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Community Schools Coordinator Appreciation Week

For Community Schools Coordinator Appreciation Week, we’re celebrating the Resource Coordinators in our Community Schools programs across Metropolitan!

North Children’s Center celebrates our preschool graduates

Congratulations to our young North Children’s Center graduates as they complete preschool and get ready for Kindergarten!

Blue Island Robbins Neighborhood Network gives out backpacks & PPE for back-to-school

On a sunny Saturday recently, our Southwest Center’s Blue Island-Robbins Neighborhood Network, in collaboration with First Evangelical Lutheran Church and Metropolitan Family Services, held a PPE and Backpack giveaway.

Sonny Thatch named Managing Attorney of the Legal Aid Society’s CP4P Justice Corps

The Legal Aid Society (LAS) is pleased to announce Sonny R. Thatch II will move into the role of Managing Attorney for CP4P Justice Corps, a new LAS program providing legal services for participants of CP4P (Communities Partnering 4 Peace), the Metropolitan Family Services-convened violence prevention initiative.

YouthBuild program teaches construction and life skills

How do you teach construction skills remotely?

That’s the question Jesse Hinton, supervisor for our Calumet Center’s YouthBuild Program, responded to with a virtual version of the program’s curriculum, which offers education and occupational skills that prepare youth for jobs with good wages.

Calumet Summer Youth Employment Program youth share their experiences by collaborating on t-shirt designs

What does leadership mean to you? To the Youth Leadership cohort in our Calumet Center’s Summer Youth Employment Program, it means “your voice can change the world.”

ReCharge: Board Members share leadership insights in exclusive online event for Metropolitan staff

In an exclusive online event for Metropolitan staff, several Board Members shared their insights on leadership and navigating challenging times.

Upward Bound’s first-ever Virtual College Tour brings colleges to our students

The college-bound youth in our Calumet Center’s Upward Bound program aren’t able to see potential colleges in person this year, so our staff brought the college visit to them!

The Family Shelter Service Resale Shop in Naperville is re-opening as of Monday, August 10!

Read on for new store hours and donation procedures, as well as health and safety measures.

Good News: August 7, 2020

Welcome to Good News! In this space we feature positive stories of community impact and development, relevant to the areas Metropolitan serves or the programs we offer.

We are Mpowered to Count!

Call your members of Congress today and ask them to pass legislation that gives the Census Bureau enough time to count everyone using its own proposed extended deadline of October 31.

LAS Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Phil!

Phil Finklestein began volunteering with the Legal Aid Society’s Elder Help Desk in 2019. Phil has been an outstanding volunteer for the Legal Aid Society, providing consistent and high-quality service to senior clients in need.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren group offers virtual support for older adults

Isolation is an issue many of the older adults Metropolitan serves have dealt with even before the outbreak of Covid-19; as social distancing and shelter in place mandates deepen that isolation, the Older Caregivers Project at our Midway Center consistently finds ways to offer meaningful activity and engagement.

Curious about Census takers in your neighborhood?

This week census takers have begun interviewing households that have yet to respond to the 2020 Census. Census takers are hired from the area they serve, and their goal is to help count everyone in the community.

Program Spotlight: Adoption Support and Preservation Respite Program

The Adoption Support and Preservation Respite Program provides therapeutic support to former DCFS youth in care who have mental health issues and their families.

Tips for parents on managing their children’s transitions back into the upcoming school year

Samantha Brady, LCSW, a Senior Social Worker with Metropolitan’s Adoption Support and Preservation program, shares advice for parents on transitioning children back to their school routines amid the pandemic

Meet Dale, Therapist with our Adoption Support and Preservation program

Dale Zigulich has been providing therapy for Metropolitan’s Adoption Support and Preservation program out of our North Center for close to three years.

Congratulations to our Calumet Center’s Certified Medical Administrative Assistant Program graduates!

As the fourth cohort of our Calumet Center’s Certified Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA) Training Program graduates, 20 newly trained medical assistants are ready to join Chicago’s healthcare field at a critical time.

Gerst Family Young Fathers Program honors dads with an online awards celebration

Following the Gerst Family Young Fathers Program’s first-ever virtual training series in June, we were pleased to join together over Zoom for our first-ever Online Awards on July 17 to honor a few outstanding dads from the past year, and celebrate the achievements of all our graduates.

Good News: July 17, 2020

Welcome to Good News! In this space we feature positive stories of community impact and development, relevant to the areas Metropolitan serves or the programs we offer.

Calumet Census Champions share why it’s important to get counted

Deborah Daley and Tanga Morris, both Family Coaches in the Family Works program at our Calumet Center’s Altgeld Gardens site, are champions of Metropolitan’s community outreach around the Census.

Virtual Empowered Purse Gala Mpowers our violence prevention programs

Metropolitan Board Member Sophia Ruffolo and Femmebought presented the virtual Empowered Purse Gala, with a portion of proceeds benefiting Metropolitan!

Parents as Partners Home Visitor Patricia: “It’s great to see the little smiling faces.”

Patricia, a Home Visitor in our Parents as Partners program, shares her experience in connecting with families

Mpowered Families Vote: Illinois 2020 General Election

Election day is November 3, 2020! Illinois’ General Assembly made several changes this year in the ways we can vote so that you can do so safely during the coronavirus pandemic. Our Government Affairs team is sharing resources on how to boost your power by choosing your elected leaders and voting in this year’s election.

Good News: June 26, 2020

Welcome to Good News! In this space we feature positive stories of community impact and development, relevant to the areas Metropolitan serves or the programs we offer.

New growth in DuPage Early Learning: bean plants!

