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Daniel D to perform at AB

Violin phenom to perform at annual benefit The first time Daniel D swept a bow across a violin he was just 12 years old. Now that he’s doubled his age, he’s more than......More >

2013 Annual Benefit details announced

2013 Annual Benefit details announced On Friday, Oct. 18, Breakthrough is inviting those known and unknown to its mission to experience East Garfield Park in a fresh, dynamic......More >

Breakthrough celebrates FamilyPlex groundbreaking

Breakthrough celebrates FamilyPlex groundbreaking The East Garfield Park neighborhood has waited decades for someone to invest in the 13......More >

Food for the Hungry

Food for the Hungry Special column by Breakthrough food coordinator Luke Trifilio When you read the Gospels, Jesus’ ministry usually revolved around meals. Think about it! Whether it was a wedding celebration, religious festivals, miraculous feedings of enormous......More >

Youth program kicks off despite water damage

Youth program kicks off despite water damage The first day of school comes with excitement and anticipation. At Breakthrough, nerves were settled and the youth team was ready......More >

DNAinfo HomeCourt

HomeCourt featured on DNAinfo Chicago As HomeCourt fired up the East Garfield Park neighborhood this summer, local media took note. Darryl Holliday of DNAinfo Chicago, a news......More >

Maring introduces CT to Breakthrough

Entrepreneur Elizabeth Maring blesses Breakthrough with a new giving model “The Bible says you aren’t supposed to loan money you......More >

Junior highers launch blog

Junior-highers launch blog Blogging has become a major trend in online communications, and Breakthrough’s junior-highers have taken note. For the past five weeks,......More >

Washington Heights serves

Washington Heights spends week with Breakthrough The week of July 22, Breakthrough hosted 26 high school students from the Washington Heights Baptist Church of Dayton,......More >

Intern Check In - Hayley Formolo

Intern check-in Hayley shares her Breakthrough experience I have been lucky enough to be interning for Breakthrough in the marketing and communications department for over a month now. It has truly been an amazing and rewarding experience for me, both personally and......More >

Roosevelt students serve at Breakthrough

Roosevelt students serve at Breakthrough On Thursday, July 11, Breakthrough happily hosted 32 students from Chicago’s Roosevelt University as volunteers at both its men’s and......More >

Hunger Walk successes 2013

Goals met for Hunger Walk 2013 The Greater Chicago Food Depository’s 2013 Hunger Walk was a resounding success for Breakthrough as more......More >

Summer in the City: 3 interns

Summer in the city Girls move to East Garfield Park, intern at Breakthrough In a small apartment off Madison Street, three college-aged girls wake up for another day in a new city. They don’t know each other, they don’t know the neighborhood and......More >

Formolo visits Fresh Market

Through her eyes Breakthrough intern Hayley Formolo experiences Fresh Market What would you do if you needed to feed your family but didn’t have the necessary......More >

Garden Volunteers

How does your garden grow? Volunteers clean up men's outdoor space at Breakthrough On Thursday, June, 20, Breakthrough had 14 volunteers from YouthWorks help our......More >

Allstate service day 2013

Allstate serves at Breakthrough As part of the Allstate Insurance corporate-wide day of service, nine Allstate employees volunteered at Breakthrough on Tuesday, June 11, to lend a......More >

Fathers Day 2013

Show dad you care Everyone thinks their dad is the best, and now we want to know why! Tell us a story about why your dad is great and we'll post it on our website so that dear ol' dad can get the recognition he deserves...More >

Dianne gets ID

Identity crisis: no more Former guest obtains ID after 15 years   Upon meeting Dianne, it’s obvious she’s vivacious, personality-driven......More >

Academic Awards 2013

BYN students honored in academic ceremony You could hear them halfway down the street. ...More >

Chucks & Tux

Gala to support youth education, Breakthrough Been looking for an excuse to pair your tux with some Chucks? How about just a chance to get out of the house and enjoy great art, music and dinner for a cause that promotes youth education? On Saturday, June 8,...More >

Support homeless programs in Illinois

Homeless programs in Illinois need your help The Illinois House and Senate are debating next year's budget and homeless programs are at risk again. Before May 31, we need as many......More >

Breakthrough honors moms

Breakthrough honors moms In recognition of Mother's Day, we wanted to know why you love your mom. So we asked you to send a couple sentences about why she's the best mom out there. Our top two entries are below -- thanks to all for ...More >

