Our goal is to create an enhanced ability to navigate the world by providing the necessary tools, skills and support needed for our participants to become a productive part of society.


What Time Is It?

The Safe Haven program is housed in the Office of Faith Based Initiatives of Chicago Public Schools and provides a “safe haven” for CPS students that is a reliable and no cost alternative place for students and parents during critical high violence periods in the city. The mission of Safe Haven to eradicate bullying and instill practices to combat youth violence and to engage students in workshops that focus on positive conflict resolutions, anger management, anti-bullying, and anti-violence.

Safe Haven is a partnership between CPS and the Faith Community. There are currently over 300 established partners. The program runs in 3 cycles: After school (November – May); Spring Break (March/April); Summer Break (July-August). The program serves over 12,000 students annually.


After School Matters Performing Arts and Music

The After School Matters Performing Arts & Music Production program is a class created to identify the gifts of each student and bring their talents to the forefront.

The course is developed to enhance artistic perception, creative expression, and aesthetic valuing. The goals are to increase the ability to connect and apply what is learned in drama to other art forms, subjects, and careers. These goals are achieved by teaching students theatre and musical terminology for the stage, acting, directing, music, vocals, recording, video, photography, and other technical aspects of production The students gain experience in reading scripts, performing improvisation  and monologues, in addition to, participating in scene plays and mock auditions.


Mayor Mentoring Initiative

The Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative is a program targeting 8th, 9th and 10th grades boys and young men across 22 communities in pre-identified Chicago Public elementary and high schools. This initiative is the cornerstone of the City’s public safety strategy to support young men who may be impacted by violence by connecting them to caring adults who can support their individual goals and strengthen peer, individual, community and school connections.

Through mentoring, DFSS hopes to affect the following positive outcomes for the boys and young men enrolled in this initiative over a three-year period. The Department will be working in collaboration with the University of Chicago Urban Labs to create reporting requirements and analyze data for outcomes focused on these three areas:

  • Support to achieve positive school outcomes
  • Lowering justice involvement
  • Linking to appropriate employment opportunities

Get In Chicago
Quantum Mentoring Program

A mentoring program designed to empower our youth between 16-24 yrs into becoming leaders of today by encouraging positive relationships with adults to make positive impacts. The desired outcomes of Get In Chicago are for participating youth to have better school attendance, academic performance, and social-emotional skills, so that they are also less likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors like drug/alcohol use or violence.

One Summer Chicago

Workforce Programs

SYEP Summer Youth Employment Program

The goal of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago program is to empower youth ages 14 to 24 during summer months with safe, meaningful work experiences.Through the program, youth gain valuable job training, career advising and real-world work experience while being connected to caring adults. The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) connects Chicago youth to summer employment opportunities throughout the city.

One Summer Chicago Plus

One Summer Chicago PLUS (OSC+) is a specialized violence prevention summer workforce program for high need youth ages 16-21. The goal of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer Chicago Plus (OSC+) program is to empower youth during summer months with safe, meaningful, work experience. Through the program, youth gain valuable job skills financial literacy and real-world work experience while being connected to caring adults, OSC+ provides youth subsidized wages for 20 hours a week.


The goal of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s One Summer CHicago Chicagobilty program is to provide youth ages 14-15 with project-based learning and activities focused on community contribution, beautification and sustainability and /or safety.  Through the program, youth gain valuable 21st century skills in career exploration and strengthen their community, build civic engagement and/or create safe communities through youth driven projects. The chicagobility program connects Chicago youth to projects and activities throughout the city.