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StandUp For Kids -

StandUp For Kids - Chicago

Local Contacts

Chairman of the Board
Felice Schlessinger

Executive Director
Abbey Cross

Director of Training
Sandra Brudent

Northshore Fundraising
Abbey Cross

Mitzvah Coordinator
Joey Morelli

Lorene Caravello

Katarzyna Lepicka

Some Things Overheard on the Street: 
"Last week was the biggest breakthroughs we had and it took us 2 months to get past the friends stage to the "I can tell you some things that you might not want to hear" and then hold them a little more responsible stage.  It is hard to leave the kids every week. I always tell myself maybe that they will be in home next week or maybe in school when I see them next." -Street Outreach Counselor

"What have I learned? These kids just want someone to listen no matter if what they are telling you is true or not. They are craving someone to take an interest, to ask, to see, to look them dead in the eyes, offer a smile and take their hand. They need food and provisions ... I loved the street outreach and I can't wait to go back on Thursday and ask Cassie if she did in-fact register for classes..." - Marci, Street Outreach Counselor

"I have to admit...I wasn't sure our kids would actually want to carve the pumpkins at our last event for them.  But it was so great to see how some of them actually got into it!  Mostly, it was great to see them all enjoying themselves, just being kids, eating pizza in a safe and supportive environment."  - Tom, Executive Director

"At our pumpkin carving event we saw over 50 kids. I am really happy we not only saw many of the kids we have built relationships with, but also met new kids and their friends.  It was amazing" - Devin, Street Outreach Counselor

"Tom thanks for supporting us and coming out every week and for letting us do our own thing. You are so good at identifying the needs of the kids AND our needs as counselors and team members!" - Eric, Street Outreach Counselor


DM 2010
Northwestern Dance Marathon Students Offer Reflections on StandUp For Kids

"After working organizationally with StandUp For Kids for the last five months, my Dancer Relations co-chair, Aaron Jacobowitz and I could not have been happier to finally complete training and start street outreach in Chicago. We definitely got to jump in head first by attending a pizza party and pumpkin-carving event that the Chicago chapter organized for the kids. The environment at the "Piehole," the restaurant host of the event, was loud, packed and more fun than either of us had hoped to get out of any Halloween party of the season!

I personally had been a little bit anxious before finally getting out there, because I felt, regardless of how much training I had, what could I really offer to these kids who had already been through so much? But sure enough, from the moment we arrived, we spent the evening in conversation-from topics like apartment placement to how gross the guts of a pumpkin feel as you scoop it out to carve it.

On ride home on the El, we spoke about nothing other than how proud we are that DM has gotten involved with StandUp For Kids this year, and how we couldn't wait to get to know the kids and the other StandUp For Kids volunteers better in the coming weeks."

Elizabeth Green
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, '10
Dancer Relations Co-chair, Dance Marathon, '10

If you’d like to make a contribution to help us start a program here, please click on the donate button at the top of this page.

Upcoming Events

Weekly Events


Outreach Center 6:30pm to 9:00pm
Street Outreach 7:00pm to 8:00pm


Outreach Center 6:30pm to 9:00pm
Street Outreach 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Help end the cycle of youth homelessness in Chicago! DonateNow

Chicago Math and Science Academy (CMSA) is a college prep charter school located on 7212 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60626.

It's Concert band has won numerous medals in music competitions both as a band and as individuals. The band has featured in performances at various schools and theatre. They have made it a tradition to unanimously vote on a cause to donate all of the proceeds to. This year, the cause is ending youth homelessness.

As such, proceeds from the CMSA Spring Concert being held on May 4, 2017 will be going to StandUp For Kids - Chicago! The band consists of young, passionate, and extremely talented youths who are enthusiastic about partnering with StandUp For Kids - Chicago in an effort to end youth homelessness.

LeAnn Rimes video "Give" featuring some of the homeless and street you that we work with on street outreach.

Words from Abbey Cross, ED for Chicago:

The work we are doing is just so important. There are over 15,000 homeless youth on the streets of Chicago and only about 100 beds available to them in the youth shelters where they feel safe. The craziest part is that it is almost like an invisible problem. Most Chicago residents don’t even know that this is happening in the very streets.

Most times the kids we meet tell us that they are choosing the streets over home because it is a safer, better alternative. It is hard to even imagine how awful home must have been for them to make such a choice.

These kids have never had a safe adult to guide them and support them. That’s what StandUp is there for. We do our absolute best to support and love these kids regardless of their situation. We don’t judge! It is amazing how far these kids will go with a little help and love from safe, non-judgmental guidance from a caring adult. If we can even empower one Chicago youth to get an education or housing then I’m happy! That’s what its all about...empowering these youth to break the cycle of homelessness.


Contact the chapter to see how you can help

Email us to find out how you can join our all volunteer program helping homeless kids improve their lives