Making Aaron's surgery a success

Making Aaron's surgery a success Aaron, one of Breakthrough’s homeless guests, needed surgery on his hand. A lump was causing him extreme pain and limiting his ability to......More >

Breakthrough responds to CPS school closures

Breakthrough responds to CPS school closures Youth Network hosts ‘Connections’ expo ...More >

Photographer completes final project at Breakthrough

Photographer completes final project at Breakthrough Photographer Frederick A. Bridges, of Dolton, Ind., made a special trip to Breakthrough in April as part of his photography......More >

Signature Room serves housing dinner

Signature Room serves housing dinner When our homeless guests graduate to living in their own place again, we try to keep in touch to help them stay on track. One of the ways we offer support is by calling them back to Breakthrough for the “quarterly...More >

Volunteers throw NCAA party in men’s center

Volunteers provide NCAA party in men’s center When the Louisville Cardinals claimed the NCAA basketball championship on Monday, April 8, Breakthrough’s men’s center was ready to celebrate....More >

Students create newsletter

BYN students create newsletter For four consecutive weeks, Breakthrough Youth Network students Tejalique Williams, Kelly Bibbs, Anyiah Williams and Tatyanna Phillips met from 5-6 p.m. on Friday nights to work on their creative writing skills. The end result? The first......More >

Winter Athletics 2013

Ready to play? Breakthrough Hoops hit the court with authority this......More >

Lauren Ireland visits graduated guests

Meeting them where they are It began with breakfast on one particularly special Saturday in Lauren Ireland’s life. Lauren got up early, traveled to East Garfield Park and......More >

Guest, artist secures housing

Breakthrough guest, artist secures housing When......More >

FamilyPlex approved for groundbreaking

FamilyPlex approved for groundbreaking   The Breakthrough FamilyPlex was approved for a fall 2013 groundbreaking by the Breakthrough board of directors at its......More >

Chicago's Desert

Chicago's desert Breakthrough quenches need for quality food in East Garfield Park Beth walks out of East Garfield Park’s local convenience store, passing a tall iron security gate and hand-painted sign that reads “Snacks - Nachos – Lotto -......More >

Drive Out Hunger with Breakthrough

Help us drive out hunger: volunteers needed "How long has it been since your last meal?" We get a variety of answers to that......More >

Scott Kibler joins Breakthrough

"I was just an average, American boy" Breakthrough intern leaves home to serve homeless Scott Kibler could be living in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, in a safe,comfortable environment with his family. But he feels he’s been called to a more......More >

Robotics competes at state level

Breakthrough robotics club competes at state level Most kids can build forts and bridges with Legos, but Breakthrough’s kids take it to a more technological level – they build working robots with the tiny plastic blocks....More >

Sew constructive

Sew constructive Female guest creates, sells scarves to get back on her feet Lorena* has always been an artist -- but it wasn’t until she was homeless that she realized how important it would be for her survival. ...More >

Breakthrough Christmas Store 2012

Gifts from the heart Breakthrough hosts annual Christmas Store On Saturday, Dec. 15, more than 140 volunteers came......More >

Match offered for Winter Campaign

Give today: Winter 2012 gifts will be matched   Thanks to a generous supporter of Breakthrough, all donations made to our 2012 Winter Appeal will be matched up to $30,000. That means if you give $100, Breakthrough will receive $200 total through the match.......More >

Breakthrough kids in ‘Action!’ through film club

...More >

Adults earn computer certifications

Adults earn computer certifications through Breakthrough classes Each week, volunteer Al Huizinga drives to East Garfield Park, comes into the Breakthrough computer lab and......More >

In the News

Homeless guests aid man having seizure

North Park students' training comes in handy

On Tuesday, Nov. 27, North Park University nursing students visited Breakthrough to train our homeless male guests in seizure response. That following Friday, their skills were unexpectedly put to the test.

The men were lined up outside that morning, waiting to get in from...More >

Malnati's, Soul City deliver 700 Thanksgiving baskets to Breakthrough

Most people expect pizzas to come out of Lou Malnati's Northbrook warehouse. But on Saturday, Nov. 17, 700 baskets packed with ham,...More >

12 Days of Christmas comes to Breakthrough

Breakthrough runs on all cylinders throughout the year, but at Christmastime, we're especially busy. Our 12 Days of Christmas invites you to participate in different volunteer opportunities, listed below.

