Family is MFS’ middle name and is the core of who we are, but if our agency had a nickname, it would have to be “community”.
We strive every day to make communities stronger, healthier, more peaceful, and to provide hope – this is what motivates us daily. Our “culture of community” includes 10 centers – our original seven throughout Cook and DuPage Counties and now the Legal Aid Society, Metropolitan Peace Initiatives, and the Howard & Evanston Community Center (more on the latter below). And that’s not all – did you know MFS has more than 60 affiliate sites – all working to Mpower families and communities?
Speaking of Centers and sites, this past year through your support and that of our partners, we were able to expand our Midway Center, which grew from 13,700 to 20,700 square feet. The expansion allows our team to provide services to at east 20,000 clients annually, in the Gage Park, Englewood, West Lawn and other neighborhoods on the Southwest Side of Chicago.
Metropolitan grows when growth makes sense, and there are times when we have been sought by other agencies to align with them. Last year, we continued to prepare for the new Howard & Evanston Community Center (HECC) to officially join the Metropolitan Family.
Though this technically happened at the start of our new fiscal year – July 1, 2023 – we wanted to highlight this exciting news as we continue to expand services and clients served with innovative programming supporting North Side communities.
The Howard & Evanston Community Center provides MFS with a hub on Chicago’s far North Side, and allows us to reestablish our connection with Evanston. HECC has a 50-plus year history, with services ranging from immigrant and refugee support to its amazingly inspiring Youth Club House, where teens are learning cutting-edge tech skills including coding, computer animation and content creation. The Club House has already inspired a sister site, to be facilitated by MFS next year, that will be built on the We Grow Peace Campus, benefiting youth in Chicago’s West Englewood community.
Lastly, we are excited to share that we are developing a new, leading-edge, state-of-the-art Metropolitan Peace Academy (MPA) Training Center! The space will provide a central, permanent home for outreach worker professionalization, case manager and victims’ services education, personal development and recreation. This facility will equip MPA to train more outreach workers and case managers to be the most effective advocates for peace building.
As you can see, much is happening at MFS! On behalf of all we serve and the Metropolitan team, our sincerest thanks to all who are Mpowering us to make these strides possible.
President & CEO,
Metropolitan Family Services
Chair, Board of Directors