Alternatives

Alternatives Established in 1971, Alternatives mission is to inspire young people to create a just future through practices that heal individuals, restore communities, and transform systems.

Alternatives, Inc. annually reaches 3,000 Chicago youth by providing programs and services that focus on leadership development, violence and substance abuse prevention, counseling and academic enrichment.

Operating as usual

Tonight, join us in celebrating Restorative Justice Week. We will be celebrating themes of love, joy, resilience, and gr...
11/22/2021

Tonight, join us in celebrating Restorative Justice Week. We will be celebrating themes of love, joy, resilience, and growth. We invite you to gather in circle virtually or in-person to share healing connection, love, and joy as well as reflect on and celebrate individual and collective resilience and growth.

To register, visit: alternativesyouth.org/rjweekcircle

ABOUT RJ WEEK
International Restorative Justice Week is an opportunity to reflect on the progress made in the restorative practice field in the last year, to look forward to what’s coming up in the future, and to celebrate the great restorative work going on around the country.

During International RJ Week, Alternatives is hosting a talking circle for the community to talk about love, joy, and resilience. Join us to sit in circle for community-building and conversation!

VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON CIRCLES
We have options for BOTH virtual and in-person circles.

If attending in person, we ask everyone attending to be either vaccinated or recently tested for COVID. While inside for the event, regardless of vaccine status, please contribute to keeping our community members safe by wearing masks and social distancing. Learn more about vaccination: https://alternativesyouth.org/advocacy/vaccine-resource-guide/

ACCESSIBILITY
The in-person space is wheelchair accessible.

Tonight, join us in celebrating Restorative Justice Week. We will be celebrating themes of love, joy, resilience, and growth. We invite you to gather in circle virtually or in-person to share healing connection, love, and joy as well as reflect on and celebrate individual and collective resilience and growth.

To register, visit: alternativesyouth.org/rjweekcircle

ABOUT RJ WEEK
International Restorative Justice Week is an opportunity to reflect on the progress made in the restorative practice field in the last year, to look forward to what’s coming up in the future, and to celebrate the great restorative work going on around the country.

During International RJ Week, Alternatives is hosting a talking circle for the community to talk about love, joy, and resilience. Join us to sit in circle for community-building and conversation!

VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON CIRCLES
We have options for BOTH virtual and in-person circles.

If attending in person, we ask everyone attending to be either vaccinated or recently tested for COVID. While inside for the event, regardless of vaccine status, please contribute to keeping our community members safe by wearing masks and social distancing. Learn more about vaccination: https://alternativesyouth.org/advocacy/vaccine-resource-guide/

ACCESSIBILITY
The in-person space is wheelchair accessible.

Join us for our Teen Library Group, Building Blocks of a Healthy Relationship: A virtual workshop for teens. The worksho...
11/19/2021

Join us for our Teen Library Group, Building Blocks of a Healthy Relationship: A virtual workshop for teens. The workshop will take place on Monday, November 22nd at 5:00 PM.

Learn some life-long strategies to successfully resolve conflict, overcome the negative impact of trauma, strengthen relationships and reduce violence.

This program was designed in partnership with Chicago Public Library. This programs was planned with CPL's Diversability Awareness Committee in celebration of diverse needs and abilities.

How to Attend

This event takes place on Zoom. Register at least 1 hour before the event.

https://alternativesyouth.org/library-group-nov

Only one registration per household is needed. You’ll receive an email with a link to the secure Zoom meeting about 24 hours before the meeting. By registering for this event, you agree to abide by the Library Use Guidelines.

This event uses a third-party website and may be hosted by an organization CPL has partnered with. We recommend you review the privacy policies of any third-party sites before providing them with any personal data. For more information, please see our Website Privacy Statement.

Accessibility

Automatic transcription is included in all CPL events using Zoom. Need live captioning for this event? Please call (312) 747-4072 or email [email protected]. Requests for live captioning must be made at least 14 business days before the event.

Join us for our Teen Library Group, Building Blocks of a Healthy Relationship: A virtual workshop for teens. The workshop will take place on Monday, November 22nd at 5:00 PM.

Learn some life-long strategies to successfully resolve conflict, overcome the negative impact of trauma, strengthen relationships and reduce violence.

This program was designed in partnership with Chicago Public Library. This programs was planned with CPL's Diversability Awareness Committee in celebration of diverse needs and abilities.