Gather your friends and family and join us in the season of giving! To reserve your spot, contact...More >

Family makes anonymous Thanksgiving donation

Every year, a family from South Barrington makes an anonymous donation of Thanksgiving baskets to a charitable organization. This year, they found Breakthrough.

They arrived at Breakthrough on...More >

Breakthrough to benefit from GP Conservatory event

Evening to feature gourmet soups from Chicago chefs

The Garfield Park Conservatory is hosting a Soup & Bread event to promote hunger relief in Chicago from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the conservatory,...More >

Big shoes to fill

Breakthrough hosts shoe-distribution with Samaritan's Feet, NFL stars

East Garfield Park community members were invited to come to Breakthrough on Saturday, Oct. 27, for a free pair of athletic shoes and socks, thanks to a partnership with the organization Samaritan's Feet.

The kicker? Two of the volunteers distributing shoes were...More >

BT Young Writers: My restaurant

By Avery Curry, Breakthrough seventh-grader

Opening a restaurant probably wouldn’t be my main dream, but if it was, my restaurant would be called A Food’s Dream. That would be the name because it would be...More >

Annual benefit celebrates 20 years of service

Breakthrough Urban Ministries hosted its annual benefit Friday, Oct. 19, at the Hyatt Recency O'Hare in Rosemont. The event, free and open to the public, is Breakthrough's biggest fundraising event of the...More >

BT Young Writers: If I was 20 feet tall, what would I do?

By Frankie Hutchinson, Breakthrough seventh-grader

If I was 20 feet tall, life would be difficult and easy. There are many reasons why. It would be easy...More >

Manuel Scott shares story of transformation

His best friend was murdered. His abusive step-father was addicted to crack cocaine. And in high school, Manuel Scott was so behind academically that he was certified as an English as a Second Language...More >

Fields to speak at Moody Missions Conference

Attendees of the Moody Missions Conference will hear Breakthrough’s Chief Program Officer Yolanda Fields speak at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 10.

The four-day conference, held on the school’s...More >

Breakthrough receives 4-star rating for fiscal responsibility

Breakthrough Urban Ministries was recently rated a 4-star nonprofit by Charity Navigator, an independent charity evaluator.

Four stars is the highest rating CN bestows on...More >

Join us: Race Conversations to kick off Sunday

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described his idea of social justice to America. Nearly 50 years later, we're asking you: Are we still chasing after that dream?

In our 7-session symposium, Race Conversations, you'll learn how you and others feel as we immerse ourselves in diverse settings with people from all...More >

Single mother finds relief at Breakthrough during CTU strike

It was exactly a year ago when Sandra Gonzalez moved to Chicago from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
With her 6-year-old twins and an 11-year-old in tow, Gonzalez was ready for a new life in a new city.

But those things don’t always come easy.

The teachers strike hit Chicago Public Schools this...More >

Update: Running Club speeds through Lawndale 5K

Breakthrough's Running Club is off to a fast start this fall. The 50-plus kids put their training to good use Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Lawndale 5K, hosted by the Lawndale Christian Health Center.

...More >

Signature Room serves Breakthrough guests

Cardel Reid is usually serving Chicago’s elite as sous chef of the Signature Room located in the Hancock Building downtown Chicago.

But on Wednesday, Sept. 12, he commanded a different kitchen...More >

Mayor Emanuel visits Breakthrough to talk CPS strike with local parents

Yolanda Porter generally has three major concerns: her kids, her job and her class schedule.

But with the Chicago Public School teachers’ strike thrown into the mix, Yolanda has three new concerns: are her children safe, will they fall behind in school and could she lose her...More >

Tribune interviews Breakthrough's CPO

Breakthrough was featured in a Chicago Tribune article Wednesday, Sept. 12, as Chief Program Officer Bill Curry talked to Tribune reporters regarding the Chicago Public School teachers' strike and its effect on the East Garfield Park community.

The story highlights how families and Chicago organizations are reacting in...More >

A secondary look: Breakthrough parents learn about high school selection

Students in suburban areas have probably heard their grandparents brag about the trek to school: “3 miles, 4 foot of snow, uphill (both ways).”

But in Chicago, the...More >

Breakthrough responds to teachers' strike

With the Chicago Public School teachers’ strike taking effect Monday, Sept. 10, Breakthrough has committed to opening its afterschool program three hours early throughout the duration of the strike.

