If you are a youth in crisis, please call: 877-870-2663

We inspire YOUNG PEOPLE to create a JUST FUTURE through practices that heal individuals, restore communities, and transform systems.

Behavioral Health

Learn more about our services supporting youth in their individual healing, and supporting schools to develop supportive and trauma-informed systems.

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Restorative Justice

Learn more about Alternatives’ Restorative Justice programs providing youth training and leadership development and capacity-building to support schools and organization in developing a more restorative culture.

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Learn more about Alternatives’ Policy and Advocacy work supporting campaigns that do more to transform systems and usher in a future where youth are free. 

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Our Core Values


We are an anti-racist, anti-oppression organization. We believe in equity for all people in all social identities and circumstances. For us, this means rejecting methods and practices that originate from, promote, or uphold harmful and unfair systems and embrace those that are culturally responsive.


We believe in liberation and freedom for all people. Our work transforming institutions and systems that harm the communities we serve is as important as direct service with our young people. We speak up for the systemic changes young people need in order to thrive.


We are part of a complex ecosystem of youth-centered service providers, doing our best to ensure the best future for young people. We know the value of unified voice and collective action. We are partners in the work of equity, justice, and liberation. We value the perspectives and contributions of every voice in our organizational decision-making.


As people, we are creative and innovative. As an organization, we are nimble, responsive, and adaptable. We know that change is constant and we move swiftly to address challenges and embrace opportunities.


Our decisions and actions honor humans first, are rooted in evidence, and center the best interests of our young people. We are honest about what we know and what we don’t know. We are open with our successes and our challenges. As humans, we won’t always get it right, but we acknowledge when our impact does not align with our intentions and support each other to strive for better every day.

young people served in FY22


reported increase in their problem solving skills


increase in the number of young people served in Chicago

CPS staff trained in principles of Restorative Justice

Summer Programming

Alternatives provides various summer programs such as Chicagobility, Restorative Justice Institute, and Seeking Success. These summer programs provide a unique and valuable opportunity to gain practical skills and knowledge that will benefit participants in their future endeavors.

Participants can enhance their resumes, build their communication and problem-solving skills, make new friends, and have fun all while earning a stipend paycheck.  Additionally, these programs are designed to promote personal growth and social responsibility, empowering and inspiring young people to create a just future through practices that heal individuals, restore communities, and transform systems.


Anti-racism resources

Anti-racism resources

View our collection of resources, including articles, books, podcasts, and more that can help you in your personal growth and development in the understanding of anti-racism, allyship, and advocacy

Alternatives’ Podcast

Broken Office Chair is a new podcast produced by Alternatives’ Executive Director, Bessie Alcantara.

In each episode, Bessie will be joined by friends and colleagues, who are ready to talk frankly about topics ranging from challenges for women of color in nonprofit leadership to multicultural marketing and empowering people of color in the workforce.


When a community invests in its young people, the outcomes can be powerful. Please consider making a gift to help Alternatives continue providing these important services to young people in Chicago.

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