In 1971, a concerned group of community organizers in Berwyn received state funds to create a three-year project known as the Youth In Crisis Project. That initial project provided crisis intervention for homeless youth, drug abuse counseling and support services for underserved teens in the west suburban area. Housed in a small office at MacNeal Hospital, the project proved successful enough that in 1974, organizers incorporated as an independent non-profit charitable organization known as West Suburban Youth Outreach, Inc.
In 1975, the name was changed to Youth In Crisis, Inc., and by 1978, the agency moved into its own facility in a residential Berwyn neighborhood. Over the next three decades, this agency continued to evolve and expand services that would reach more and more young people in trouble with police, involved with gangs, or experiencing problems at home, in school, or in the community. Over the next three decades, services were expanded to help teens involved with the police, street-gangs, and school truancy.
In 2007, the agency changed its name to Youth Crossroads, Inc. to better reflect the evolution of services towards prevention of problems rather than only reacting to problems that had reached crisis stage. In 2008, the Youth Leadership Program was formed focusing on local teens and soon after, in 2009, the Community School Initiative and After-School Programs for middle school students was born. Our current teen leadership program and youth volunteer service projects, after-school enrichment programs, and school-based counseling services now compliment the long-standing counseling and crisis intervention services YC has been providing over the past 47 years.
Since its creation, Youth Crossroads has served tens of thousands of youth and their families from Berwyn, Cicero, Stickney, and neighboring towns. We’ve partnered with more than 100 community organizations to create a network of referral sources to address the complex issues confronting youth and families. Today Youth Crossroads offers community youth, generally ages 10-17, opportunities to heal, grow, lead, and thrive.