“We don't play a direct role in the labor negotiations, nor do we have enough information to take a position...More >

Word to get wise: Women’s center hosts daily devotional

In the soft setting of Breakthrough's women's lounge, 15 women faced some hard questions.

The subject of their Thursday, Aug. 30, morning devotional was wisdom – a word that...More >

Summer Studies Offers a New Skill & So Much More

It’s 8am on a warm summer Thursday morning as 11yr old Naima packs her swimsuit, flip flops and towel for a swim with her friends in the

Breakthrough Summer Studies program. Just before...More >

What's on Your Nightstand? Part II

Check out what our staff is reading...and why!

Gynger Garcia, Reading Specialist, Youth & Family Services is reading, Half the Sky by Nicolas...More >

What's on Your Nightstand?

Check out what our staff is
reading….and why!

Mike Murphy, Director of Spiritual Development is reading Your God is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan...More >

Kyle Korver Endorses Breakthrough as Funding Priority

Breakthrough recently sat down with Kyle Korver of the Chicago Bulls and his wife, Juliet Korver, to hear some of their thoughts on why they support Breakthrough.

"A big part of my faith growing up was action and service"..."We want to find people with really incredible gifts and talents who can function...More >

We Are Not Waiting for Superman

Last winter we wrote about four students from Breakthrough's Nettie Bailey Student Achievement Program and the trials and tribulations they experienced applying to high schools.  If you live in Chicago and attended public school, you know how hard it is to navigate the public...More >

Homeless Good Samaritan

From the DailyGood: News That Inspires

“May 13, 2011-- A year ago, everything was going right for a woman named Sandy: a good job at a bank in the suburbs and a safe home. But last year, she lost that -- and with her 10-year-old, had to move into a truck. Police and DCFS...More >

High School Acceptance

This fall, four eighth grade students who participate in Breakthrough’s Nettie Bailey Student Achievement Program began the process of applying to the high schools of their choice. By the end of December, the application deadlines will have passed, and students will wait until next...More >

Now Until Dec 31. Donate $50 and get a FREE SEER Outfitters Shirt designed by Kyle Korver of the Chicago Bulls.

Men's and women's hoodies...More >


An Unexpected Transformation

Breakthrough invited everyone to attend the Annual Benefit on Friday, October 28. This year’s theme, IMAGINE, is...More >


New Suburban Store Helps Benefit Breakthrough

Do you have good clothes in your closet that you don’t wear anymore?  Or maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer at Breakthrough but couldn’t spare time for the drive into the city? “There’s an exciting new opportunity for people to get involved in supporting Breakthrough-- a great way  for...More >

Our Daily Bread (And Vegetables)

Breakthrough was created when a few church members began serving hot coffee and sandwiches to homeless people. Now, almost 20 years later, food is still an important component of the...More >

Leading by Example

Corey and Tamica have already left an important legacy for their children, Keith, Lavondia, and Kevon. “I admire how they’ve set their kids up to be successful,” says Breakthrough’s Director of Youth &...More >

Compassion On The Move

Jim and Susan have long followed God’s call, even when that meant finding a new home. In the mid-1990’s, they moved into Chicago from the suburbs, started attending the First Evangelical Free Church in Edgewater (First Free), and became involved at Breakthrough, which...More >

Happy New Year,
Happy New Home

On the last day of the year, as clocks all over Chicago counted down the hours left in 2010, nearly 20 Breakthrough volunteers and several Breakthrough staff members...More >

Good Connections Make A Difference

Lamar has overcome many of the struggles that have snagged his peers. Only 37...More >

Everyone Has Something To Offer: Mentor & Friend, Bill Curry

Lamar was 10 when he first met Bill, who is now the Chief Operating Officer of Breakthrough Urban Ministries. At that time, Bill was responsible for...More >

Nurturing Networks To Sustain Youth:
Thoughts from Marcie, Director Of Youth & Family Services

Marcie had only been on staff at Breakthrough Urban Ministries for a year or two when she first met Lamar....More >

Passing On The Positive

This is the seventh installment of our focus on Breakthrough’s Network Model.

While the cycle of poverty, despair and violence still grips some families in communities like East Garfield Park, there are new circles of hope emerging from the struggle. As a young...More >

Cabrini Green Legal Aid

Breakthrough is happy to announce a new partnership with Cabrini Green Legal Aid (CGLA). East Garfield Park residents will now have access to free legal aid every first and third Tuesday of the month at the Breakthrough Ministry Center, where More >


Lamar's Aunt, Wanda

Lamar has received a lot of love and support from his family, including his aunt, Wanda. “I had a lot of...More >

Mr. Wipachit—principal

Besides the coaches, tutors, mentors and family members in his network of support, Lamar includes his high school principal, Mr. Wipachit.

