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Little City Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Human Services, Residential Care & Adult Day Programs

Mission: In 1959, a small group of parents shared a dream in which their children with developmental disabilities could live, grow, love and be loved in a warm and nurturing environment. Purchasing 56 acres of farmland in Palatine, Illinois, guided by faith and perseverance, these parents tuned their dream into a reality. In the fall of 1959, Little City opened its doors to 16 children with disabilities. Today, the organization serves more than 350 children and adults with disabilities throughout the Chicago Metropolitan area. Little City engages and supports individuals, families and communities to ensure that children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities can realize their unique potential to live safely, learn continuously, explore creatively and work productively.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 350 adults and children with disabilities receive support services from Little City.

Programs: Adult residential services - little city foundation provides a variety of living options that give adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to make choices and live a full and satisfying life. The program offers participants assistance in daily living, budgeting and community integration. The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for individuals to become as independent, healthy, and as happy as possible. Adults served - 153service units - 51,460 days of service

children's group homes - provides 24-hour, highly specialized care for children in homes on little city foundation's campus in palatine, illinois. The program offers treatment planning; case management; behavioral analysis and intervention; individual and group therapy; recreation, medical and psychiatric services. The goal of this program is to assist children and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, in the development of new skills and to increase their independence. Children served - 52service units - 18,990 days of service

vocational, employment and training services - this program assists adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to become productive, tax-paying members of society by earning money for meaningful work. Employment and training opportunities based on individual needs and capabilities are provided to little city residents as well as individuals from the local community. The life enrichment program provides opportunities for adults with significant developmental disabilities to achieve their highest level of independence by helping them learn valuable life skills including personal hygiene, social skills, pre-employment skills, and cooking. Adults served - 149service units - 161,374 hours of service

Community Stories

5 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

It was great! I'm only a 16 year old kid, but I started when I was 15 years old. I volunteered from 9 AM - 2 PM every day over the summer, except on the weekends. The kids are amazing! I got really close to a whole bunch of kids, I worked with Spruce home.
Also became great friends with alot of the staff there!



Rating: 4

This teenagers we met this day had tons of energy and were the happiest people I have met. Although their facility is not in the best shape, they danced and played basketball better than most of the volunteers! They talked to us like we have been friends for ages instead of minutes. They took the best of everything they got even if they got nothing. It was a very memorable experience and I will hope I can come visit again.

Comments ( 1 )


LittleCity 02/10/2011

Thank you for sharing your experience, Katie. The children and teens at Little City love spending time with our volunteers and we're fortunate to have dedicated and caring community members come and lend a hand at our Palatine facility. We agree that they need ample time for activity and recreation! Little City recently built a brand new playground designed specifically for individuals with disabilities and opened a brand new on-site fitness facility with state of the art cardio and weight equipment that was donated by generous Little City supporters.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My brother Harold Jeffries, myself and five other siblings were place in foster care Harold Jeffries went to live in Little city in 1970 or January 1971 I visit him at the temporary foster home. He clung to me and did't want his foster parents to let me go back to the orphanage. I left went back to the orphanage Harold went to live in Little City and his former foster parents took mein. I owe Harold a lot. When i was old enough I would visit him at Little City He had to have the hand of God himself in order for Harold to go to Little City. As an Adult I have witness families who keep chlidren/adults with disabilites feeding off of them like a pest it is sad and it hurts my soul. I can't give much but I have Little City as my favorite on my facebook page and once week I put the link to Little City on my personal facebook profile so my others can see what a great place Little City is. I really don't want the prize you can give it to my brother Harold I love him so much.



Rating: 5

What a fantastic organization! Little City has so many wonderful programs that empower people with disabilities. I've been particularly impressed with the Arts program at Little City. I began purchasing greeting cards several years ago and have since come to greatly respect the talented individuals that participate in the Arts programs, and the facilitators that help them unleash their talents. I plan on continuing to support Little City through the purchase of holiday/greeting cards and other unique, handcrafted pieces for many years to come!

1 MarketerD


Rating: 5

For more than fifty years, Little City has provided services to people with disabilities to enhance their skills and offer enriching social experiences. One such program is Little City’s Center for the Arts.

“Creativity has no disability.” That’s the slogan for the Center for the Arts, which offers studio arts, media arts and design and textile arts for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They also provide a wide array of hands-on arts projects for children with mild to severe disabilities including autism.

I became familiar with the arts program at Little City several years ago when a family friend sent out holiday greeting cards featuring the work of Little City’s talented artists. The card included a biography of the artists and information about the arts program. I learned that the artists are residents of Little City’s program “employed” by the Center for the Arts. The artists are offered guidance by Little City’s professionals who help further foster these abilities. The artists are featured at art showings throughout the Chicago area, featured alongside professional artists who are not faced with the same challenges.

I had a first-hand experience with the arts program when I volunteered at an event at Little City’s Chicago campus in late 2009. At this event, children ages 5 to 16 were working to create paintings, papier maiche, sculptures and more to provide a sense of community and accomplishment through the arts. It was an inspiration to see the ownership and pride the children took in their work.

The arts programs are more than therapeutic. They are life-changing for some of these individuals who can’t communicate vocally or who have trouble opening up and expressing themselves to others.

The artwork created by Little City’s artists is inspiring and I can’t wait until the holiday season rolls around again so I can send out a new batch of beautifully designed cards that help provide funding for and promote the great and inspiring work of one of my favorite non-profit organizations.