Executive Director Report

Dear Friends of Chicago HOPES for Kids,

The past month has flown by as HOPES programs have gotten underway at shelters throughout Chicago.  We are excited to welcome our tenth shelter to our HOPES programming - the Primo-Western site. Primo Center has been an established partner with HOPES and we are now providing after-school programs at three of their sites:  Primo Homan in North Lawndale, Primo Sangamon in Englewood, and now, Primo Western in Ashburn.

As part of our expansion, we want to welcome new members to the HOPES team.  We have new site coordinators at several of our sites: Mark Hicks at Primo Western; Walden Putterman and Diamante Perry at our Ridgeland site; Zeel Kinkabawala and Tenzin Phagdol at SRHAC; and Toni Williamson at Primo-Englewood.

Our AmeriCorps program is entering its second year and new program and outreach members have come on board.  Skye Thomas, Melissa Whitehouse, and Alexandra Galván are our first full time AmeriCorps State members. Yolanda Matthews is a returning service member.  Denarius Stewart and Juliah Pious have joined our members at Primo-Western and Phillip Jones joins the program at Cornerstone and House of the Good Shepherd.  We appreciate their commitment to service, and especially their dedication to the children in our programs.

Additionally, Nila Bayvas has joined HOPES as our Financial Manager.  She will be handling HOPES accounts and taking over the management of the HOPES AmeriCorps members.  We are fortunate to have her become part of our administrative team.

HOPES has several initiatives this month including the Children’s Art Show where our families are invited to the Litercenter to view their children’s creations.  We also hope that you will support our Giving Tuesday event. It is through donations from all our supporters that we are able to help our students succeed.

As Thanksgiving and the holiday season begin, I want to take this opportunity to thank all members of the HOPES staff, our volunteers, our VISTA and AmeriCorps State members, and our shelter partners, staff, children and families.  We are thankful for each and every one of you who have made and are making HOPES a valuable part of the Chicago community. Through the giving of your time and talents to children and families who are experiencing homelessness, you are providing them with the support and resources necessary for a better future.


Patricia Rivera