Many children in our country are facing seemingly insurmountable problems both in the classroom and in the living room. Although their parents and teachers may want to help, it seems like there is only so much they can do. Unfortunately, so many of our country’s children are not given proper direction and they lack mentors that are able to give them the time they need to be a catalyst in their lives toward a brighter future. Children and teenagers can easily fall through the cracks unless they have a clear direction on where they want to be or a strong support system that will help them figure it out along the way.
Families and youth of Chicago have an excellent resource to create a positive change in their life through Family Matters.
In 1987, a group of families came together and decided that the best way to help the Howard neighborhood of Chicago was to create an after school program for youth and their families. Their goal was to have the families within the small community share their ideas on what programs are needed within the area to better assist other parents and children. Their main focuses were set on giving local children a safe haven after school and providing educational, leadership, and communication skills to those who attended programs.
From the humble beginnings on a first floor apartment on Paulina Street to its current location at a brownstone building on Marshfield Avenue, Family Matters continues to grow and be a place of helping children and families learn to not only be independent and self-reliant but also to know that there are incredible resources at their disposal and people who truly care about their success.
At its current location, Family Matters is able to provide incredible resources and features for children and families who visit. There is an impressive library, a peace room to gain perspective, computer labs, an art room, and an area for fitness within the brownstone. The mission has remained clear throughout the years and has gotten support from a variety of donors that help keep it running smoothly. They have even been able to expand their services over the years to include tutoring and helping children absorb the material they learn within a classroom.