Mr. Wipachit leads a team of faculty and administrators who...More >


Kevin – Pastor, Coach and Mentor

This is the fourth installment of our focus on Breakthrough’s Network Model.

Kevin understands the great need for...More >

Joshua 24/7

It’s been just over a year since the Breakthrough Joshua Center expanded hours to become operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week – even in the face of a tough economy. Until the beginning of 2009, Breakthrough’s facility for women closed shortly after lunch and did not reopen until early...More >

Go Behind the Scenes

What does it really take to help children overcome barriers like poverty? Why is it so hard for homeless persons to get back on their feet? Find out when you take a More >

Tribute to Bette Ann Camacho

Bette Ann Camacho didn’t know what to expect when her daughter-in-law, Kathy Jo Camacho, first invited her to help serve breakfast at Breakthrough’s Joshua Center.

Born on May 8, 1939, Bette Ann grew up on the Northwest side of Chicago. She raised two fine children, was married for over fifty years...More >


In-depth with the Network Model

Breakthrough uses its Network Model to build a framework of caring relationships for youth and adults, providing them with support and opportunities they would not otherwise have. It is a groundbreaking approach to providing...More >


Breakthrough Moves Forward In 2009

In a difficult year when several Chicago nonprofits and service providers were forced to close their doors, Breakthrough Urban Ministries has not cut a single staff position or cut back on any of our services. This is all thanks to your continued and generous support.

We have much to praise God about for the way been...More >

We Are Better Together

Antonio Daniels is a case manager and life coach at Breakthrough Urban Ministries. He came on staff just a year ago, but already Tony.s life has been changed in ways that he wasn.t counting on. In this season of reflection, he examines the gift of learning from Breakthrough.s guests, staff and...More >

Thankful . Even In Difficult Times

The holidays can be an especially difficult time for many, including people who have no family or are estranged from their family. But many guests at Breakthrough Urban Ministries still have much to say about what they are thankful for.

Dorise was able to keep her family together and gain a stronger support system. .I am a single...More >


Spread Christmas Joy By Sorting Toys!

Breakthrough volunteers are gearing up for the Annual Christmas Store. This year’s event will be Saturday, December 19th at the Breakthrough Ministry Center. The Store provides a festive environment where shelter guests and neighborhood residents...More >


A Wondrous Event

Thanks to everyone who attended our Annual Benefit on Friday night, October 30th. Together we raised over $877,000 to support life-changing work in the city.

Praise God!

Also, in case you missed it, take a look at the Breakthrough Network Model video.

More >

The Tables Are Set For Miracles

“Table hosting is the most significant way we can be a part of the ministry,” says Keith Sunahara. Keith and his wife, Janice, have been table hosts at Breakthrough Urban Ministries’ Annual Benefit for the past five years. “Right now, our schedules and...More >


New Library Is a Rich Community Resource

A reading bug has spread through families who visit the Breakthrough Joshua Center. Throughout the day, many residents of East Garfield Park visit the second floor library, which opened last January. For a neighborhood that has long struggled with poverty, it is an important resource, an oasis to explore new things.

.What...More >

New LaunchPAD Program

This fall, five young men from Chicago.s west side will take an important step forward as they move into apartments at the Breakthrough Ministry Center and begin an 18-month journey of personal development called LaunchPAD. The new program encourages 18-24 year olds to maintain and further...More >

2009 Summer Studies Kicks Off

Each July, Breakthrough Urban Ministries offers Summer Studies, a program for youth in K-8th grades. .It.s a great chance to focus on particular topics and enrichment type activities,. says K-5th Grade Academic Coordinator, Andrea Jensen. able to offer learning opportunities that we can.t get to during the school year..

Students...More >

Learning Economic Recovery From The Ground Up

.We want to explore community and our relationship to it,. says 6-12th Grade Academic Coordinator, Seth El-Jamal. .Our young people know what it.s like to live in a neighborhood that struggles. We want them to become agents of change, and we...More >

Summer Camp Fun Builds Life Skills

There is discontent in the Robinson household, and the loudest voice belongs to 10 year old, Genesis. .She wrote a very long paper addressed to me on why I should let her miss the first week of school to attend Camp Timber-lee,. says mom, Crystal. .The kids love camp, but I can.t let them miss school!.

