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Breakthrough Urban Ministries Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Community & Neighborhood Development, Economic Development, Employment Preparation & Procurement, Job Training, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Breakthrough urban ministries (breakthrough) was formed in 1992 to meet the physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual needs of people in the urban setting. Breakthrough seeks to demonstrate the compassion of christ by partnering with those affected by poverty to build connections, develop skills & open doors of opportunity. In chicago's east garfield park, where disinvestment has left the neighborhood devoid of opportunity and full of broken dreams, breakthrough is restoring the broken networks of youth and families and empowering adults in the community to achieve self-sufficiency and break the cycle of poverty.

Programs: Homeless intervention:breakthrough offers a new model for the delivery of homeless services. The organization is intentional about treating every person in need of its services with dignity and respect. When guests arrive at breakthrough, they receive much more than a bed to sleep in-they receive the tools necessary to achieve self-sufficiency. Breakthrough operates two transitional housing shelters in east garfield park: the breakthrough ministry center for men and the breakthrough joshua center for women. Both facilities first aim to meet immediate needs of food and shelter by providing a clean and comfortable place to sleep and by serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. When guests arrive at breakthrough, they receive a toiletry kit, a space to shower and are granted access to laundry facilities. Once the basic needs are addressed, guests are able to access a bevy of supportive services designed to help them along their path to self-reliance. Supportive services include on-site primary and mental health care, employment training and housing search assistance and placement. Breakthrough's homeless intervention program is designed to empower homeless adults to overcome poverty and enjoy the liberty of self-sufficiency in an environment that restores dignity to people who have already had so much stripped away.

youth development:every day, breakthrough surrounds youth with a network of caring adults to support their growth and expand their opportunities. The relationships that youth build with these adults provide positive influence and can make a huge difference in the life of a child. Breakthrough's youth initiatives began operation in 2000 and have grown to serve over 300 youth each year through programs which include preschool, middle and high school academic enrichment and spiritual development activities, along with athletic programs to engage youth physically. Educators have identified early childhood education as one of the most critical necessities for preparing urban youth for academic success. Breakthrough has two primary academic enrichment programs to help meet this need. Breakthrough beginners, a pre-kindergarten program, equips young children with a strong academic foundation and fosters social and emotional development in youngsters. The nettie bailey student achievement program, named after a local hero and public educator of 27 years, focuses on teaching literacy and is recognized by the illinois state board of education as a 21st century community learning center. To address the spiritual development needs of students, program participants also have the option of participating in weekly bible studies, led by staff and volunteers, to foster spiritual growth and life-transforming experiences. To complement breakthrough's academic and spiritual development efforts, the organization offers an extensive athletics program to engage young athletes in year-round sports leagues while teaching leadership, sportsmanship and promoting healthy lifestyles.

neighborhood transformation:breakthrough seeks to end cycles of poverty in the community by providing ways for people to connect into relational networks of support, to have access to resources and opportunities, and to contribute back to the community. A variety of services, events, and resources are offered towards that end. Through the fresh market, breakthrough offers a dynamic food resource that aims to end hunger in the community. The fresh market provides groceries and various supplies to families in breakthrough's target zone. Through the fresh market community, residents also have access to such services as legal aid, food stamps, housing, employment, financial management, ged, and family workshops. The fresh market also welcomes food and general supply donations.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Client Served

Rating: 5

After my mother passed away in jan of 2000, i realized that i was on my own and that is when i first discovered i had became homeless and being a single parent i had to leave my children with realitives in order to find my way, when i got to breakthrough i had been living in tenessee, memphis and got kicked out because of problems with my brother and his girlfriend and had come back to chicago. after three months of job searching i left my grand fathers house and had went to dhs located 10 s. kedzie & madison st. they placed me at joshuas house the next day and i stayed there from december of 2005 and moved out in july of 2006 and a staff member there by the name of teresa mchenry drove me to my first apartment at the renaissance collaborative on wabash ave with a check from them for my security deposit and three months rent paid. I was still allowed to go to their food pantry and get needed items, they gave me a move out box with needed household supplies, i even came to lunch and dinner also, and the clothes closet that was open on thursday's. they really helped me during and after the fact. This helped me to learn to help myself making me more independent. sharon was a cook there and she would fix us lunch on the weekends when we had to leave at 9am. This was a life changing experience. Thanks for my breakthrough!!!

1 Sojourner


Rating: 5

BreakThrough serves the Homeless, the Youth, and the oppressed people of Chicago through basic human services, education, shelter, and love. This is authentic Christian Servant Leadership. I've stopped tithing to my church since they've stopped representing Jesus Christ insofar as I've witnessed and re-directed our tithe and offerings here and to other charities who have excellent ratings. My dollar has to go farther to support Christian ministries: Each penny counts at BreakThrough and they judiciously evaluate how best they can serve the urban poor, to encourage and empower them to live full, productive, healthy, happy lives. Christ lives here.