True Impact: Inside Chicago Lights  |  Virtual Chats

Response to COVID-19

2021 Summer Programming Updates

Social Service Center

– In-person, essential programming for adults continues on Tuesdays through Fridays with safe curbside services providing clothing, hygiene items, snacks, inclement weather gear, and Food Pantry pickup. In addition, virtual case management continues with existing guests to provide resources and on-going support in obtaining identification, employment, stable housing, and more.

– Gently used and new clothing donations are being accepted. Donors can order from any online retailer and have it shipped to ATTN: Chicago Lights Social Service Center, 126 E. Chestnut St., Chicago, IL 60611. Please see the current wish list here.

– Good Neighbors Street Outreach re-launched services, with volunteers and staff providing snack items, hygiene kits, and other resources to individuals in the Near North neighborhood. Learn more about volunteering with Street Outreach here.

Urban Farm

– In-person farm work continues each day with staff and limited volunteers on site to water, plant, harvest, and donate produce. 

– Educational, enrichment, and job training opportunities for high school students and children are being held on site through Farm Corps and Farm Camp.

– Access to fresh, local produce is available through community gardening, the Farmstand, the Market Voucher Program, and partnerships with the Near North Health Service Corporation and a local health clinic.

– Limited individual and group volunteer opportunities are available on site on Wednesday afternoons. Learn more about volunteering at the Urban Farm here

Tutoring and Summer Day

– Summer Day is engaging students virtually in language arts and math on Tuesdays and Thursdays in July, with in-person enrichment activities on Wednesdays at the Chicago Lights Urban Farm.

– Career Development internships for high school students continue this summer through partnerships with local companies and organizations. High school interns also attend weekly virtual classes with guest speakers sharing information on career exploration, planning, and more.

– Rising ninth graders are participating in a Ninth-Grade Readiness Class in July to prepare for their high school experience.

– High school scholarship students continue to meet virtually each month for additional academic and leadership development. 

Dance Academy

– The four-week Summer Dance Intensive is hybrid this July, with students in grades 1-12 participating in in-person and virtual classes in the styles of ballet, jazz, musical theater, tap, and hip hop.

Each day of programming has builtin connection time with accompanying activity packets for dancers, teaching artists, and support staff to develop friendship and build community with each other. 

Safety Precautions For In-Person Programming

– Staff are adhering to and closely monitoring the guidelines still in place for working safely with youth from the Center for Disease Control, the Chicago Department of Health, and Chicago Public Schools. 

 – All staff members, volunteers, and participants are required to wear masks and maintain six feet of social distance at all times when on site. Regular handwashing is required, and hand sanitizer is readily available for use. 

 – Regular sanitization of tables, supplies, and doors occurs during programming.