How to Attend

This event takes place on Zoom. Register at least 1 hour before the event.

https://alternativesyouth.org/library-group-nov

Only one registration per household is needed. You’ll receive an email with a link to the secure Zoom meeting about 24 hours before the meeting. By registering for this event, you agree to abide by the Library Use Guidelines.

This event uses a third-party website and may be hosted by an organization CPL has partnered with. We recommend you review the privacy policies of any third-party sites before providing them with any personal data. For more information, please see our Website Privacy Statement.

Accessibility

Automatic transcription is included in all CPL events using Zoom. Need live captioning for this event? Please call (312) 747-4072 or email [email protected]. Requests for live captioning must be made at least 14 business days before the event.

Are you a young person in Chicago? We want your opinion on how drug use prevention (alcohol, to***co, va**ng, etc.) is p...
11/18/2021
Alternatives, Inc. supports Youth Shaping Positive Change

Are you a young person in Chicago? We want your opinion on how drug use prevention (alcohol, to***co, va**ng, etc.) is presented to young people in the Chicago area.

All the information you provide is confidential. Information collected will be combined to improve how drug use prevention for someone your age is delivered at your local schools and communities.

Please share this with the young Chicagoans in your life.

To complete the survey, visit:
https://alternativesyouth.org/drug-prevention-survey

We are the support system that provides safe space for youth and their families to address root causes and discover positive alternatives.

Join Alternatives, Inc. during Chicago Restorative Justice Week on Monday, November 22 to celebrate themes of love, joy,...
11/18/2021

Join Alternatives, Inc. during Chicago Restorative Justice Week on Monday, November 22 to celebrate themes of love, joy, resilience, and growth. We invite you to gather in circle virtually or in-person to share healing connection, love, and joy as well as reflect on and celebrate individual and collective resilience and growth.

To register, visit: alternativesyouth.org/rjweekcircle

ABOUT RJ WEEK
International Restorative Justice Week is an opportunity to reflect on the progress made in the restorative practice field in the last year, to look forward to what’s coming up in the future, and to celebrate the great restorative work going on around the country.

During International RJ Week, Alternatives is hosting a talking circle for the community to talk about love, joy, and resilience. Join us to sit in circle for community-building and conversation!

VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON CIRCLES
We have options for BOTH virtual and in-person circles.

If attending in person, we ask everyone attending to be either vaccinated or recently tested for COVID. While inside for the event, regardless of vaccine status, please contribute to keeping our community members safe by wearing masks and social distancing. Learn more about vaccination: https://alternativesyouth.org/advocacy/vaccine-resource-guide/

ACCESSIBILITY
The in-person space is wheelchair accessible.

Join Alternatives, Inc. during Chicago Restorative Justice Week on Monday, November 22 to celebrate themes of love, joy, resilience, and growth. We invite you to gather in circle virtually or in-person to share healing connection, love, and joy as well as reflect on and celebrate individual and collective resilience and growth.

To register, visit: alternativesyouth.org/rjweekcircle

ABOUT RJ WEEK
International Restorative Justice Week is an opportunity to reflect on the progress made in the restorative practice field in the last year, to look forward to what’s coming up in the future, and to celebrate the great restorative work going on around the country.

During International RJ Week, Alternatives is hosting a talking circle for the community to talk about love, joy, and resilience. Join us to sit in circle for community-building and conversation!

VIRTUAL AND IN-PERSON CIRCLES
We have options for BOTH virtual and in-person circles.

If attending in person, we ask everyone attending to be either vaccinated or recently tested for COVID. While inside for the event, regardless of vaccine status, please contribute to keeping our community members safe by wearing masks and social distancing. Learn more about vaccination: https://alternativesyouth.org/advocacy/vaccine-resource-guide/

ACCESSIBILITY
The in-person space is wheelchair accessible.

What does safety and accountability look like to you? Does it involve cops and prisons? If you are a young adult dreamin...
11/01/2021

What does safety and accountability look like to you? Does it involve cops and prisons? If you are a young adult dreaming of a restorative Chicago this training series might be for you.

Full Circle is a Restorative Justice training series for young adults (17-24 years old) that is a prerequisite for becoming a Peace Ambassador. This training is a free professional development training. Our goal is to provide young people a grounded experience and understanding of Restorative Justice. By the end of this training, participants will have developed skills to identify and assess individual and group needs, using Restorative Justice skill-building practices. This training will be taking place on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 5 weeks, each session will be 90 minutes. The starting date is Tuesday November 16th.