This August,...More >

Summer Program Opens Doors Of Opportunity

Since Brenda and her husband work full time, they were thankful to find a summer academic program for their children to attend. Brenda attends school full time and will graduate in December with a degree in criminal justice. She also works part time, and her husband works...More >

Share the Spirit of Giving

It’s a great joy to give gifts to others, and many of us feel that in abundance at Christmastime. Unfortunately, for many of Breakthrough’s guests and neighbors, holiday gift-giving brings on an added stress with little money to spare.

For several years, volunteers like Don and Amanda have helped put on...More >


Connecting with youth battling poverty

It’s a bright Saturday morning – a beautiful day for fishing.

A father has set out to teach his son how to bait a hook, cast a line and catch a fish. They practice all morning long in the driveway, and the son begins to feel confident that one day, when his lure hits the water, he’ll hook a big fish;...More >

A catalyst for change

Scott to share transformation story at annual benefit

His best friend was murdered. His abusive step-father was addicted to crack cocaine. And in high school, Manuel Scott was so behind academically that he was certified as an English as a Second Language student who knew no other language.

Today, his resume is much...More >

GOOGOL, a shortened version of the term, “Googolplex”, is 10 to the 100th power

and said to be the origin of the name for the world’s largest search engine, Google. Lately Google has become quite famous around Breakthrough as well, but for a much different reason. This summer, several of the staff from the Google Chicago office took the time to serve in a...More >

Partners In Transformation

What happens when neighbors join forces to host a yard sale and bring some friends from Breakthrough along to help out? A wonderful, more comfortable lounge area for all to enjoy. Many thanks to our friends Loretta Jacobs, Dana Lynch,...More >

We Got Sports!

This year’s event had an increase in participation of 52% over last year! More kids were introduced to new sports not offered as part of their gym curriculum. Neighborhood youth were engaged in hands-on...More >

Calling All Coaches!

Home Court is looking for several coaches to assist with our outdoor basketball league for 6 weeks.  Breakthrough uses Home Court to create a safe community event that includes a competitive basketball league, food,...More >

Spring Clean for Breakthrough

Breakthrough is hosting our first donation drive for Community Threads non profit thrift store on April 27th, 28th and 29th, please bring your gently used donations to the ministry center parking lot, 402 N. St Louis. Breakthrough needs to contribute our share of donations to supply the...More >

Providing Hope for 20 Years, A Breakthrough Anniversary!

A look back to 1992…

The first Nicotine patch is introduced to help stop smoking & DNA Fingerprinting is invented....More >

Retailing with heart

Social Impact Entrepreneur Elizabeth Maring's vision was to create a large, upscale thrift store, staff it all by volunteers, and...More >

Making Community

No matter what time of year, the love and support of family or good friends is immeasurable. Breakthrough Urban Ministries intentionally helps foster such an environment, and this extends to men and women who have...More >


Don’t Miss This Thursday’s Gathering!

This Thursday, October 6, the Breakthrough family will gather to pray and praise God. “Everyone is invited to attend,” says Director of Spiritual Development , Mike Murphy. “This is a great...More >


Teaming Up for Fitness

Breakthrough is excited to announce that a new youth fitness center will be opening on Monday, October 17. A generous donation from the Chicago Bulls Foundation has...More >


Home Court creates strong team in EGP

Breakthrough’s HomeCourt is well underway in East Garfield Park. The Friday night sessions feature four-on-four basketball games in a block party-type setting. “For the third straight year, our...More >

Teaming Up Against Hunger

“East Garfield Park, and many other neighborhoods, are a high priority for us because of the great need,” says Bob Dolgan, Communications Director for the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD). “Even before the term ‘food desert’ was coined, the Greater Chicago Food...More >

Summer Studies Brings New Faces, New Books

School is almost out, and youth in East Garfield Park are ready for summer fun. For many, that will include time spent at Breakthrough in the Summer Studies program. This summer’s session will run from June 27 to August 4, Monday to Thursday. Kids enjoy learning in a more relaxed atmosphere, and Breakthrough staff members...More >

Home Court 2011

Summer is here, and if you listen very closely, you’ll hear a growing chorus of basketballs thumping away on concrete courts and alleys all over East Garfield Park. As school lets out for summer break, many youth take...More >

