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Patch Picks: Five Great Non-Profits Making a Difference

Our weekly feature about things you should know in town.

Welcome back to Patch Picks, our weekly series highlighting editor and reader picks of great local businesses, destinations, services, organizations, ways to spend a day off, and more. 

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Patch Picks: Five Local Non-Profits Making a Difference

There are so many great non-profits in Evanston, it's hard to list only five. Please check out our directory to read about even more great local organizations.


Connections for the Homeless' administrative offices and family housing services are located on Dewey Street, just south of Simpson Street in the Weissbourd-Holmes Family Focus Center. Connections for the Homeless provides housing, employment and supportive services to move individuals and families out of homelessness. Connections assists people in attaining personal, emotional and housing stability. The group runs shelters, does outreach for people living on the streets and provides health services to those in need.


This nonprofit organization has been serving Evanston for over 35 years. The group provides a variety of services for young people designed to give the mental, social and academic support they need. Kids from elementary to high school are welcome to join. Academic assistance, athletic programs and family counseling are some of their services.


Family Focus is a family and community assistance center located in central Evanston.  The primary mission of the center is to improve the lives of children.  Since 1976, the center has been educating family members and arming them with the tools they need to help make the best 'new start' they can, and pass the knowledge and tools to the following generation.

Family Focus offers a variety of programs and invites families who would like assistance to contact their offices for a consultation.


Literature for All of Us is a literacy program for adolescents living in underserved neighborhoods throughout the Chicago area. The organization hosts weekly facilitated book group meetings to help struggling readers and writers. The organization serves about 500 to 600 people every year.


The Lilac Tree was founded in 1990 and serves thousands of women each year by phone and through workshops, support groups and information sessions. Their mission is to provide education, support and guidance to women in the divorce process so they and their children can move confidently towards independence.

 Over 1,500 women every year utilize its services.  It hosts a full-day event twice a year called Divorce University, which attracts women from all over Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.

Gayle Christensen February 18, 2011 at 03:14 PM
The Theraplay Institute just relocated to Evanston. Theraplay focuses on improving a child's behavioral and emotional problems by strengthening the parent-child relationship. We call this "building relationships from the inside out". Our clinic is at 1840 Oak, and our work was just featured in Good Housekeeping magazine! For more info: www.theraplay.org
Howard Voeks February 18, 2011 at 07:46 PM
North Shore Village is an organization of older residents of Evanston and Wilmette who are interested in aging gracefully in their own homes. The organization provides a one-call referral service to help members find people who can assist them with whatever need they may have, from getting the name of a reliable plumber or other home repair business, to finding someone who can help them sort through their bills, replace a light bulb, get their computer to work, give them a ride to the store or the doctor, or any of a wide range of other tasks around the home. NSV members volunteer to provide many of these services to their fellow members, and NSV vets contractors to provide the paid services. NSV members also participate in a variety of social activities, such as book discussion groups, theater outings, luncheon and dinner groups, a Scrabble group, walking groups, and a variety of other cultural, social, and educational activities. The organization just celebrated its first anniversary. Check it out at http://www.northshore-village.org/.
Jessica Rudis February 18, 2011 at 10:42 PM
Thank you both for your input!


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