To register, visit:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdpPwJX5RN13C8IFx4doc_g260Y3D377onQa4-Mu1-ak5EChw/viewform

What does safety and accountability look like to you? Does it involve cops and prisons? If you are a young adult dreaming of a restorative Chicago this training series might be for you.

Full Circle is a Restorative Justice training series for young adults (17-24 years old) that is a prerequisite for becoming a Peace Ambassador. This training is a free professional development training. Our goal is to provide young people a grounded experience and understanding of Restorative Justice. By the end of this training, participants will have developed skills to identify and assess individual and group needs, using Restorative Justice skill-building practices. This training will be taking place on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 5 weeks, each session will be 90 minutes. The starting date is Tuesday November 16th.

To register, visit:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdpPwJX5RN13C8IFx4doc_g260Y3D377onQa4-Mu1-ak5EChw/viewform

This Halloween, do your part in respecting your community members by avoiding cultural appropriation and other types of ...
10/31/2021

This Halloween, do your part in respecting your community members by avoiding cultural appropriation and other types of disrespectful costumes.

On behalf of Alternatives, have a safe, respectful, and spooky Halloween! 👻🎃

Since before the pandemic, the nationwide shortage of mental health practitioners was felt in Chicago and was projected ...
10/26/2021

Since before the pandemic, the nationwide shortage of mental health practitioners was felt in Chicago and was projected to have a far-reaching impact particularly amongst people of color. Unsurprisingly, this crisis has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Join us as we explore the reasons for the shortage and the impact it is likely to have on Chicago’s most vulnerable.

To register, visit:

https://alternativesyouth.org/panelregistration/

Since before the pandemic, the nationwide shortage of mental health practitioners was felt in Chicago and was projected to have a far-reaching impact particularly amongst people of color. Unsurprisingly, this crisis has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. Join us as we explore the reasons for the shortage and the impact it is likely to have on Chicago’s most vulnerable.

To register, visit:

https://alternativesyouth.org/panelregistration/

Welcome to Restorative Justice Wednesdays!Each week, we will be exploring different issue areas that Alternatives focuse...
10/13/2021

Welcome to Restorative Justice Wednesdays!

Each week, we will be exploring different issue areas that Alternatives focuses on within the realm of Restorative Justice.

Did you know that students of color are being suspended and expelled from our nation’s schools at an alarmingly high rate? More than 25 percent of Chicago Public School students have been suspended at least once in their school careers. Despite the frequency with which traditional discipline procedures are utilized, there is no clear evidence that they make schools safer or have any lasting positive effect on student behavior.

Clear and convincing evidence shows a critical need to change the way in which schools manage student discipline. Research shows that exclusionary practices, such as suspension and expulsion:

- Have long-term negative effect on student achievement

- Disproportionately impact students of color

- Are associated with lower test scores, decreased graduation rates, and increased incarceration rates later in life.

In response to chilling statistics on the rates at which students of color, particularly African-American boys, are being suspended and expelled from our nation’s schools, community groups and advocates have embraced restorative justice as a powerful solution.

Restorative Justice is grounded in the ancient idea that having people get a real sense of how they are connected and belong, addressing their needs, and building their skills can be more powerful and effective in creating a healthy and safe community than relying on fear of punishment and retribution could ever be.

Alternatives has been a leader in shaping restorative justice in schools since 1996, when our youth designed the first restorative peer jury in Chicago Public Schools. Since then, we have trained more than 15,000 CPS students and teachers in Restorative Justice and our programs have been shown to successfully reduce the use of harsh discipline methods that disproportionately impact students of color.

#restorativejustice #schooltoprisonpipeline #restorativejusticeinschools #chicagopublicschools #cps #RJinschools

Tomorrow, join our Executive Director, Bessie Alcantara, for a panel discussion presented by @abetterchicago . The topic...
10/13/2021

Tomorrow, join our Executive Director, Bessie Alcantara, for a panel discussion presented by @abetterchicago . The topic is "Mental Health Matters: Innovating to Serve the Whole Child." You can tune in on Youtube LIVE at 12:30 p.m. CT.

