At Metropolitan, we value growth, especially intentional growth. 2018 has been a year of new and extended opportunities.

That began with several new leaders who have joined our ranks and are making waves for families across Chicagoland and DuPage County, forging new and extending existing partnerships with nonprofits, businesses and government entities, all with the goal of increasing opportunities for families.

Our Legal Aid Society is building on its pioneering legacy by renaming and reshaping its focus areas to better serve clients. Changes include extending services to DuPage County and partnering with the State’s Attorney’s Office to launch the Safe Families program. The Safe Families program bridges a critical gap between criminal and civil courts, working to obtain more comprehensive orders of protection for victims of domestic violence who share children with their abuser.

Empowering families includes empowering their health. We now provide behavioral health services at all of our Centers, building on expertise cultivated at our Southwest, Southeast Chicago and DuPage Centers. We also are among the owners and providers of the Behavioral Health Consortium of Illinois (BHC), an innovative collaborative increasing access to mental health and substance abuse services for Medicaid, Medicare and commercial insurance recipients.

Empowering families includes empowering their health.

Speaking of health, trauma’s impact, and Chicago’s need for peace, last year we introduced you to the anti-violence initiative Communities Partnering 4 Peace (CP4P), featuring the city’s leading street outreach/violence interruption organizations. This year CP4P celebrated the first graduates of the Metropolitan Peace Academy, which is professionalizing street outreach and creating a network of highly trained outreach workers. CP4P also held 814 Light in the Night community events this fiscal year, focused on helping residents reclaim safer community spaces.

We close with early learning, where we partnered with Bensenville School District 2 to open an early learning facility, providing services to 56 children. Looking ahead, we are excited about the coming year, as we anticipate launching the build−out of a new early learning center in Chicago’s Gage Park community.

With all sincerity, we thank you for your engagement and support! Together, we make “Mpowering” families possible.

Michael A. Vardas, Board Chair

Ric Estrada, President & CEO


Part mentor, part motivator, part advocate, since 1857 Metropolitan Family Services has been the engine of change that Mpowers families to reach their greatest potential and positively impact their communities.