What happens in childhood has a profound effect on the rest of life.

Chicago’s most vulnerable are children living in extreme poverty who face serious health issues.

Many of their families subsist on annual incomes of $5,000 or less, live in communities with high crime and unemployment, face housing insecurity and hunger, and often lack access to the support they need to treat their illness. Survival is at the heart of their daily lives, but it doesn’t need to be.

This is why Children’s Place Association exists.

We believe all children – regardless of health or economic status – should have the opportunity to lead their best lives.

For 25 years, Children’s Place Association has intervened at critical points in a child’s development by stabilizing the most vulnerable children and families, crafting personalized plans for their well-being, and providing comprehensive services that break the cycles of poverty and illness.

Opened in 1991 to serve children with HIV/AIDS, today Children’s Place helps kids and families confronting both serious health issues – such as cancer, epilepsy, autism and HIV – and extreme poverty.

Our comprehensive services are designed to maximize impact on a child’s future and empower them to become successful adults.


Who are Chicago’s most vulnerable?



impoverished communities struggling with high unemployment, housing insecurity & hunger

Extreme Poverty

many families subsist on annual incomes of $5,000 or less

Serious Health Issues

families often lack access to the support they need to treat illness

Kids & Families

our services are designed to maximize impact on a child’s future

Our History

Founding Phase


After two years of fundraising and construction, Children’s Place Association opens a 10-bed Residential Center providing 24-hour nursing care for children affected by HIV/AIDS, the first of its kind in the Midwest.

Growing the Model


The organization adds case management and respite services to help low-income families affected by HIV/AIDS.


Volunteers organize the first annual Once Upon a Time Gala.

1993 1stGala C Walter & E Minisian - Copy


Children’s Place launches a Foster/Adoptive Care program to provide care for children orphaned by AIDS.


The Auxiliary of Children’s Place Association is founded to provide a platform for volunteer involvement and financial support.


A summer day camp opens for children affected by HIV/AIDS, the only one its kind in Chicago.


On World AIDS Day, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services and the Chicago Dept. of Public Health present separate awards to Children’s Place, recognizing the organization’s work.


Children’s Place opens a second building to provide Early Learning with on-site nursing care for 57 preschoolers and Supportive Housing for three families facing homelessness.

Widening the Circle of Care


A Junior Board is created to encourage young professionals to take an active role in service projects and fundraising: Professional Partners of Children’s Place Association.


Children’s Place Association celebrates its 10th anniversary at the Once Upon a Time Gala, raising $520,000.

2000 Barry Manilow - Copy

Singer Barry Manilow performs at the 2000 Gala.


Children’s Place adapts and widens its focus to help children and families with other life-threatening health conditions.


Early Learning Center partners with Ounce of Prevention Fund to launch Head Start programming for pre-K children.


Children’s Place International launches. Begins work in Haiti in 2008, helping nearly 400 children in the first year.

2008 Haiti 3 boys - Copy


Through the lease of six additional apartments, Children’s Place expands its Supportive Housing program for families to nine units.


Children’s Place adds two new classrooms to its Early Learning Center, expanding daily capacity to 73 children; eligibility is also widened to serve children with other health conditions.

2010 ELC classroom


Children’s Place breaks ground on its third building, West Humboldt Place, to expand its housing and supportive services.

2014 HumboldtPlace_Ground Breaking


Takeda Pharmaceuticals grants Children’s Place International $305,000 to continue its work in Haiti.


Children’s Place opens West Humboldt Place, a 13-unit Supportive Housing apartment building with on-site social services.

2015 WestHumboldtPlace opens