Since our Chief Executive Officer, Chris Ellerman, signed on as the agency’s only employee in 1977, we have grown to a staff of more than 85 full- and part-time employees, 25 annual interns and 600 active volunteers. Our philosophy of ministry includes a commitment to community-based services, and we intend to develop and provide services throughout DuPage County as long as there are unmet needs requiring creative responses.
A group of pastors first met to discuss how to help troubled youth and families in the area in 1971. By 1973, Wheaton Youth Outreach (WYO) was launched as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, providing much-needed counseling and social services.
Today, services available through WYO include individual and family counseling and casework services, emergency assistance funds, crisis intervention for teens and transitional housing for young adult women and single mothers.
- Serving 60 youth and families through crisis intervention
- Serving 488 individuals through counseling
- Serving 77 individuals through case management
- Serving 66 individuals through transitional housing
Chris Ellerman signed on as the agency’s only employee. Today, Chris serves as CEO.
“Wherever there is hopelessness, this is our calling—to proclaim the hope, God’s grace and His plan to prosper—and to create pathways to this hope-filled future.” – Chris Ellerman
Partnering with local churches in Warrenville, Outreach started Warrenville Youth & Family Services (WYFS). Operating out of donated space at St. Irene Church, WYFS helped residents access needed resources and develop healthy families.
Today, a staff of 14 plus volunteers and interns provide case management services; individual, marital and family therapy; after-school, summer school and mentoring programs for at-risk youth and Hispanic outreach.
- Serving 77 students through youth development
- Serving 171 individuals through counseling
- Serving 235 individuals through case management
A group of concerned civic, church and business leaders launched the Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream in response to significant needs in that community.
Today, a staff of 27 with more than 200 interns and volunteers provide the following services: individual, couple, family and group therapy; casework; strategic after-school programs; youth leadership that includes the Student Achievement Leadership Team and College Opportunity Program; and older adults program.
- Serving 371 individuals through counseling
- Serving 884 individuals through case management
- Serving 250 individuals in the Older Adults Program
- Serving 159 elementary students through Jubilee Neighborhood School
- Serving 80 middle school students through Superb Student Program
- Serving 75 high school and college students through the College and Career Opportunity Program
In partnership with Wheaton Bible Church and Iglesia del Pueblo, Outreach launched Puente Del Pueblo (Bridge of the People), a neighborhood resource center, to meet the needs of residents of Timber Lake Apartments in West Chicago. In 2012, city officials asked Puente to take over its youth service system and expand its after-school and summer-school youth programs to more complexes in West Chicago.
- Serving 110 elementary students
- Serving 38 middle school students
- Serving 22 high school students
- Serving 50 individuals through Spanish and English Literacy
- Serving 1,006 individuals through case management
Outreach became the new managers of the York Community Resource Center.
- Serving 78 elementary students
On April 10, 2014, Outreach held a grand opening at the new Jubilee Furniture location (730 E. North Ave., Carol Stream). Formerly located in the Wheaton Christian Center, the new space expanded square footage for both the showroom and warehouse and provided training space for the Employment Opportunity Center.
In May 2014, Outreach launched the Employment Opportunity Center, providing education, training and job opportunities, ensuring every young adult has the opportunity for a meaningful career.