In 1983, our founder, Ellen Kogstad, saw a need in her neighborhood — young moms lacking the support of their communities. From there, she took action, starting with the simple act of gathering and distributing diapers and formula from the trunk of her car.
Within five years, New Moms outgrew the small church where it began, incorporating and adding a housing service, creating the first housing program for young mothers in Chicago.
Four decades years later, New Moms has expanded to support young families throughout Chicagoland beyond Housing, including Job Training, and Family Support, and Academic Coaching programs. These programs are designed specifically for young moms, with their input and goals in mind.
Since New Moms’ inception in 1983, our innovation and efforts generated the following recognition and success:
Centralized our Executive Skills consulting work under The Hub @ New Moms! This formalized our training and consulting for peer organizations and others in our field so we can influence the national conversation around social services.
Began our Academic Coaching program – a three-year pilot program to increase degree persistence and attainment for young moms in Chicagoland. The City Colleges of Chicago was our primary academic partner. The results of this project will directly inform the fields of postsecondary persistence and workforce development and will be evaluated by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.
Launched our Parent Advisory Council. This group of eight program almuni share their expertise, perspectives, and recommendations with New Moms. Parent Advisors are committed to using their experience and wisdom as young moms to improve our programming for future families.
Began our training and consulting work with peer organizations and others in our field! Our Research, Learning, & Innovation Team trained practitioners from Illinois, Arizona, and Pennsylvania on the brain and behavioral science of Executive Skills. This work has the potential to impact families around the country and help them achieve their goals for economic mobility and family well-being!
The Family Support Chicago Team became a Parents as Teachers Blue Ribbon Affiliate! The Quality Endorsement and Improvement Process (QEIP) was a rigorous 18 months and required a full team effort.
Reimagined all our programs so they could remain open and at capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic incorporating new technologies and adjusted our traditional in-person model to maximize safety while maintaining the integrity of these services.
Won the 2020 Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence.
Designated as a West Side hub for free baby supplies as part of the city of Chicago’s COVID relief efforts and Mayor Lightfoot’s call to action. New Moms staff and volunteers distributed 8,112 diapers, 900 cans of formula, and over 80 containers of wipes to families.
Completed a nine-month Executive Skills Implementation Case Study in partnership with Global Learning Partners and The Annie E. Casey Foundation. The case study and supplemental practitioner toolkit and video describe New Moms’ successful Executive Skills Approach and its expansion within and beyond our Job Training program.
Selected as one of 12 ventures to participate in the early childhood accelerator Promise Venture Studio’s inaugural Promising Ventures Fellowship in partnership with the Harvard Center on the Developing Child. The 12-week fellowship advanced New Moms’ technology initiative to support coaching and goal tracking practices with young families.
Opened New Moms’ Oak Park building and Clare Place! Clare Place includes 18 apartments of permanent supportive housing for young families. On the other side of the building are offices, program meeting space, community education and event space, a playground, and a childcare facility.
Developed a Spiritual Formation Fellowship designed to deepen and expand access to spiritual resources for families experiencing poverty and homelessness. We hired our first fellow to assist with Spiritual Formation programming across our three locations: Austin, Oak Park, and Garfield Park.
Received a 2019 Renewal Award from The Atlantic and Allstate which is awarded to organizations finding creative solutions to the US’s most pressing problems.
In our 35th year, we broke ground on a new building in Oak Park.
Selected to participate in the Harvard Center on the Developing Child Frontiers Innovation Model Workshop in Eugene, OR, in partnership with The Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Acquired Oak Park agency Parenthesis Family Center. Parenthesis supported families in Oak Park, Forest Park, and River Forest for 37 years.
Invited by The Annie E. Casey Foundation to pilot Executive Skills-based services in our Job Training program. Read about the success of our Executive Skills pilot in this White Paper by MDRC.
Awarded a 5-year Social Innovation Fund contract through the social enterprise venture philanthropy, REDF, to join their nationwide portfolio of 22 high-performing employment social enterprises.
Added doula services to our programming, supporting pregnant youth.
Awarded a contract through the Chicago-Cook Workforce Partnership, to increase our Workforce Development program service capacity and access the acclaimed Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) support and training network.
Received the All Chicago Service Excellence Award in recognition of outstanding service to participants in our Transformation Center Housing Program.
Visited by members of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, who were interested in effective service models for adolescent parents experiencing homelessness.
Moved into the Transformation Center in the Austin neighborhood at 5317 W. Chicago Avenue — a brand-new facility with 30 studio and 10 one-bedroom apartments, offices, meeting spaces, a daycare facility, and a commercial kitchen.
Mayor Emanuel announces Chicago’s 2.0 Plan to End Homelessness at New Moms’ new facility, still under construction. For the first time, Youth Homelessness is announced as a priority for Chicago!
Began construction on a brand-new “green” facility, which nearly doubled our service capacity, bringing all programs under one roof, and adding a licensed daycare to our services.
Honored by the Chicago Police Department’s CAPS Program for our work in helping to keep Chicago safe.
Former Mayor Daley participated in groundbreaking ceremony for New Moms’ brand-new facility.
Academy of Professional Development recognized in Chicago’s Evaluation of its 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.
Awarded contract to hire Infant Mental Health Consultant, to train staff to enhance services around children with mental health concerns.
New Moms’ vision of a social enterprise became reality when social enterprise candle company, Bright Endeavors, became a core component of our Job Training program.
Selected for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, to pilot a Transitional Jobs demonstration project for pregnant and parenting youth.
Awarded $6.2 Million in Neighborhood Stabilization Funding toward construction of a new facility, which doubled capacity for both our supportive housing and non-residential programs.
Five participant Leadership Council Members were honored by the 14th District Police Commander and Alderman Colon (of the 35th Ward) for their volunteer work with a Domestic Violence Project.
Received an award from the IL Dept. of Human Services to expand our Supportive Housing Program and enhance our Workforce Development Program.
Opened Chicago’s first Bright Space. This play space in our supportive housing facility is part of a national initiative between Bright Horizons Foundation for Children and local homelessness service providers.
Featured in a manual/video package highlighting model human service programs in the U.S.
Selected by Crown Financial as a national pilot site for career aptitude assessment materials.
Chosen by the Ounce of Prevention Fund to create a pilot human service program for pregnant/parenting adolescents — our Academy of Professional Development.
Chosen as the shelter program model used by the Illinois Dept. of Child & Family Services.
Ellen Kogstad founded New Moms in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago.
New Moms (Chicago)
5317 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60651
New Moms (Western Suburbs)
206 Chicago Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302
New Moms strengthens families by partnering with young moms as they progress toward housing stability, economic mobility, and family well-being. We envision a future where every young family thrives.