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In 1972, troubled youth in and around south suburban Park Forest started gathering at a local drop-in center. The center, located in a small village cooperative sales office, was staffed by a few volunteers and a village youth worker, C. Gary Leofanti.

Today, that drop-in center is a dynamic health care and social service agency which has earned a national reputation for meeting the needs of children, youth and families – Aunt Martha’s Youth Service Center.

“Everything Aunt Martha’s offers today – primary health and dental care, mental health counseling, child welfare, juvenile justice, prevention and youth development services – was in the minds of the founders when this organization began. “A vision, 38 years ago, is today very much a reality,” notes Leofanti, the agency’s Founder and President.

Aunt Martha is a concept, the embodiment of the kind, caring relative to whom a youth in need could turn for help, or a sympathetic ear. Our agency’s name was chosen to convey the warm, family atmosphere we want people to experience when they receive our services.

Aunt Martha’s now reaches more than 80,000 individual clients each year, and remains true to its founding vision to respond to the needs of youth, families and communities by providing access to the resources, knowledge and services necessary to help them thrive.

Our 17 community health centers – which provide a full range of primary medical, dental and behavioral health services – are closely integrated with each of our 10 operating divisions, which collaborate with units of local government, community and faith-based organizations to develop and preserve programs and services that:

  • Coordinate access to essential services;
  • Provide housing and shelter services; and,
  • Conduct community outreach, education and risk reduction campaigns.

In early 2010, Aunt Martha’s community health centers will surpass one million patient visits.

We are licensed by the State of Illinois to provide child welfare, substance abuse treatment and childcare services. All services are, including primary and behavioral health care, are accredited by the Joint Commission. The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of the nation’s health care system through voluntary accreditation.

Aunt Martha’s relies on assistance from individuals, community groups, businesses, foundations, as well as federal, state and county governments. We are a partner agency with Metropolitan Chicago United Way, Far Northwest Suburban United Way, South-Southwest Suburban United Way, Fox Valley United Way, and United Way of Will County, the Geneva Community Chest and the Batavia Community Chest.

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