Tomorrow, join our Executive Director, Bessie Alcantara, for a panel discussion presented by A Better Chicago . The topi...
10/13/2021

Tomorrow, join our Executive Director, Bessie Alcantara, for a panel discussion presented by A Better Chicago . The topic is "Mental Health Matters: Innovating to Serve the Whole Child." You can tune in on Youtube LIVE at 12:30 p.m. CT.

Alternatives' very own Executive Director will be a panelist in A Better Chicago's upcoming conversation on Thursday, Oc...
10/10/2021

Alternatives' very own Executive Director will be a panelist in A Better Chicago's upcoming conversation on Thursday, October 14th. Link to register in bio.

Alternatives' very own Executive Director will be a panelist in A Better Chicago's upcoming conversation on Thursday, October 14th. Link to register in bio.

You won't want to miss this! Alternatives' very own Executive Director will be a panelist in A Better Chicago's upcoming...
10/10/2021

You won't want to miss this!
Alternatives' very own Executive Director will be a panelist in A Better Chicago's upcoming conversation on Thursday, October 14th. Free to register: http://ow.ly/QwbB50GoMCC

You won't want to miss this!
Alternatives' very own Executive Director will be a panelist in A Better Chicago's upcoming conversation on Thursday, October 14th. Free to register: http://ow.ly/QwbB50GoMCC

As the pandemic continues to change our daily lives, an increasing number of Chicagoans are in need of mental or behavio...
10/08/2021

As the pandemic continues to change our daily lives, an increasing number of Chicagoans are in need of mental or behavioral healthcare services. Unfortunately, the demand exceeds the resources available, leaving many people in our city unable to get the care that they need.

If you’re interested in learning more about this shortage, join us for a panel discussion to explore the shortage of mental health practitioners and what this means for Chicago's most vulnerable.

To register, visit:

https://alternativesyouth.org/panelregistration/

As the pandemic continues to change our daily lives, an increasing number of Chicagoans are in need of mental or behavioral healthcare services. Unfortunately, the demand exceeds the resources available, leaving many people in our city unable to get the care that they need.

If you’re interested in learning more about this shortage, join us for a panel discussion to explore the shortage of mental health practitioners and what this means for Chicago's most vulnerable.

To register, visit:

https://alternativesyouth.org/panelregistration/

Address

4730 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL
60640

General information

Please note that this page is not intended for crisis or emergency communications. In case of emergency, contact 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. For additional services of a time-sensitive nature, the following numbers may be of assistance: National Runaway Switchboard, 1-800-RUNAWAY National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-HOPE Chicago’s Emergency Shelter Services Hotline, 800-654-8595 Chicago’s Domestic Violence Help Line, 877-863-6338 To reach a staff member at Alternatives during regular business hours, please call 773-506-7474.

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 8pm
Tuesday 8am - 8pm
Wednesday 8am - 8pm
Thursday 8am - 8pm
Friday 8am - 6pm
Saturday 12pm - 4pm

Telephone

(773) 506-7474

Website

alternativesyouth.org/ https://linktr.ee/alternativesyouth

Alerts

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Alternatives, Inc. Youth Shaping Positive Change!

Alternatives, Inc. supports and empowers Chicago youth to build safer and more vibrant communities through a combination of youth development programs and behavioral health services. Alternatives is a comprehensive, multi-cultural youth development organization that operates as a support system for more than 4,000 of Chicago’s young people and their families each year.


