In 1975, YSP programming responded to community volunteers’ concerns about the impact of drugs on the youth and the community.

Since then, YSP has expanded to meet the changing needs of the community through a continuum of programs that focuses on youth development, recreational opportunities and respecting the voices of our young people.  YSP has been able to help transform the lives of almost 1,000 young people annually.  Our core service areas are recreation, prevention, diversion, intervention, arts and culture, education, and community building.

The communities YSP serves are not limited to Humboldt Park, Hermosa, Logan Square, Belmont-Cragin, West Town and Austin.  We conduct youth development programs throughout the community and the schools therein.  The community is predominately Latino and African-American, 48% and 47% respectively.  In addition, 95% of YSP’s youth come from low-income homes. Compared with statistics for the city of Chicago as a whole, the community has a lower median family income and a higher unemployment rate.  Humboldt Park ranks among the communities with the lowest median incomes in Chicago. Census data also indicates a strikingly high unemployment rate of 19.1% in Humboldt Park.


We pride ourselves in programs that operate within a social justice framework, While celebrating the uniqueness of the individual, our programs cultivate social awareness using trauma informed and restorative practices.   Emphasis is placed upon sustaining a safe environment for youth to explore their personal narratives, unique talents and value as community members and global citizens.

  • Addiction Intervention Program: a harm-reduction program designed to help youth address issues related to triggers leading to social and legal problems stemming from drug and alcohol use/abuse. Participants: Ages 11-24 years old.
  • Crisis Intervention Program: a service for youth displaced from their homes due to family and legal crisis or conflicts, designed to stabilize, intervene, and enhance the family unit. Serve youth of all ages.
  • Clinical Services: supportive and culturally-responsive individual, family, and group counseling utilizing art, talk, and behavioral therapies to assist youth in enhancing their strengths. Participants: Ages 11-24 years old.
  • Youth Leadership Academy Program: an after school program for children and youth focusing on positive youth development through recreation, education, and community service. Participants: Ages 11-24 years old.
  • The Hub Program: Is an intensive model of outreach and support that works with justice involved youth ages 11-18 years old.  Our model works closely with families and communities providing creative, empowering, and culturally rich programming that incorporates
  • To The Moon STEAM arts program: To The Moon instructs learners on arts, media and technology practices through exciting and innovative lessons and activities.  Discovery, imagination and cultural appreciation are celebrated as pathways that inspire learners to acknowledge their unique artistic talents. Participants: Ages 5-18