847) 782-4000

Senior Congregate Meals provide hot, tasty noon-time meals prepared and served once daily Monday thru Friday, in a Senior Center or restaurant for older adults who are physically able to come to a specific site. For more information, call: (847) 782-4000

Meals on Wheels provide noon-time meals prepared and usually delivered by volunteers, for those who are homebound and unable to prepare their own food due to physical or mental difficulties. In some programs an evening sack meal may be included. For more information, call: (847) 782-4000

Celebration of Giving is a program that provides gifts to struggling individuals and families in Lake County by adopting a family for the holidays. Donor families, churches, schools and businesses from the local area shop for specific gift requests submitted by verified recipients. It is a volunteer driven program that involves over 350 volunteers each year. For more information, call: (847) 782-4210

Evening Supper at St. Joseph Parish, located at 116 N. Lincoln Ave., Round Lake, IL 60073, provides a warm meal served to anyone hungry or homeless the second Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. For more information, call: (847) 782-4117

Evening Supper at St. James Parish, located at 140 North Avenue, Highwood, IL 60040, provides a warm meal and socialization for those in need on the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call: (847) 782-4117

School Supply Drive Catholic Charities provides support to low-income families in Lake County by collecting and distributing donated school supplies once a year.  The supplies are distributed to families who participate in both Catholic Charities programs and children in the community at-large.  For more information, call: ( 847) 782-4126

Debby Lambert


Dennis Brown


Matthew Paterkiewicz


Msgr. Michael Boland
David Barrera
Houda Chedid
Eleanor Clarke
John E. Cortesi
Lori DeCicco
Camille Devaney 
Michael Einarsen
Jan Elwart
Arturo Fisher
George Flaherty
Maureen Griffith
Jerry Hitpas
Mike Hoch
Phil Horcher 
Bill Johnson
Tim Kelleher 
Heather Klepitsch 
Robert J. Kuhel
Irene LaCesa
Desmond LaPlace
Eileen Burns Lerum
Rev. Terrence McCarthy
Sharon McFadden
Robert R. Morris
Patti Poth
Tom Powers 
Virginia Primack
Vera Purcell
John Scholz
John Schreiber
Sandra Shinsky
Robert Sieja
Ryan Stoll
Carole Stroh
Bruce Such
James P. Sullivan
Ray Swaback
Patrick Tatarek
Becky Vallorano


Peg Allingham Ciccarelli
Jim Lentino
Larry Morse
‘Cille Ramsey
Joseph Zaccari


Nellie Dorsey
Eileen Frederick
Joe Glunz
Thomas Zimmer 


1. Officers Committee
2. Steering Committee
3. Membership & Board Engagement Committee
4. Government Advocacy Committee
5. Fundraising & Resource Development Committee
6. Community Outreach Committee
7. Community Casework Committee
8. Senior Services Committee
9. Women's Board               
 Vol Opps
Sign up through Volunteer Bridge!

Contact Sue Fowler, Lake County Volunteer Coordinator, at (847) 782-4126 with any questions.
Below are examples of what you can volunteer for:

Food Drives and Donations

One of the Catholic Charities primary ministries is running food pantries throughout the Chicagoland area. We depend on your generous food contributions of canned meat, dry goods, cereal, juice boxes, vegetables, and canned goods. Many community partners (schools, churches, businesses, etc.) in the area enjoy doing food drives or collecting items that children can relate to, such as peanut butter and jelly drives. Some groups have done events, such as penny wars or hosting an evening where soup is served and the admission charged is donated to Catholic Charities. Anyone in the community can participate in our Hunger Action initiatives by conducting food drives and collecting financial donations. Please contact Laurel to learn about how you can help turn hunger into hope with a drive in your community.

Food Pantry Volunteers

In Lake County, Catholic Charities operates two food pantries out of our Waukegan Office. Our Emergency Food Pantry – which provides food to struggling individuals, families, and seniors - needs volunteers to prepare the bags of food, sort donations received, and handle the actual distribution and tracking of the food. Volunteers are also being sought to interview clients and perform data entry. The second food pantry is our Care Cupboard, which provides for the special dietary needs of people with HIV/AIDS. You can help us help them to better nutrition.

Flexible hours and an opportunity to impact the hunger problem in your own Lake County community: what could be better? Our food pantries provide hundreds of thousands of meals per year and are operated by volunteer labor with big hearts.

Meals and Nutrition Programs

Wouldn't it be painful to be lonely most of the time? Many of our Meals-on-Wheels clients see but one live face per day, that of our volunteers. And many of them would be unable to live independently without home-delivered meals. Instant gratification awaits the volunteer driver. Volunteer as infrequently as once per month, or as often as daily during the lunch hour.

The Grayslake Senior Center serves meals on site to those who might otherwise be eating alone. Volunteer kitchen help allows them to do it at a cost affordable to those on limited fixed income. Step up and serve this underserved portion of our community.

One day each month, we provide suppers to those in need. We welcome those who would like to sponsor a supper and/or provide volunteers to serve the meal out of our office in Round Lake.

Children's Activities

Would you like to help moms in recovery keep their lives on track? If you have an hour on Monday to Thursday evenings (6-7 PM), you could help watch their children at Samaritan House and SAFE Housing in a pleasant group setting while they attend classes designed to improve the quality of life for their families.

There are childcare opportunities available for our Budget Counseling and Family Self-Sufficiency Programs on an irregular basis on Saturdays throughout the year. It is a great chance to help families stabilize their lives.

This year we have kicked-off our Lake County Diaper Bank and we need your help to make it a success. You can help moms keep their babies in diapers by hosting a drive to collect diapers and funds. We will also need a volunteer throughout the month who can help keep inventory, distribute diapers to community partners, and provide support for staff on the project.

Maternity and Adoption Program

Catholic Charities' maternity and adoption programs provide support for women and others dealing with unplanned pregnancies. Clients receive social services and educational support in making a plan for the care of their baby. Options that are explored include parenting, relative placement, and making a plan for adoption. Volunteers are welcome to prepare baskets containing many of the items a newborn baby will need or could even host a baby shower to gather items for a young parent.

Samaritan House

Samaritan House provides emergency shelter to homeless women and children. If you could help staff the office on a weekday morning, by answering phones, filing and generally minding the store, you would be extending a welcome hand (days flexible). If you are handy around the house, Samaritan House also needs someone to spend a negotiable number of hours on fix-up projects in the aging facility.


You can impact poverty in your own community by volunteering in a pleasant, friendly office setting. Data entry, filing, mass mailings, and more await the volunteer with basic clerical skills, such as Microsoft Office including Word, Excel and Powerpoint experience needed.

Special Events

A variety of special events are held throughout the year to provide vital funds to help Catholic Charities’ programs and services. We are looking for a team of volunteers that can help sell raffle tickets, assist with auctions, greet guests, and provide support with event registration.

 LK Region Home Expand
In partnership with United Way of Lake County, find help in Lake County by clicking on the link below:

United Way of Lake County

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News & Events

 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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Lk. Co. Region:

671 S. Lewis
Waukegan, IL 60085

Teresa J. Denny, Senior Director, Lake County and Regional Services
Phone: (847) 782-4000
Fax: (847) 782-1030

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