Community Wellness

Helping Children and Parents Tackle Life’s Challenges

Aunt Martha’s community wellness services promote healthy lifestyles, strengthen communities, and improve the self-sufficiency of youth and families by:

  • Providing a safe, confidential, supportive and educational environment where young and adults can openly express themselves and their needs.
  • Helping youth and families in crisis.
  • Helping youth who have run away from home or have been kicked out of their house.
  • Helping find alternatives to incarcerating young people involved with the juvenile justice system.
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Education & Life Skills

Early Childhood Education

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Funded by the federal Head Start program, our Early Learning Centers emphasize the role of parents as their child’s first and most important teacher. The programs build relationships with families that support:

  • Family well-being and positive parent-child relationships
  • Families as learners and lifelong educators
  • Family engagement in transitions
  • Family connections to peers and community
  • Families as advocates and leaders

Our Early Learning Centers serve children age 3 to 4 from low-income families, providing the basic foundation of a positive attitude toward learning and place an early emphasis on the adoption of healthy habits.

The Early Learning Center offers full-day/full-year classes in bright, spacious classrooms. The benefits to families include:

  • Children grow educationally, socially, physically and emotionally
  • Parents participate in their child’s educational activities and development
  • Parent’s relationship with their child is enriched
  • Parents obtain needed services for their families

All sites serve children with diagnosed disabilities.

Download a brochure.

Review our Head Start program’s annual reports.

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Teen parents and their children are often at risk for poor outcomes in many areas including:

  • Health
  • Development
  • Child abuse
  • Future self-sufficiency

Aunt Martha’s is committed to supporting young mothers and their children. We make it easy for moms to make sure their babies get the care they need.

We’ll help you prepare your baby for a healthy life by getting them off to a Healthy Start! Our Healthy Start services are co-located with several of our women’s health centers, so their convenient. And once you and your baby are enrolled, Aunt Martha’s care coordinators will make it easy for you to connect with a wide range of support services.

But being a good parent doesn’t stop with taking care of your baby. It also means taking care of yourself! Aunt Martha’s can help with this, too.

Even before your baby is born, our home visitors will work with you to make sure your needs are met, helping you find and access services and begin planning for your (and your baby’s) future. As your child grows, we’ll be there to help you understand the child’s developmental stages and support you through the challenges those stages can present.


School-Based Programs

Aunt Martha’s works with primary and secondary schools and school districts throughout our service area to educate  students on a variety of topics, including

  • Bullying prevention
  • Teen pregnancy prevention
  • Substance abuse prevention

Expanding Pathways to Graduation

The Expanding Pathways to Graduation program is a partnership between Aunt Martha’s and Bloom Township High School District 206 and works to provide a coordinated and integrated set of academic, social and health care services to support the District’s dropout prevention and re-entry programs.

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Employment Training

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Every year since 1978, Aunt Martha’s has helped more than 100 people find jobs! That’s more than 3,000 people just like you who have completed our employment programs and gotten jobs in their home community.

We help job-seekers prepare for and find jobs, connect to career services, and access a range of resources such as:

  • Occupational training (based upon federal eligibility guidelines)
  • Resume writing
  • Interview skills
  • Financial literacy
  • Job placement

All services are free of charge. Please call our workforce centers in advance to get information on hours of operation, orientation, and workshop details.

  • In Chicago, call (773) 994-7459.
  • In south suburban Cook County, call (708) 679-8000.
  • In Vermilion County, call (217) 446-1300. 

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Family & Youth Crisis Services

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Aunt Martha’s Family & Youth Crisis Services work closely with schools, healthcare providers and local police to identify youth in crisis.

To support safe and healthy families, Aunt Martha’s coordinates with a broad range of services to help youth, parents and families recover from crises and strengthen family relationships.

What Do We Do?

Crisis Intervention

  • 24-hour outreach to help resolve issues for families and runaway or locked out youth.

Family Reunification

  • Intensive coordination of services to help reunify the youth and family.

Family Preservation

  • Individual and family counseling to help keep families together.

Who Can Make a Referral?

  • Youth
  • Parent/Guardian
  • School
  • Friends
  • Police
  • Other Providers

To make a referral for yourself, a friend, a family member or any youth in crisis, contact the Aunt Martha’s location in your area.

If you are calling outside of normal business hours, the following numbers will connect you directly to our answering service, which will contact the crisis worker on call for your area.

  • In Cook County, call (708) 679-8100.
  • In Grundy County, call (815) 768-8750.
  • In Kane County, call (847) 608-4250.
  • In Kankakee County, call (815) 937-0100.
  • In Kendall County, call (815) 768-8750.
  • In Vermilion County, call (217) 446-1300.
  • In Will County, call (815) 768-8750.

If you do not know who to contact,
please call the statewide crisis hotline at (877) 870-2663.

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Homeless Services

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Emergency Housing

Aunt Martha’s emergency housing services represent both a safe haven and a gateway to hope for youth in crisis. We have locations in Kankakee and Will County.

  • For information about our services in Joliet, call (815) 768-8750.
  • For information about our services in Kankakee, call (815) 937-0100.
  • For information about our services in Park Forest, call (708) 679-8000.

After taking care of your immediate needs, our staff will work with you to find affordable, permanent housing. Then, you and your care coordinator will work together to help you build the skills you need to succeed on your own.

Health Care

Aunt Martha’s Health and Outreach Center, which specializes in serving individuals and families experiencing homelessness, is located at 680 South River Street in Aurora. We are located in the same building as the Hesed Comprehensive Homeless Resource Center.

In addition to our regular office hours, Aunt Martha’s mobile health team provides services at other locations in Aurora and Elgin, including:

To learn more about the link between health and homelessness, visit the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.

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Our staff visit places where runaway and homeless youth are known to congregate, providing crisis intervention, access to emergency shelter, survival aid, health care and HIV prevention education to young people who are living on the street or in unstable housing and are at risk of sexual abuse or exploitation.

Aunt Martha’s works to move youth from the street into stable housing and help prepare them for independence.

Transitional Housing

Aunt Martha’s transitional living services provide a safe, stable environment where young people participate in activities that:

  • Enhance their physical and emotional well-being
  • Learn and practice the life and social skills they need to be self-sufficient
  • Support their move to a more independent living arrangement

A care coordinator is assigned to work one-on-one with each client to:

  • Change behaviors and improve social skills
  • Coordinate all health care services (including primary care, dental and mental health)
  • Monitor educational progress to increase the client’s likelihood of achieving success on their own

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Juvenile Justice

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Evening Reporting Centers

Our Evening Reporting Centers (ERCs) have been established as community-based alternatives to detention for a target group of minor respondents who would otherwise be detained in Cook County’s Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.

The goals of the program include:

  • Help youth remain arrest-free;
  • Minimize risk-taking and delinquent behaviors during and beyond program participation;
  • Reduce recidivism and the likelihood of re-arrest; and,
  • Ensure that clients attend their scheduled court appearance.

Our ERCs serve youth age 10 – 18 who are on home confinement and assigned to the program by the court.

Pre-Trial Services

Our Pre-Trial Services program provides an alternative to detention for youth who commit less serious offenses or for whom placement at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center is not appropriate.

The program aims to help youth:

  • Remain arrest-free while in the program;
  • Minimize risk-taking and delinquent behaviors during and beyond program participation; and,
  • Reduce recidivism and the likelihood of re-arrest.

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