Youth Summer Camp 2012 Summer Youth Camp YouthMural2

I found my voice”

Youth Development Services provides neighborhood youth, between the ages of 6-18, opportunities to develop leadership skills and achieve their academic goals through dynamic, evidence-based after school and summer enrichment programs.



“Education is not a problem,” President Lyndon B. Johnson said 50 years ago. “Education is an opportunity” Head Start has opened that window of opportunity for the nation’s most at-risk children and families since Johnson signed legislation creating the program. From August 2014 through June 2015, the HACC Head Start community – and the nation –  will celebrate our shared commitment to giving our communities’ most vulnerable children a window of opportunity unlike any other. Please visit HACC’s Early Childhood and Home Visiting Programs site to learn more about our Head Start and Early Head Start Program.

Adult Ed Tutors_SHP0327EMPCtr

I found opportunity”

The Adult Education Department & Employment Resource Center offers ESL, ABE, GED and employment training and job training for adults and re-entry populations.

Dental ChildrenFood Pantry Volunteers 2013 #6Swarwoski Volunteer Pic 2

I found my smile”

The Health and Human Services Department offers programs aimed at strengthening families and promoting healthy lifestyles. Each year over 4000 families receive vital services including case management, counseling, dental services, HIV education, testing services and medical case management,domestic violence support groups, and crisis intervention.

Programs & Services

The faces of Howard Area Community Center are as vital and varied as the community we serve. We are continually evolving programs and services in response to the ever-changing needs of family, friends and neighbors here at home. From the birth of a baby to the passing of an elder, HACC assists individuals and families in the tradition of helping people help themselves. Be it immediate help in these economically challenging times, support during a crisis, a chance to connect, compassionate guidance for an ongoing problem or the opportunity to help another human being, HACC is here for you.

blue holiday ribbon

It’s Holiday Sharing Time!

For over forty years, Howard Area Community Center has, through the help of volunteers and philanthropists, provided holiday baskets to needy families in Rogers Park through our Holiday Sharing Program. The Holiday Sharing Program brings local churches, schools, and other community volunteers together once a year to collect gifts and items that make the holidays perfect for families in Rogers Park struggling with poverty.

Since the early 1970s, the Holiday Sharing Program has brought warm clothes, basic necessities, and holiday gifts to Rogers Park children and their caregivers. This year, with your help, we will continue to fulfill HACC children’s wishes by distributing gifts and holiday meals during the month of December. For many families, the holiday basket that they receive from Howard Area Community Center is the only holiday cheer they will get. With 98% of our participants in poverty, holiday gifts help warm the season and send a profound message of hope.

How Does It Work?  

HACC families contact HACC with their children’s holiday wishes and our dedicated team of community volunteers and staff match those wish lists with volunteer Holiday Basket Makers who then purchase gifts and commodities. Families are often hesitant to ask for anything because most of them feeling that the meals our Food Pantry provides during the year are gift enough. Typically, HACC family wish lists contain requests for things like children’s gifts, warm clothing, toiletries, bedding, and household goods. The program’s impact continues to be incredibly uplifting for our clients. One of our clients living with HIV shared with us that: The baskets showed care and love, and had things like new toys for my children and blankets and quilts, which I wouldn’t have been able to purchase for my family. These treasures brought me to tears.

Over 1,000 HACC families have registered to receive holiday baskets this year and it is sure to be a memorable event for everyone involved!

Howard Area Community Center is so grateful for our generous and diverse holiday basket groups which include individuals and families who make HACC Holiday Baskets as part of their family’s holiday tradition, circles of friends who bring basket items to their annual holiday parties, church sponsors, service groups, and our generous corporate partners to name a few.

Should you wish to volunteer, host a non-perishable food drive, donate children’s gifts or contribute financially specifically towards the Holiday Sharing Program, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Donna Lagacy at (773) 262-6622 or

Thank you so very much for joining us in brightening the holidays of our families! Every little bit counts and that’s why this program is so important.

Holiday Sharing Program Opportunity
Brochure 2014

Holiday Sharing Opportunities

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AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.  AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Howard Area Community Center! Start your shopping now!


2013 HACC Annual Report

2013 HACC Early Childhood Supplement

HACC Donor Privacy Policy

Howard Area Community Center does not sell, trade or share a donor’s personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations. HACC will only share personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.




The Winning Team, The Spelling Binders -Myra Epping, Anita Daniel, Karen Werner and Howard Area Community Center Director of Development,  Margaret Wenzel


3rd Annual Adult Spelling Bee Guest Judges Christine Kenny (Executive Director of Literacy Works) and Becky DeForest (Howard Area Community Center ESL Teacher).   

On the night of Thursday October 23, 2014 vowels, consonants and some very big words were heard flying around the Peckish Pig in Evanston as Howard Area Community Center hosted its 3rd annual Spook-tacular Adult Spelling Bee benefiting family literacy and adult education programs in Chicago and suburban Cook County.

The sold-out annual event was attended by 125 Spectator Bees and Spelling Bee Team Members who enjoyed a fun, competitive atmosphere and an exclusive menu featuring themed drinks such as the “Spellbinder” craft cocktail. Nine teams from different North Shore and Chicago groups and companies (totaling 34 team members) competed for over two hours in order to bring home the coveted Best Speller Trophy.

After all of the teams fought hard, The Spell Binders team got the big win, with the word “chiaroscurist.” The event raised over $3,000 and all funds support low-income families and adult learners in Chicago and suburban Cook County. At Howard Area Community Center, every $500 covers tuition for one student for a whole year enrolled in an Adult Education program.

We couldn’t do this without all of our dedicated team members, Spectator Bees, guest judges, sponsoring businesses and community volunteers (said Director of  Development, Margaret Wenzel) who help make the night a funny and fun event. Since the event sold out hours before the competition started, we are already looking to expand to a bigger space next year and reach a wider audience in 2015.” Wenzel said.

For more information, please contact Howard Area Director of Development, Margaret Wenzel at (773) 262-6622 x244 or