Meeting Of The Minds

Even before launching an on-site health care program for women at the Breakthrough Joshua Center in 2001, Breakthrough staff was well aware of the need for mental health care as part of overall health. Guests who have experienced psychological or physical abuse need...More >

Meet the Matthews Family

Corey and Tamica are raising three children in East Garfield Park, where they also grew up. They are active in the community, helping at Breakthrough and working with the police department to keep the streets safe. Corey feels that things are looking up for the neighborhood. “It’s quieter now than it used to be…less negative...More >

You Can Leave A Legacy (Yes, YOU! )

Have you thought about increasing your financial support to Breakthrough, but feel that you don’t have the extra funds to give at this time in your life? Planned giving is a way to commit resources to Breakthrough now for use in the future, once your current income and needs change.

...More >

Planned Giving At A Glance

Broadly, the three types of planned gifts are:

  • Outright gifts that use appreciated assets as a substitute for cash (ex: art, stock, land)
  • Gifts that return income or other financial benefits to the donor in return for the contribution (ex: Charitable Remainder Trusts)
  • Gifts payable upon the...More >

Matters of the Heart

February is American Heart Month, a good time to take stock of our own health and help others who struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle. We asked Madelyn Bell, Breakthrough’s Behavioral Health Coordinator, and Christine Smith, Nurse Practitioner with...More >

Community Residents Want
to Improve Their Health

According to a health needs assessment administered by three University of Illinois, Chicago students last year, 53% of East Garfield Park residents did not have health insurance. The study came out of a partnership between UIC, Circle Family Care and Breakthrough Urban...More >

Get Involved! — Jan 2011

Christmas Store 2010: Success!

On Saturday, December 18th, over 350 families and individuals in the East Garfield Park neighborhood took part in the 9th annual Breakthrough Christmas Store. Every year, the Breakthrough Christmas Store empowers the local community and Breakthrough guests to purchase new toys...More >

Hope Restored

Christmastime is bittersweet for Bradley, a guest at the Breakthrough Ministry Center. Still, he feels hope…even after passing through periods of deep despair.

“I had a wonderful life,” he says. Bradley met his wife shortly after graduating from high school. After they married, he adopted her two children from a...More >


Dream BIG - "When I Grow Up"

More >

In All Things, Being Thankful

Although she will not spend Thanksgiving with her own family this year, Donna will not be alone. She also has much gratitude to express. “I praise God that I’m not still using drugs,” she says. “I praise God for the air I breathe. I am thankful for the people who have been placed in my path to help me...More >

Good Food And Conversation…

Myriame, a guest in Breakthrough’s Interim Housing program, has fond memories of family Thanksgivings in South Dakota. “My dad’s side of the family was large, so there were lots of us around the table. We’d spend the day playing sports…tackle football,...More >

Why I Attend The Annual Benefit

Lauren first attended the Breakthrough’s Annual Benefit last year, when she was invited by a friend from her church who hosted a table. She was not yet a Breakthrough volunteer, but she was looking to connect with...More >

Breakthrough Bots Build For Success

Technology comes to life every week for a team of students at Breakthrough Urban Ministries. For the past 18 months, a small group of youth have received hands-on experience by planning...More >

Get Involved! — Oct 2010

Upcoming Events

Prayer Gathering, Thursday, November 4, 6-7pm**: This gathering will focus on the Street Outreach Ministry.

Simple Compassion event with Author Keri Wyatt Kent, Friday, October 30, 9am-3pm: Is God stirring your soul, asking you to connect your faith with action? How can your...More >

Students Make Big Academic Gains

The school year has begun for students in East Garfield Park, and Breakthrough Urban Ministries is excited to announce some important...More >

Fertile Ground Can Produce Opportunities

Summer is gone, but for anyone who is fortunate enough to have access to a farmer’s market – or a small garden of their own – this is prime time for enjoying fresh local vegetables. Now, guests and community members can experience the...More >

Upcoming Volunteer Engage events

Thursday, October 7th, 6-7pm**: Prayer gathering, focusing on the Fresh Market
(**Prayer gatherings will always occur the first Thursday of the month, from 6-7pm, at the Breakthrough Ministry Center.)

Friday, October 22nd, 6:00pm: Arise and Shine! Breakthrough...More >


Get The Invisible

Discover what you can do to find and serve the ‘least of these’. Get the newly released paperback, The Invisible, by Arloa Sutter.

