Click a Year or Title for more information
- Agency Opens
Agency opens as “Office of Ombudsman for Park Ridge,” a nonprofit founded by Dorothea J. Heinrich, a Park Ridge resident, along with 4 women friends; made possible by a funding “seed” grant from Suburban Area Agency on Aging in addition to individual donations. Agency is all volunteer-driven.
Initial services include: information and referral, telephone reassurance and friendly visiting to seniors and homebound residents. First Bylaws state, the purposes of this organization are to serve as an independent, unbiased and effective sounding board for local residents who have problems or concerns; to act as liaison between such residents and other individuals or local agencies, including city government; to bring pressure to bear upon individuals and/or agencies when necessary to effect suitable action; to help develop public confidence in local agencies and in city government; and, through the foregoing, to make Park Ridge a better place to live.
- First Board Elected
First Board Election held November 10th at Centennial Park in Park Ridge. Initially there were 39 members with voting rights
- Legal Counseling added
1980Free legal advice for seniors living in Park Ridge begins. Soon after, Legal Counseling becomes an official program with pro bono services provided by a local attorney.
- Salvation Army unit
1982Agency becomes a Salvation Army Service Unit providing food vouchers, rent and utility assistance to needy households.
- Housing Program added
1982Housing counseling and referral program begins, including Home Sharing (matching homeowners seeking extra income with home seekers needing affordable housing)
- More counseling services
1982Variety of free counseling services offered thanks to generosity of area professionals volunteering their time and resources to help clients. Counseling services include Medicare, financial and budgeting, income tax preparation, employment for seniors, community outreach, secretarial services for seniors, blood pressure testing, special meetings and classes. A driver’s refresher course is offered.
- Name changed to Center of Concern
1982Agency name legally changes to the Center of Concern
- Joins United Way
1983Center becomes a United Way Affiliate, funded by Park Ridge and Des Plaines United Way
- Center relocates
Center relocates to its present address of 1580 N Northwest Highway, Suite 310, Park Ridge, IL
- New Funding Sources
1987Center receives First Funding Award from Maine Township followed by Support from the Cities of Des Plaines and Park Ridge.
- Founder Retires
1993Dee Heinrich retires. Mary Schurder is named the second Director of the Center.
- Auxiliary Group formed
Fundraising Auxiliary is formed to organize special events in support of the Center
- New Services added
1994New paid staff position for Geriatric and Personal Counselor, Peggy Gray, LCPC, hired to provide professional counseling to clients augmenting pro bono counseling by professional volunteers.
- Home Town award
1997Center of Concern receives 1st Place in Governor’s Home Town Award for senior involvement and volunteerism.
- IDHS Funding
2000Center begins receiving Homelessness Prevention funding from Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to assist households facing eviction.
- Transitional Housing Program added
2001Center begins Transitional Housing Program funded by US Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Project stars with 4 scattered site apartments to help homeless clients to find their way back to financial independence; now there are 8 apartments.
- First Web Site
First Web Site
- Auxiliary Fundraising
2008Local Women’s Auxiliary commits their fundraising efforts entirely to support the Center.
- New Executive director
Mary Schurder retires after 18 years as Executive Director and 10 prior years on the Board of Directors. John McNabola begins on July 1st as the Center’s new Executive Director.
- Service Award
2011Center receives Service Award from Maine Township in the fall
- 35th Anniversary
2013Center of Concern celebrates 35th Anniversary as an independent not-for-profit community service agency.