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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Human Services, International, International Human Rights, Minority Rights

Mission: Heartland Alliance—the leading anti-poverty organization in the Midwest— believes that all of us deserve the opportunity to improve our lives. Each year, we help ensure this opportunity for nearly one million people around the world who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety.

Target demographics: vulnerable people & end poverty.

Direct beneficiaries per year: nearly 1 million people

Geographic areas served: Chicago, the midwest & all over the world

Programs: National immigrant justice center: the heartland alliance national immigrant justice center (nijc) is dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Nijc provides direct legal services to and advocates for these populations through policy reform, impact legislation, and public education. With the support of hundreds of pro bono attorneys, nijc provides legal services to more than 8,000 individuals each year and maintains a success rate of 90 percent in obtaining asylum for those fleeing persecution in their home countries. Since its founding twenty-five years ago, nijc has been unique in blending individual client advocacy with broad-based systemic change.

public policy and advocacy: through our advocacy and research efforts, heartland alliance works to change public policies to improve the lives of people living in poverty and danger. Through our advocacy efforts, heartland alliance strives to achieve systemic social change that improves the quality of life for people in poverty and danger. Our 125 years of expertise in the trenches providing direct services gives us a unique understanding of the administrative and policy barriers that plague public systems. We work to advance proven solutions and improve government policies at the local, state and federal levels by developing policy proposals, building strategic alliances, and pursuing legislative action.

international programs: for more than 125 years, heartland alliance has been working with globally displaced persons, including refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, and victims of trafficking. Through our efforts working with displaced persons domestically, we have connected with people from their countries of origin and have worked on improving the lives of those living in poverty and danger abroad. Heartland alliance's international programs focus on vulnerable populations in situations of past or ongoing conflict or disaster, and to work to build the capacity of local organizational partners to provide quality and sustainable systems of care and protection.

other program services: heartland alliance will occasionally provide services to a particular population on a one-time or intermittent schedule for individual donor specified purposes.

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been involved with the Heartland Alliance for more than six years as a member of the women's board. When I first learned about Heartland Alliance I was amazed at how many people the organization impacts through its many programs and services – they serve over 200,000 people a year. I'm in awe of the individuals I’ve met who direct the programs and work at the various sites. Their devotion to the people they serve is impressive and inspiring.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I am disabled and homeless so i reached out to Heartland Alliance for help and i got the opposite. They denied me reasonable accommodations made by the disabled and never meant to help. Heartland Alliance is full of crap . They are not here to help the less fortunate they are here to get government money.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Undoubtedly the most courageous, truthful bastion against the "let's go along to get along" pseudo scientists.

2 Liz_10


Rating: 5

I know Heartland Alliance inside-out. For more than 30 years I've worn many hats - donor, board member, board chair, volunteer, executive. I know that it operates on core values such as respecting everyone's dignity, providing equal opportunity especially for those in the most difficult circumstances, and empowering people to help themselves. And I know that the programs and services offered are the best in the field, really aimed at eliminating poverty, not just providing a hand-out. For 125 years Heartland has been a lifeline, now to more than 1 million people every year around the globe. I've always thought about my involvement with Heartland as one of the best lessons of my life, as well as my heart. As the leading anti-poverty organization in the Midwest, Heartland Alliance is a top perfomer in a world too often full of hurt. Check it out!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

I just meet this guy who was a case manager at Heartland Alliance for many years and he said that Heartland used poor people on the south side of Chicago for their personal gain. That's a damn shame if it's true because I believe that there are many agency out here using the poor and I thought that Heartland was different. I'm going to ask him to elaborate more on what he know from first hand experience, and will provide the details when I hear more.

Review from Guidestar


Rating: 5

I've supported Heartland Alliance for six years and will continue to do so. They provide vital services to those most in need, both in their Chicago base and around the world. They respond to crises and were quick to provide on-the-ground help in Haiti and for Hurricane Katrina victims in the Midwest. On an ongoing basis, they provide housing and healthcare and help people develop the skills needed to get jobs. A truly great organization; I strongly recommend that you get to know them.

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I was approached by Heartland for support in 2007, I had no idea they played such an amazing role not only in our hometown, Chicago, but also in places like Haiti, Irak and Rwanda. I knew them for their award-winning affordable housing work, but quickly learned about their social services programs, their healthcare arm, and their legal aid and international activities. After four years in one of their boards, I am still in awe at their results. I am truly honored to be associated with this leading organization, and having worked closely for years with hundreds of nonprofits as a foundation officer, I can objectively assure that Heartland is in the #1 in its field.

Review from Guidestar