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Teens, come learn some life-long strategies to successfully resolve conflict, overcome the negative impact of trauma, strengthen relationships and reduce violence. This program was designed in partnership with Chicago Public Library with guest presenters from Alternatives a nonprofit organization located dedicated to inspiring young people to create a just future through healing, restorative practices and community. Register by 4 p.m. on November 22nd at: https://chipublib.bibliocommons.com/events/617ffefcf67cb7430017d01b
Chicago faces a shortage of #mentalhealth professionals. What does this mean for our city's most vulnerable? Hear from Domonique McCord, Director of Behavioral Health Services for Metropolitan Peace Initiatives, on an Alternatives panel on Wednesday, November 3: https://alternativesyouth.org/panelregistration/
#ICYMI Mark Clements from the Chicago Torture Justice Center, Ana Mercado from Alternatives and Miracle Boyd from GoodKids MadCity joined BGA Investigative Reporter Sidnee King for a #BGACommunityForum on Black youth, carjacking and the Cook County juvenile justice system earlier this week. Catch up on the conversation: https://youtu.be/-jAk3pYkAO8
Did you miss the #BGACommunityForum on Monday? BGA Investigative Reporter Sidnee King was joined by Mark Clements from the Chicago Torture Justice Center, Ana Mercado from Alternatives and Miracle Boyd from GoodKids MadCity as they discussed the criminalization of Black youth and where the solutions are for Black youth involved in carjackings and other crimes considered violent. Catch up on the conversation on Youtube: https://youtu.be/-jAk3pYkAO8
Our youth left the hood last weekend for a camping adventure in the woods. For many, this was their first experience camping, boating, fishing, and roasting hot dogs over a fire. Special thanks to Alternatives and our elder, Shedrick Sanders, for making this weekend possible for our boys—they're already talking about what they'll bring for next time! #camping #pbmr #alternativesyouth #greatoutdoors #brotherhood
To commemorate 50 years, Alternatives will celebrate with a virtual 50th Anniversary Celebration on February 27th at 6pm. Join them to look back on 5 decades of change, and envision what the next 50 years might bring for Alternatives. Tickets are free! Please register at the link below: https://alternativesyouth.org/50years/
Imagine what's possible when youth and elders come together, grow in relationship, and share their wisdom. Meet Shedrick and Rondell: Shedrick was raised in what he calls “a small African village” on the South Side of Chicago. His passion is working with youth and bringing restorative practices into their education settings. He has traveled the world, and loves to share about his time spent in Ghana through the Peace Corps. Today, Shedrick still lives on the South Side with his family, and continues to create spaces of peace and hope for the youth of today through his work at Alternatives. Rondell is a core member of the PBMR family, as he’s been coming to the center for years, and participated in youth mentoring, apprenticeship in our social enterprises, and youth outings for years. Watch as he shares about his love for sports, physics, his friends, and especially his family, and his hopes for the future for himself and his neighborhood. Watch as our youth and elders come together this Black History Month for conversations about life in Chicago yesterday, today, and tomorrow. #blackhistorymonth #conversationswiththeelders #elders #youth #history #backoftheyards #chicago
Maybe you've seen the beautiful mosaic on the exterior of 4730 N. Sheridan Rd in Uptown which is the home of Alternatives. The mosaic was lovingly crafted in 2006. If you didn't know, Alternatives has been serving young people in Chicago since 1971 and in recognition of 5 decades of change, Alternatives would like to invite you to join them virtually on Saturday, February 27th at 6:00pm to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Registration is free so anyone can come to learn about alternatives to policing, punitive school policies, substance use, homelessness and more. Join them to envision what Chicago can look like in the next 50 years. Register here: https://alternativesyouth.org/50years/ The first image was taken by Peggy Stevenson @_street_heart 📸
One of the gratifying parts of my job is when I receive the letters of recommendation that my colleagues write for grant proposals. Thanks Down Wind Sports, Kaleidoscope, The Night Ministry, Alternatives, Inc., Lakeview Athletic Club Chicago, The Northwest Passage, The Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management... I have so many wonderful colleagues who have helped CAT become what it is today by lending your support. Thank you!
JOB ALERT! See open positions across Illinois from youth-serving providers, including Alternatives, Children's Home & Aid, Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois (LCFS), Nexus Family Healing (Indian Oaks), Spero Family Services & Youth Services Network: https://bit.ly/3g8oSBa #jobseekers #jobsearch #socialworker #IllinoisJobs
Today is International Overdose Awareness Day, a global event which aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have died or had a permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. THANK YOU to our resourceful and resilient partner agencies for your work to provide Substance Use Disorder Services (SUDS) and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), significantly decreasing the risk of overdose in our communities. Despite challenges due to COVID-19, our SUDS partner agencies continue to provide 90% of services they provided this time last year… and as an example of innovation in the time of COVID-19, the Women's Treatment Center launched a new Suboxone Outpatient Program, increasing patients' MAT choices for opioid use disorder. Thank you to: - A Safe Haven Foundation - Access Community Health Network - AMITA Health Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health - Alternatives - Association House of Chicago - Aunt Martha's - Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago - Cook County Health Foundation - Esperanza Health Centers - Haymarket Center - Healthcare Alternative Systems - Lawndale Christian Health Center - New Age Services Corporation - PCC Community Wellness Center - Polish American Association - St. Leonard's Ministries - Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare - The Women's Treatment Center We appreciate your work today and every day.
Probably one of the most honest and dedicated ladies I have ever known