La Casa Norte
Rating: 4.97 stars 39 reviews
Issues: Job Training, Homeless & Housing, Human Services
Location: 3533 West North Ave Chicago IL 60647 USA
Results: In our first 10 years, we have helped more than 20,000 homeless and at-risk individuals in more than 43 neighborhoods around Chicago.
Programs: We provide housing and support services for at-risk and homeless youth and families. We provide scattered site permanent supportive housing for homeless youth and families. Clients live in private apartments located throughout the city. We offer many support services to accompany their needs. This includes life skills training, therapy, community building and the basic needs of food, clothing, and transportation. We also provide temporary housing for up to 16 homeless male youth at Solid Ground, Chicago’s first bilingual, male-intentional supportive housing program for homeless youth, ages 16-21. These youth have their own private room with shared common space, including a kitchen, dining room, community and workout room and computer lab. Solid Ground provides support services for life skill training, education, mentoring, employment services and therapy. Many of our youth and families need resources to accompany their transition from homelessness into housing with the goal of creating long-term stability. In addition to our services of life skills training, case management and therapy, we also provide the basic needs of food, clothing and transportation. We have an extensive network of collaborative human service organizations throughout the city, that we refer our clients to for services such as mental health, substance use treatment, medical healthcare, day care, legal and employment training. We offer homeless youth and families free bilingual and culturally sensitive case management, housing advocacy, and homeless prevention services. In addition, we provide community access to a computer lab, a clothing closet, food donations, phone and fax along with counseling and life-goal planning. Through the generosity of individual donors, La Casa Norte makes available gently used clothing for men, women and children of all ages. Casa Corazon is a homeless youth engagement program that works with youth who are experiencing homelessness and/or housing instability in Chicago. Casa Corazon offers outreach services coupled with a drop-in center and case management resources, to help move youth from the streets and into stable housing, employment and educational achievement.
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I began volunteering at La Casa Norte in the Backyards neighborhood for a class on homelessness. The class was informative and insightful but my experiences at the shelter surpassed any learning in the classroom! The guests were welcoming as well as the staff! The staff are so friendly and easygoing! They truly create a professional yet family like environment. I was impressed how clean everything is kept and that each guest is provided a bed along with a storage bin to keep personal items safely inside. La Casa treats their guests and volunteers with respect and dignity and values people as individuals. I was will always cherish my time there and look back to volunteering again soon!
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
I recently joined La Casa Norte's Next Generation Board a few months ago after learning more about their mission to support at-risk youth and families in Chicago who are at risk or facing homelessness. The members of this organization are change-agents for good, and I have seen their commitment to this mission first hand. It is an exceptional organization to support and be a part of, and they are making a difference right here in Chicago every day.
I recently had the opportunity to help cook lunch for the residents of Solid Ground as part of a volunteer effort through my workplace. I found both the staff and residents to be friendly and helpful. The services that are provided by LCN and Solid Ground are extensive and very much appreciated by the residents and the community. The staff is highly personable and professional and I was glad that I was able to be a part of their resources, if only for one day.
I feel that La Casa Norte has found a uniquely profound way to give back to the Chicago-land community facing homelessness. For instance, its Solid Ground program aids those youth who have been displaced from their homes in a way that encourages the individuals through participation in their recovery and in their continued education instead of just providing a simple hand-out. Through commitment, coaching, encouragement, and participation, I have seen first-hand how LCN opens doors for individuals who simply need a chance to get a do-over in life. It's a small but powerful and forceful nonprofit that is very focused on its mission.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?
I’m from Chile, and I lived in Chicago this year studying English for four months at Intrax. At school I applied to volunteer at La Casa Norte to be able to practice my English skills in an American office. What a surprise I had when I was there at LCN- I could do more than that! I didn´t just achieve my goal, and learn about planning and organization, but also about commitment. LCN staff endorses their goals, working hard to achieve them. They work with love for everyone, taking care of every detail. They are a great team, with a motivating leader, who is able to give them the vision and energy to reach each goal. I spent 12 hours a week working in the fundraising and development department. It was a great experience that included market research, developing a value proposition and visiting the potential sponsors for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. I wanted something to grow professionally, but this experience gave me the opportunity to grow beyond what I could expect
I have recently started working with LCN and I also attended the annual fundraising event. I have found that the people at LCN really make the organization what it is. I have witnessed a level of investment and generosity of time that is not always apparent when you are dealing with the need to give time to others. In addition there is a variety of ways to contribute and appreciation is always expressed no matter what you do. I think the long range vision of the organization is ambitious but grounded and the efforts to impact the city of Chicago that LCN is making are very admirable.
I volunteered for LCN once a week @ their drop-in center and I can honestly say it was the best, most inclusive, and welcoming space I have ever had the honor of working in. The staff is beyond kind and friendly to volunteers and you can tell they care about/take their jobs very seriously. The mission here is so important and the staff of this agency works incredibly hard to make sure that needs of their youth are being met. I was more than happy to volunteer for La Casa Norte and hope others will follow suit.
I was a volunteer at La Casa Norte last year and I was blown away at all the different things they do to help people who are facing homelessness. Many organizations just set up housing, or just pass out food, but La Casa Norte does it all. They have housing for teens, a free clothing closet that is full of nice clothes that range in use, and many other services that act as catalysts to help those in need. I stand for everything La Casa Norte does, and really do believe they are one of the greatest organizations in the greater Chicago area.
As a Service Learning Coordinator at a local Chicago high school, I cannot say enough positive things about the mission and staff of La Casa Norte. Our students have helped sort items in the clothing closet, we painted one of LCN's facilities, and prepared a meal for the young adults LCN's provides a home to. LCN, however, continues to go above and beyond in not only providing volunteer opportunities for our students, but educating them on the plight of homelessness in Chicago and empowering students with hope in what work is being done (and what work they themselves can do) to make a positive difference. I had a student volunteer at La Casa Norte and reflect, "I didn't realize there were so many children in Chicago living without food. I want to learn more about why this is happening," while another student shared, "My family has almost been homeless. I'm glad I could come and help, even if in a small way." LCN's supportive and hard working staff has really opened the eyes of our students and welcome them to take an active role in the LCN mission. We are truly blessed to have LCN as a model partner in our Service Learning program.
Junjia Xi (Jenny) I have worked as a volunteer in La Casa Norte for more than two months. Working in La Casa Norte is a really great experience for me. I am excited to work here to help those homeless youth especially one day I helped with doing the photo shot. I can feel the happiness from those homeless youths when they saw the pictures i took for them. Also, people in this organization are nice to me and I learned a lot from the volunteer experience.