Through friendship and service, Puente del Pueblo works in West Chicago to foster change that benefit residents’ personal, family and community lives. Staff are professionally trained in education and human services, sharing a common commitment to minister to each person’s physical, social and spiritual needs. Services are available without preference to all people and, where fees apply, based on one’s ability to pay.
Launched in 2008 at Timber Lake apartments, Puente is a ministry of Wheaton Bible Church and Iglesia del Pueblo, the Hispanic congregation at Wheaton Bible Church. Outreach serves at Puente on behalf of Wheaton Bible Church, providing consultation, management and community services. 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. Today, Puente is offering programming at Main Park Apartments and continuing to expand at Timber Lake Apartments.
Puente Programs & Services
Puente del Niño: Grades 1st-5th
Puente del Niño provides elementary students with opportunities for academic improvement, skill building, positive relationships, structured recreational activities and optional Christian education. Puente del Niño is offered each day after school during the school year and all day in the summer.
Puente del Futuro: Middle School
Puente del Futuro provides 6th through 8th grade students with opportunities for academic support, life skills development, recreation and optional Christian education. This program is held for three hours after school during the school year and all day in the summer.
Puente del Futuro: High School
The high school program provides senior high students with opportunities for academic support, life skills development, recreation and college preparation. The group meets at Glen Arbor Community Church in West Chicago four days a week, for tutoring, mentoring, study time, college prep, life skills training, career discussion. In addition, students have the option of joining the youth group at Iglesia del Pueblo, Wheaton Bible Church’s Hispanic congregation.
Case management services assist people struggling with life challenges, including financial issues, problems with public benefits, immigration issues, employment and more. Puente’s case managers provide information, referrals and advocacy to navigate community services. They also provide budgeting and transportation assistance. Clients and case managers work together to resolve current problems and plan for the household’s long-term stability. Case managers provide translation, relationships, spiritual care, resources and financial assistance.
Spanish and English Literacy
Puente works with people needing help with reading and language skills by offering both Spanish and English literacy programs. By enhancing these skills, individuals are able to pursue further educational and employment goals. English literacy volunteers receive training through Literacy DuPage.
Counseling services are available for individuals, couples and families through the Outreach Community Counseling Centers. Staff therapists are trained in the latest research and use practices that have been shown to work in addressing a wide variety of concerns. Outreach’s professionally trained therapists work with more than 1,000 people in the community each year.