Center for Changing Lives (Chicago, IL)


  • Name:Ellen Ray
  • Title:Executive Director

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Center for Changing Lives
  • Address:3051 W. Armitage Ave
    Chicago, IL 60647
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:773-342-1751
  • Main fax:773-342-1789

Organization Web

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • Center for Changing Lives (CCL), formerly Humboldt Park Social Services, is a little agency making a big impact. Since its founding in 1989 the organization has sought to transform lives and inspire neighbors to build a stable, supported, connected community. Successfully providing a range of innovative income and financial services that support households in achieving their vision for their life, CCL changes lives not just circumstances. CCL’s mission is to provide comprehensive support to serve, empower and advocate for community residents who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability so they may obtain and maintain permanent housing.

  • Overview:
  • Center for Changing Lives (CCL) brings high quality financial capability services to households currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The agency offers a mini-continuum of bundled services that include housing, financial and employment coaching coordinated and integrated with income support, capacity building and homelessness prevention services. CCL is at the forefront of utilizing coaching and financial capability services to prevent and end homelessness, particularly among the predominantly Latino population of Logan Square and the broader Northwest side of Chicago. CCL is also able to provide all of its core services in English and Spanish, ensuring access for local Latino families.

    CCL’s vision is to transform lives and inspire neighbors to build a stable, supported and connected community. Financial instability, including under- and unemployment, continues to be a leading reason why many of CCL’s clients are experiencing a housing crisis or homelessness. Additionally, given the prevalence of utilizing credit as a means of assessing community members for housing and employment, CCL’s efforts to address the financial capability of households at-risk of or experiencing homelessness are critical to the success of the city’s housing and homelessness prevention efforts.

    The acknowledgement that service integration, which bundles a complex set of services around a client who is experiencing a complex set of challenges, is critical to success has led to a set and structure of services that are intended to be relationship based, long-term and highly transformative. These partnerships ensure households move beyond crisis to stability, from immediate considerations to future ones. To build these highly transformative partnerships, CCL utilizes coaching, a client directed method that builds a mutually accountable, empowered, relationship, driven by action towards goals. CCL has spent the last seven years cultivating and developing a model that is qualitatively and quantitatively successful and results in increases in participants’ financial capability, income, housing stability and self-sufficiency.

    Since 2006, when it adopted the Center for Working Families (CWF) model, CCL has been intentionally integrating services to ensure that individuals and families in the community obtain sufficient income to meet their financial obligations and afford stable housing, keep their income through strategies to reduce expenses and fees, and grow their wealth through asset and credit building strategies. CCL is unique in that it is the only organization using the CWF model to serve households experiencing and at-risk of homelessness living in the community or in shelters. CCL measures the success of strategies employed through increases in net income, net worth and credit score and analyzes results on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis.

    In 2010, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the national network of organizations implementing the “Center for Working Families” model received funding through the Corporation for National Community Services’ “Social Innovation Fund,” a significant honor and testament to the success of the model in impacting the financial stability of individuals and families in Chicago communities. CCL competed for and was awarded those funds in 2011 and was renewed for the same funds in 2012 and 2013, based on outcomes achieved. CCL is a national leader on financial stability as a means to ending homelessness: Moving beyond financial literacy to financial capability, CCL’s services focus on empowering, equipping and encouraging households to embrace new financial behaviors, to aspire to lofty goals and to access mainstream housing and financial systems.

    CCL celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2014. Over its lengthy history, the agency has proven a strong capacity to adapt, evaluate efforts, meet stakeholder expectations and build and sustain programmatic capacity. During this critical capacity building year, CCL will culminate efforts to obtain a physical space that can accommodate activities that ensure engagement between our neighbors, donors, partners and participants and respond to community needs. Additionally in 2014, CCL will revisit its strategic planning to explore revenue generating strategies consistent with its mission and vision.

  • History:
  • CCL has been responding to the needs of individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness since 1989 when the congregation of Humboldt Park United Methodist Church began an outreach ministry to the homeless with a food pantry, clothing distribution and warming center. In 1990 this ministry was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit agency and a drop-in-center, second stage housing, and a representative payee program for SSI/SSD recipients were added.

    In 2001, CCL began transitioning to a more professional organization, distinct from the church in terms of staffing, organizational structure, and funding. In 2004, an organizational audit was conducted by an outside consultant who also facilitated a strategic planning process. After successfully implementing that strategic plan, in 2010 CCL completed a second strategic planning process with a focus on resource development, marketing and sustainability. As a result, CCL formally changed its name from Humboldt Park Social Services (HPSS) to Center for Changing Lives and has consolidated all of its services under one roof. CCL is in the process of relocation to a larger facility.

    In 2005, CCL converted its drop-in center to a community center where both clients of partner shelter and housing programs as well as neighborhood residents can come to receive comprehensive support essential to resolving and preventing episodes of homelessness. In 2006, CCL partnered with Logan Square Neighborhood Association to implement the Center for Working Families (CWF) model in Logan Square, making needed employment and financial services available. In 2009, CCL began expanding the employment and financial services offered and hired a job developer, increasing capacity to build employer relationships and improve placement rates.

    In 2011, 2012 and 2013, CCL was honored with $132,500 each year in Social Innovation Funds for Economic Opportunity Services. The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) is a federal program administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service that addresses major challenges confronting communities by supporting high-impact nonprofit organizations that are delivering proven solutions. Of the 47 original SIF grantees nationwide, CCL is the only organization targeting services to those who are experiencing or at risk of becoming homeless.

    Last year, 2013, proved a year of significant growth and change on the agency level. In an effort to consolidate and scale up its impactful and innovative service model, CCL formalized relationships with six partner Transitional Shelter (Interim Housing) programs throughout the City. Currently, CCL sends two full time staff members once a week to each shelter to provide employment coaching and job placement, and financial coaching. CCL’s services augment case management received from the shelter directly and allow CCL’s specialized staff and job developers to work on employment and financial goals often beyond the scope or skill of housing case management. As this model of partnership proves to be a successful way to move households in Interim programs from homelessness to housing, CCL will be able to scale up and increase its impact further, serving even more sheltered clients to increase their financial stability.

  • Year established:1989
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:13
  • Advisory board size:
  • Staff size:13


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:36-3731388

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:363731388
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:% ELLEN RAY
  • Organization Address:1955 N ST LOUIS UNIT 101
  • Organization City:CHICAGO
  • Organization State:IL
  • Organization Zip:60647-2049
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):2
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Educational Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:September, 1994
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):994, 560
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Described in section 170(b)1)(a)(vi) of the Code, Supplying money, goods or services to the poor
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:December, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:December
  • NTEE Code:L410
  • Asset Amount:$391,746
  • Asset Code:4 ($100,000 - $499,999)
  • Income Amount:$885,939
  • Income Code:5 ($500,000 - $999,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$877,763
  • Last Updated:2/19/2018 9:25:46 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.