Esperanza Community Services is thrilled to announce our selection as a Chicago Community Development Grant recipient. The award of $585,230 will transform our main school and adult program building in West Town by providing updated, efficient, and more accessible facilities. This grant will enable Esperanza to better serve our 250+ participants with developmental disabilities and their families while allowing us to grow our capabilities to help more Chicago families in need.

“Everyone with a disability deserves an equitable and safe place to thrive,” said Jayne Drew, Esperanza’s CEO. “This project will have a meaningful impact on the children and adults Esperanza serves, as well as improve the working environment for our dedicated staff.”

By preserving and improving a building that has stood out as an architectural landmark for over 130 years, we are celebrating our neighborhood’s history, culture, and character while contributing to a sense of place. Our students and clients come from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, residing in underserved communities on Chicago’s south and west sides. In line with our mission, we have woven A.D.A. and autism-friendly design and materials throughout the project to create a more accessible, inclusive, and equipped place to meet the needs of people with disabilities and enable them to thrive.

Thank you to Mayor Lightfoot, Deputy Mayor Mayekar (left), and Maurice Cox (right), from the Chicago Department of Planning and Development.

This project will also improve the aesthetic of the building to ensure Esperanza will continue to be a vital neighbor and community resource in West Town for decades to come.

Esperanza continues to see the lasting effects of the pandemic, which caused program cuts, project delays, and more. This grant is a step to help Esperanza move forward as we establish new initiatives to enhance our mission.

Thank you to the City of Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot, Deputy Mayor Mayekar, Alderman Daniel La Spata, and the Chicago Department of Planning and Development for supporting the vibrant future of the people served by Esperanza Community Services.

Located in West Town, Esperanza Community Services serves people with disabilities by providing innovative services to help them reach their potential and live productive lives in the community. Our school for students, adult program, and art studio all provide an opportunity for people to pursue their passions.

Jess Lynk, Director of Marketing