Breakthrough demonstrates the compassion of Christ by partnering with those affected by poverty to build connections, develop skills and open doors of opportunity.
In Chicago’s East Garfield Park, where disinvestment has left the neighborhood devoid of opportunity and full of broken dreams, Breakthrough is restoring the broken networks of youth and families and empowering adults in the community to achieve self-sufficiency and break the cycle of poverty.
Breakthrough began in 1992 on Chicago’s north side as a drop-in shelter for homeless adults. What began as a few church members serving daily lunch in a small storefront room has blossomed into a thriving organization that now provides neighborhood-based holistic services that empower individuals, families and urban communities to overcome poverty, addiction and isolation.
Today, Breakthrough operates two homeless shelters on Chicago’s west side, one for homeless men and one for homeless women. Together, the two shelters serve nearly 1,000 homeless adults each year, provide 24,000 nights of shelter, serve over 70,000 meals, distribute 10,000 bags of groceries to low-income families in the neighborhood, and offer employment training, on-site health care, and addictions counseling to hundreds of homeless individuals each year.
Breakthrough also partners with families to surround young people with role models and a caring environment encompassing the whole age range from toddlers to teenagers. Breakthrough offers an after school program that provides academic enrichment, as well as a sports and fitness program that engages young athletes in year-round sports leagues while teaching sportsmanship, leadership, healthy lifestyles and spiritual development.