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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Wings Program, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Domestic Violence, Family Violence Shelters, Homeless & Housing, Homeless Centers, Human Services, Temporary Housing, Thrift Shops

Mission: The mission of WINGS Program, Inc. is to provide housing, integrated services, education and advocacy to end domestic violence.

Results: Clients also received services from counseling, career services, family services, and life skills training to help them achieve self-sufficiency and a brighter future.

Target demographics: victims become survivors

Direct beneficiaries per year: 469 victims in our two emergency shelters alone, providing them with 20,000 nights of shelter and more than 50,000 meals and critical supportive services.

Geographic areas served: the area of domestic violence

Programs: • 2 domestic violence emergency shelters: o Chicago Lawn community on the southwest side of the city  (length of stay: 120 days) o Northwest suburbs of Cook County  (length of stay: 6 weeks) • 21 homes and apartments in north and northwest suburban Cook County o No-cost shared living homes for unemployed survivors of domestic violence and their children (length of stay: 6 months) o Apartments for employed survivors and their children. Clients pay 30% of their adjusted gross income toward rent. (length of stay: 2 years) • 8 permanent supportive housing units for survivors with a medical disability. o Clients pay 30% of their adjusted gross income toward rent. (length of stay: undetermined) • 2 Neighborhood stabilization homes o Affordable housing for low and moderate income families WINGS wrap-around services include: o Safety Planning o Goal Setting o Individual & Group Counseling o Budget planning and financial empowerment classes o Support groups o Crisis intervention & management at local hospitals o Children & family services o Recreational activities o Art & play therapy for children o Access to vocational counseling o Mentoring o Acculturation services for Latina women o Referrals

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After 40 years in the education world,I looked for a meaningful place to volunteer, after retiring. At the Niles Resale store, there is an abundance of things to do that support the whole WINGS program. The need for compassion and safe refuge for women and their families who are in a domestic violence situation is imperative. The revenue from the stores along with funding helps provide not only a safe house, transitional living, but advocacy for women who must "right their upside down lives".

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with WINGS for about 20 years- with longevity comes in depth knowledge of the organization. I have followed some of the clients when they 1st came to WINGS homeless and scared to the time they graduate WINGS and some I have been lucky enough to see return to volunteer and serve on the Board! The staff at WINGS are dedicated hard working as our the volunteers that give these women that extra hand so they can soar in the future! I am proud to put my money where my mouth is when it comes to WINGS- they operate on a lean budget getting the most from my donations!

14

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been a volunteer at WINGS for many years. This program really makes a difference in our ladies' lives and their children. We give them a place to live and feel safe when no one else does. We give them food and clothing. We give them the required skills and tools to get them on their feet, make them strong and ready for the next step in their lives. I am proud to be affiliated with such a wonderful organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering for Wings has brought such a great pleasure to my life. They do a wonderful service for women and their children. I have only been a volunteer for just over a year, but I felt so welcomed from the very start which makes the experience even better.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The staff at Wings has made me feel I am an important part in helping them with their efforts in helping victim/survivors of Domestic Violence.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at WINGS for years and not only are the women and children who use our facility greatful for everything that is done for them, but the volunteers are treated great as well. I love doing the back packs at the beginning of the school year. Reminds me of how happy I felt as a kid getting new notebooks and gym shoes, and pencils and markers. I also love to wrap the Christmas presents. We play Christmas music at our holiday site and you feel like one of Santa's helpers for sure. I love to see how generous folks are with their donations for our food pantry and our coat drive. These are much needed items during difficult times in this economy.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for WINGS in various capacities for more than 12 years. I have witnessed first hand the "hands up" rather than "hand out" stance of the organization, and the power that hands up attitutde brings for so many women. This organization truly makes a difference in the community.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 4

This organization not only provides a safe haven from abuse but also provides counseling for themselves and their children. Let's not forget they are given vouchers to go to the resale shop to find clothes, warm coats, etc. since they left their homes with just what is on their backs, or to find an outfit appropriate for a job interview. All this to get families back on their feet ready for independence. I first became familiar with WINGS while working full time. Our company volunteered 30 people to a day of assistance and the women's organization regularly collected clothing to be donated to the resale stores. Since retiring, I am now a weekly volunteer helping to prepare home style cooked meals, gardening produce in the summer, office help as needed and organizing/wrapping gifts during the holiday. Happy to be able to give.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have worked with Kati and Beth on the car wash fundraiser for a good number of years. Their dedication is hard to beat and the services that WINGS provide are very comprehensive. The fundraising assists the mentoring program and Kati the Director, and Beth are out there working hard from before it begins to after the close. The demand for assistance outstrips their ability so anything you can do to help wil be valued, and well spent.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with the Wings Program for over 15 years, assisting the women with tax preparation. During this time I have been priveledged to meet and work with women (and their children)as they progress through different stages of the program. It has been very rewarding to see the women become independent and really improve their life and that of their children. It may sound trite but I have learned more from them, than I could ever teach/inform them.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a weekly volunteer at WINGS. The staff that I work with are the most caring and devoted people that one could ever hope to encounter. No task or challenge is too great for them to undertake. They are committed to their clients 100%+. I always look forward to my days at WINGS.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with WINGS for 5 years now and find it a wonderful organization. The staff is truly dedicated to helping domestic violence victims rebuild their lives. I am impressed because they not only provide shelter, but give counseling in parenting skills, money management, and other skills needed to live a productive life. I'd hate to think what would happen to these families if WINGS wasn't there to help.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer for Wings but honestly I consider it a priviledge to work with such dedicated, loving and caring people. I am also extremely impressed with the programs available and the support given to women and their children whose safety is at risk and who often have nowhere else to turn. Donna Chevaleau

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I contribute money to and volunteer time at WINGS. I am very impressed with the services offered by WINGS and the dedication of both the staff and other volunteers. It is a first class operation.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Though I have only been volunteering with WINGS for a short time, it has been time very well-spent. WINGS values its volunteers, requesting our input and offering genuine gratitude for our assistance and commitment. The staff at WINGS is devoted to the clients and to carrying out the agency's mission statement. Each person the organization serves is treated not as a victim, but as a survivor, and is given the time and the tools to mend and move on.