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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
Active Members
Dennis Brown
Hugo Chavez
Houda Chedid
Eleanor Clarke
John E. Cortesi
Lori DeCicco
Kevin Dolan
Nellie Dorsey
Todd Douthat
Arturo Fisher
Eileen Frederick
Joseph Glunz
Maureen Griffith
Jerry Hitpas
Mike Hoch                  
Bill Johnson             
Bob Kuhel                        
Irene LaCesa                  
Debby Lambert              
Desmond LaPlace
Eileen Burns Lerum         
Rev. Terrence McCarthy
Beth McElroy

Sharon McFadden
Bob Morris
Christine Moulder
Jesse Ortega
Carmen Patlan
Ginny Primack
Vera Purcell
Agime Rahmani
Jack Reilly
Diane Schermitzler
John Scholz
John Schreiber
Sandra L. Shinsky
Bob Sieja
R. Ryan Stoll
Carole Stroh
Bruce Such
James P. Sullivan
Ray Swaback
Rebecca Vallorano
Rayelle Weber
Joseph Zaccari
Thomas Zimmer
Sustaining Members
Peg Allingham Ciccarelli  
Jim Lentino                    
Julius Marks                       
Larry Morse                         
Cille Ramsey
Emeritus Members
Nancy Pasquesi

Standing Committees
1. Officers Committee
2. Steering Committee
3. Membership Committee
4. Legislative Committee
5. Community Outreach Committee
6. Development Committee
7. Women’s Board
8. Community Casework Committee
9. Senior Services Committee

 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
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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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