Mentorship & Supportive Services

Sometimes, to solve big problems you have to start with one step.

Want to stop the violence? Start by providing diapers and soap, and you help take away the need to sell drugs to care for families. Want kids to go to school? Make sure they have clean clothes and hygiene supplies so they can walk confidently into the classroom. Get to the root of issues and you can help people bloom.

The majority of the adults we serve are jobless, previously incarcerated, experiencing housing instability, and have low levels of educational attainment. Yet, they still need to feed their families. With a background and no state ID, the odds are stacked against them. We support challenges our residents face daily, things many other people take for granted – like a small fee for an application or being able to pay for transportation before a first paycheck, knowing what to wear for an interview or affording a required work uniform.

More than 30% of Englewood residents don’t have a high school diploma, and the per capita income is $10,559. If we want to create wellness and safety for our children, we have to access their parents and families. If we want our adults to put the guns down, we have to give them something else to pick up. At our first summer camp, we learned that basic needs are all too often considered luxuries. We asked our kids, “Who has brushed their teeth today?” It turned out that no one had a toothbrush and toothpaste. We realized that while we ask our kids to show up at school, test well, and live up to their fullest potential, they often don’t have the foundation or resources to show up for the world. Our mentorship and supportive services programs began with that understanding—we would be a place where people could always come and get their basic needs met with dignity. 

Strive to Thrive

Engaging individuals to identify and break down barriers to success.

This comprehensive program is completely customized to address the interconnected challenges to stability ranging from financial hurdles to skills training to legal aid, support with housing and transportation.  We provide bus cards and uniforms, resume and interview assistance, application help and stipends for GED and college programs, employment opportunities, and more.

Life After School

Helping children after school in a supportive environment.

Decompressing and relaxing in a supportive environment is critical to student success. This program runs every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and includes games, yoga and mindfulness, creative playtime, mentorship, and a healthy snack. Individualized attention provides children with an environment in which they have the opportunity to grow, learn and envision all they can be and become. We provide one-on-one tutoring three times a week year-round. In all our tutoring sessions we strive to make children feel loved, intelligent, and respected.

Summer of Hope Youth Program

Creating opportunity and space for kids to be kids.

The six-week program promotes social awareness and community building, empowering youth with the knowledge, tools, and confidence to achieve their fullest potential. Children ages 5-12 experience play-based learning, creative expression, leadership development, and more. The program includes daily yoga and mindfulness, art activities, two meals per day, and weekly field trips outside of Englewood.


Community Pantry

Meeting basic needs with dignity and respect.

Our community has access to key items include diapers, toilet paper, soap, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste and toothbrush, and deodorant.

Our community pantry is open Tuesday-Thursday, 12-3 pm.

Laundry Services

Providing free, accessible laundry services.

An inability to wash clothes can create the stigma, isolation, and low self-esteem. Addressing this basic need makes a tangible difference in people’s quality of life.

Laundry services are available Tuesday-Thursday, 12-3 pm.



Find all our programs and events on the I Grow Chicago Program Calendar


It takes one seed, one step, one chance to change a person’s life. And one dollar can go a long way in helping us to make that happen.


Share your skills with our community, and help make our programs possible. No matter your age or gifts, you have something to offer.