There are over 2,000 homeless youth on the streets of Chicago every night. Ignite has developed a national model for helping unstably housed youth, ages 14 to 26, get their youth back and take the first step toward their journey to a stable home and a future with promise.

We would love to share more about our work, but our youth tell the story best:

Ignite (formerly called Teen Living Programs) has been creating change in Chicago for over 40 years. Every young person who comes to Ignite has a chance at a new beginning, and with each new beginning, we’re building a stronger future for Chicago. From prevention and street outreach, to residential programs, support services and aftercare, Ignite has programs to meet the immediate needs of youth. We also have educational, career, recreational and mental health support programs that help them build toward a more stable future.

Ignite’s youth are survivors. Many arrive to Ignite having experienced or witnessed verbal, physical or sexual violence or exploitation within their households or community. Some have been rejected by their families over their sexual orientations, gender identities, or lifestyle choices. Most have been severely impacted by trauma.  However, our youth have the same hopes and dreams each one of us had when we were their age. And they look to us to be the support system they need to thrive. We do this with the deep belief that every young person should have the support they need to be defined by their potential, not their circumstances. Each year Ignite supports over 500 youth experiencing homelessness, and we do not close our doors even in the event of a public health crisis like the one we are facing right now. In fact, our youth need us more now than ever.

2020-Feb-Ignite photo (2) resized


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