September 2015

LSSI is grateful to the following foundations for their generous grants that support a variety of programming across Illinois.

The Irving Harris Foundation, a long-time member of the Chicago philanthropic community and a loyal supporter of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) awarded a $15,000 grant for the Connections Program, part of LSSI’s Prisoner and Family Ministry. Connections helps strengthen and stabilize families affected by incarceration by maintaining the relationships of children and their incarcerated parents and providing supportive services and resources to the families when the parent returns home from prison.

LSSI’s Portage Cragin Counseling Center-Children and Youth Services received a $75,000 grant from G.A. Ackermann Memorial Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee. At Portage Cragin, LSSI helps children and youth diagnosed with severe emotional problems through a range of services that focus on improving quality of life and relationships. Services are tailored to meet the needs of individuals and families as they age and grow. From short-term crisis services to longer-term outpatient treatment such as therapy, psychiatry, case management, and community-based support, Portage Cragin, on Chicago’s northwest side, is a core resource to the community. The G.A. Ackermann Memorial Fund was established in 1937 to support quality healthcare and human services programming for underserved populations.

The Prisoner and Family Ministry Green Reentry Opportunities (GRO) Program recently received funding from two foundations. The Walmart Foundation-State Giving Program donated $25,000 to help develop a GRO Farmers Market, which will be incorporated into the organic garden reentry job training program. A farmer’s market creates an avenue for sustainability for the program and the opportunity for returning citizens to develop valuable job skills. The Walmart Foundation-State Giving Program is a nation-wide endeavor that focuses on the spectrum of critical needs so “people can live better.”

Wheat Ridge Ministries, an independent Lutheran charitable organization that provides funding and resources to churches and non-profit organizations for new and innovative human care initiatives, contributed $10,000 of a two-year grant to the GRO program. GRO is based on the principles of restorative justice, helping former prisoners restore their lives and place in society while making meaningful contributions to the world around them. GRO uses returning citizens, community volunteers, Americorps workers, halfway house clients, and at-risk youth to grow, nurture, and maintain community gardens, in Marion and Herrin, and share their harvest with community residents in need.

Hanover Township contributed $5,000, part of a $25,000 grant, for Legacy Corps in Hanover Township. LSSI’s Legacy Corps program responds to the critical unmet need of providing caregiver support services for veterans and military families. Hanover Township’s population is over 99,000 and includes Streamwood, Bartlett, Elgin, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Schaumburg, and unincorporated Cook County.