Through her own...More >


Get Involved! — Aug 2010

Volunteer Engage

The Volunteer Engage initiative helps volunteers and friends of Breakthrough move in the direction of becoming more effective ministry partners. It consists of opportunities for volunteers to learn more about urban ministry and the major issues facing urban America, to fellowship and share best-practices with other...More >


BUILD – A Chance to
Learn & Explore

The fall BUILD program at Breakthrough Urban Ministries begins Thursday, September 16. Mike...More >

Connections Make The Difference

Leo’s success is proof of the power of networking. It also helps that he’s willing to be flexible. “I’ll do general labor, construction…you name it,” says Leo. “Not everyone wants to work for $6 or $7 an hour, but I will. In the long run, it adds up, and sometimes those are the jobs that help pay the...More >


A Legacy of Faith

Even though her two children are grown, Valerie wants to leave a legacy to them which demonstrates the power of God’s compassion and grace in her life. “I’ve made a lot of bad choices, and...More >

Ending Hunger, Restoring Dignity

Nobody understands the shame that can be associated with a “handout” better than some of Breakthrough’s Fresh Market volunteers. “All of the Three Crosses of Calvary volunteers have experienced poverty or hunger either directly or...More >


Park Community Church

Manna Ministry Volunteers provide warm and nutritious meals for Breakthrough’s adult guests. But as Benson, a Manna Ministry volunteer, can attest, there’s more to meal service than good food. Most of the time,...More >


Following God’s Call To Be Transformed

Roz obeyed when she felt God tug on her heart one day, and she hasn’t been quite the same since. Listening to Moody Bible’s radio station, she heard...More >

Food Program Is Life Giving – For All

Volunteering with Breakthrough’s Fresh Market has forever changed Ellen’s life. Ellen, a senior at Wheaton College, has been a volunteer with the program since its Grand Opening last year. She and other volunteers perform operational tasks that make the dynamic...More >


Life Lessons Through Sports

Matt is a volunteer coach with Breakthrough’s youth sports leagues. Once a week during football and basketball seasons, he helps his team prepare for and play a game. More...More >

Teaching Skills through Robotics

Bob Woodley is a pretty tech-savvy guy. “Believe it or not, I first learned about Breakthrough by following Arloa Sutter on Twitter!” After a bit of dialogue with some of Breakthrough’s staff, Bob knew exactly where he could use his skills: working with the Breakthrough youth to...More >

Ryan, Baseball Coach and Mentor

This is the third installment of our focus on Breakthrough’s Network Model.

Volunteering as a coach for Breakthrough’s Youth and Family Services Program has forever altered...More >


Lamar’s Network

This is the second installment of our focus on Breakthrough’s Network Model. For the first article, an...More >


Freeing Sandra

At 40, Sandra continues her lifelong struggle to be on her own – but safe in God’s care. It is a conflict that began even before she was born. Just as God knows people and...More >


Experience Is Sweet Success For Students

Every time people buy snacks or drinks from a vending machine at Breakthrough, they support a piece of hands-on education for a group of older students...More >


Community Groups Help Eliminate Isolation

One major goal for Breakthrough.s guests is to move from transitional housing into permanent housing. In other words, they want to move out of Breakthrough.s Dwelling Place.

But while getting out on their own again is something that they look...More >

Volunteer Trades In His Blackberry

Like so many others, Aram has felt the pressure of unemployment. “It felt like a circus of producing resumes, sitting through interviews and waiting…lots of waiting,” says Aram. Finally, his stress hit an apex. “I was given a verbal offer by a very well-known company, but after a...More >


Breakthrough COO Inducted Into Leadership Greater Chicago

Bill Curry, Chief Operating Officer of Breakthrough Urban Ministries, was recently accepted into the 2010 Class of Leadership Greater Chicago. The organization, formed in 1983, brings together a diverse segment of Chicago area leaders from...More >


Home Court Brings Community Together

On Friday nights this summer, the play lot at St. Louis and Carroll in East Garfield Park is being transformed. Like too many open spaces in Chicago.s tougher neighborhoods, the lot has a reputation of not being...More >


Making Employment Connections Work

Growing up in some of Chicago.s toughest neighborhoods, Purnell could easily have gotten involved in gangs. In fact, the young man made a few bad choices a few years ago. .I got sidetracked around my junior year in high school,. he says. In the end, though,...More >

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