Our DuPage Center’s Home-Based Early Learning programs are learning about planting! Carmen Toranzo, a Parent Child Educator in the program, has been working with her families on an experiment to observe the Life Cycle of the Bean Plant.

Metropolitan Peace Academy virtually celebrates its newest graduates

The fifth cohort of the Metropolitan Peace Academy, as well as the first cohort of Case Managers, graduated on June 17 after working hard to complete an 18-week, 144-hour curriculum designed to professionalize the field of street outreach.

Volunteer Superheroes: Heather pays it forward for FSS of MFSD

When her company, Million Dollar Roundtable, encouraged its employees to think about how they can help those who are suffering during the Covid-19 pandemic, Heather took her support for FSS of MFSD a step further to support not only our shelter, but also local businesses.

“Her first priority was feeding her family, and then paying the rent and utilities.” Legal Aid Society secures financial relief amid Covid-19 challenges

“Sara” (name changed to protect identity), an undocumented survivor of domestic violence, already knew the Legal Aid Society when she reached out for help in the midst of a time-sensitive financial crisis.

Metropolitan Statement on George Floyd

At Metropolitan Family Services, we stand in agreement in calling for justice for George Floyd and the many others who have been killed like him.

CP4P Statement on George Floyd

Over the last few days, the Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P) coalition members have grieved the loss of George Floyd.

Good News: May 29, 2020

Welcome to Good News! In this space we feature positive stories of community impact and development, relevant to the areas Metropolitan serves or the programs we offer.

Midway Connections – Keeping Parents and Children Impacted by Domestic Violence Safe

The Midway Connections program, located at Metropolitan’s Midway Center on Chicago’s Southwest Side, provides supervised visitation and safe exchange services for families that have experienced domestic violence.

Parents as Partners Outreach Worker Yomara: “We meet our families where they are.”

Yomara and her team are committed to sharing the program’s goals and mission to as many people as possible. In this current climate, that means going above and beyond to make sure they’re available virtually for the parents they serve.

Longtime friend and supporter Donna Tropp sews protective masks for Evanston/Skokie staff

Our Evanston / Skokie Valley Center staff are all smiles and gratitude underneath their new masks, hand-crafted by longtime friend and supporter Donna Tropp!

Southeast Chicago staff connect over a Zoom Scavenger Hunt

What does your makeshift/home office look like? Where are your half-finished quarantine craft projects? Can you find holiday decor left up by mistake? During our Southeast Chicago Center’s team “Stay at Home”-themed scavenger hunt over Zoom, staff showed off their pets, their self-care spaces, and more!

“We feel confident that we are going to overcome this obstacle.” Client Financial Assistance Fund empowers Parents as Partners mom

Arely, a mother in our Parents as Partners program, is a full-time student. She works part-time and lives with her father to help her support both her child and her education.

Our DuPage Early Learning team has HEART

Even in difficult times, staff show up with heart every day to support children and families from home!

Calumet’s clinical social workers are committed to working toward their licensure!

Our Calumet Center’s clinical social workers are dedicated to working towards licensure! Not to be deterred by working remotely, this group recently moved their meetings to Zoom.

Northwestern Hospital donation feeds 120 DuPage Early Learning families

A generous donation from our partners at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital’s CATCH Early Childhood Program recently provided our DuPage Center’s Early Learning programs with enough food and critical safety supplies for 120 families!

We’re grateful for you!

We’re turning Giving Tuesday into Gratitude Tuesday, because today and every day we’re grateful for you. We’d like to take this moment to thank all our supporters who Mpower Metroplitan’s clients, staff, volunteers, and program partners on the front lines of COVID-19.

Metropolitan Calumet’s Zoom Bingo helps seniors connect with staff and each other

The “Bingo!” sounded a little different through a Zoom meeting, but the seniors participating in Metropolitan Calumet’s virtual Bingo felt the excitement all the same.

What does the Census have to do with elected officials?

The answer is a fancy word called apportionment. Apportionment is how the country decides the number of representatives each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives based on state population numbers.

Safe Children advocate Dawn on her experiences connecting online

Alexandra Millikent, Program Supervisor of the Safe Children Program at Family Shelter Service of Metropolitan Family Services DuPage, shares a slimy story about her experiences in adapting her communications with her young clients.

Zoom yoga helps Southeast Chicago staff connect

Yoga is just one of the activities staff have been sharing with each other over weekly Zoom get-togethers. Executive Director Vanessa Schwartz asked her staff what talents or skills they’d like to share, and the group responded with ideas from visual art to music instruction and beyond.

“Metro Mom” sews protective masks for North Center staff on the COVID-19 front lines

“Metro Mom” Susana is helping Metropolitan’s front-line staff stay safe from COVID-19.

Community partnership in DuPage feeds twenty families

Thanks to a partnership between Jim and Tom’s, US Foods, and Kronos Foods, and St. Alexis Church twenty families in Metropolitan DuPage’s Bensenville Head Start program received hot meals.

Domestic violence survivors “need an advocate now more than ever.”

Metropolitan’s Court Advocacy Program is finding creative ways to ensure their clients are still supported

Domestic Violence survivor makes masks, empowering herself and those around her

A Domestic Violence Counseling client, whose job involves making products by hand, has been learning how to use a sewing machine on her path to gain financial stability.

Midway & North children have new wheels, thanks to Radio Flyer and Cradles 2 Crayons

We’re all staying inside, but Radio Flyer is helping our kids get moving! Longtime community partner Cradles 2 Crayons arranged for a generous donation of Radio flyer wagons, scooters and tricycles.