Alternatives supports and empowers Chicago youth to build safer and more vibrant communities through a combination of restorative justice and behavioral health services. Alternatives is a comprehensive, multi-cultural youth development organization that operates as a support system for more than 3,000 of Chicago’s young people and their families each year.
Our mission is to inspire young people to create a just future through practices that heal individuals, restore communities, and transform systems. Alternatives’ programs and services use an asset-based model that focuses on enriching young people’s lives by building upon individual strengths within the context of their family and community. We provide comprehensive and accessible programs that increase young people’s opportunities to succeed and grow as individuals and community members.
Alternatives serves youth between the ages of 10 and 24 and their families citywide through various Chicago public schools, our youth centers in Uptown and Washington Park. Our participants reflect the city’s rich diversity: 55% identify as Black, 28% Latinx, 7% Multi-Racial, 6% Asian and 4% white, and they lived in 70 different Chicago communities – 48% on the south and west sides of the City.