In 1971, a group of pastors from area churches joined together to help troubled youth and families. Their desire to transform lives and communities created Outreach.
Wheaton Youth Outreach (now Outreach Wheaton), was launched to provide counseling, street outreach, crisis intervention, and social services.
Chris Ellerman signed on as the agency’s only employee, and first Executive Director.
Partnering with local churches in Warrenville, Outreach started Warrenville Youth & Family Services (now Outreach Warrenville). Operating out of donated space at St. Irene Church, they helped residents access much-needed resources and develop healthy families.
Civic, church, and business leaders saw significant need in their area, so they partnered to launch the Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream (now Outreach Carol Stream).
In partnership with Wheaton Bible Church and Iglesia del Pueblo, Outreach launched Puente del Pueblo (in West Chicago). This neighborhood resource was created to meet the needs of residents in Timber Lake Apartments.
City officials asked Puente del Pueblo to take over its youth service program and expand its after school and summer school youth programs to more apartment complexes in West Chicago.
At the request of the DuPage County Human Services Department, Outreach took over leadership of the York Community Resource Center (now Outreach York).
Outreach launched the Employment Opportunity Center (now Outreach Employment Center) to provide education, training, and job opportunities for young adults.
A new Jubilee Furniture location was opened, expanding square footage for the showroom and warehouse, and providing training space for the Employment Center.
Outreach launched Journey of Hope, a key development campaign. The $7.5 million campaign helped expand our capital building investment and annual capacity so we can serve hundreds of additional youth and families. In addition, it strengthened our endowment for scholarships and program support, helping to secure our long-term future.
Outreach welcomed our new President and Chief Executive Officer, Nate Kaunley on March 1. A compassionate leader and trailblazer, Nate brought a wealth of knowledge about community services, church partnerships, nonprofit management, fundraising, and marketing.
Our former executive director, Chris Ellerman, continues to support Outreach as the Executive Director of the Outreach Legacy Fund, and Director of Operations of Social Enterprises.