Illinois Welcoming Center Fact Sheet - DHS 4032

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

State of Illinois
Department of Human Services

Illinois Welcoming Center

The State of Illinois Welcoming Center was created as a way to help you, a new American, become a part of our great state and have quick and effective access to the services we provide.


The Illinois Welcoming Center's (IWC) mission is to provide immigrant and refugee individuals and families with an array of services, information, programs, and classes to assist in their path towards successful integration to the state; therefore, creating self-sustaining and thriving communities.

The IWC is a comprehensive service center for the integration of immigrants and refugees in Illinois. IWC's innovative model eliminates systemic barriers that immigrants may have in approaching state services.

IWC changes the way state services are delivered, not focusing on a discrete set of programs available from different state agencies but rather providing a holistic model which is a true one-stop center where immigrants and refugees may access quality services from multiple state agencies and community providers in one location. IWC staff performs a comprehensive assessment, which in turn identifies the barriers the customer may have. This allows for the IWC staff to work with the customer in providing services to meet their needs. If a customer needs help with food, cash, medical assistance, adult or continuing education, mental health, or any other type of service, the IWC staff assists the customer in completion of application(s).

What is the Welcoming Center?

It is a unique model that offers many state, community, health, employment training and educational services in one location.

Do they speak my language?

The Welcoming Center staff is bilingual (English/Spanish) and has access to multilingual interpreters and translators.

Can my family benefit from these services?

Yes. There are services and programs that may benefit everyone in the family.

Do I need to live in North Riverside or Melrose Park?

No. No one will be denied access to services. However, North Riverside, Melrose Park and the surrounding areas are the target communities for the provision of direct services. If you live outside this area we will work with you to identify service providers in your area.

How is this different from the way services are provided now?

This is a true one-stop center where you may access quality services from many state agencies. The Welcoming Center staff has been specially trained to work with the immigrant and refugee community.

At the Welcoming Center

You will have DIRECT access to and information about health, social, educational, employment, rehabilitation and homeownership services, including:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • All Kids Health Insurance
  • FamilyCare
  • Unemployment Counseling
  • Small Business Center
  • Specialized Assessment for Rehabilitation Services

Workshops on:

  • Housing and Financial Literacy
  • Predatory Lending
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Mental Health Issues
  • Adolescent Development
  • Parenting Skills
  • Substance and Domestic Abuse

Direct referrals, assessment and enrollment:

  • Local Food Pantries
  • English Classes
  • Citizenship Classes
  • Legal Assistance
  • Aging Services
  • Developmental and Rehabilitation Services
  • Health Screenings
  • Energy Assistance
  • Small Business Center

For additional information call or visit the Illinois Welcoming Center at:

  • Chicago South West
    atino Organization of the South West (LOS)
    4051 West 63rd Street, Chicago
    Voice: 773-581-1900
    FAX: 773-581-1900
  • Chicago North West
    Family Focus - Nuestra Familia
    4145 West Armitage Avenue, Chicago
    Voice: 773-276-0940
    FAX: 773-276--0980
  • Melrose Park
    Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
    1115 N. 23rd Street, Melrose Park
    Voice: 708-345-3632
    FAX: 708-345-3951
  • North Riverside - Cicero Berwyn
    7222 West Cermak Road, Suite 501
    North Riverside
    Voice: 708--442-8640
    FAX: 708-442-8970
  • Aurora
    Family Focus
    550 Second Street, Aurora
    Voice: 630-844-2550
    FAX: 630-844-2569

Call each site for hours of operation.

For more information call or visit your local Illinois Department of Human Services office.

If you have questions about any Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) program, call or visit your local IDHS?office. We will answer your questions. If you do not know where your local IDHS?office is or if you are unable to go there, you may call the automated helpline 24 hours a day at:

1-800-843-6154 (Voice)

1-800-447-6404 (TTY)

You may speak to a representative between: 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday - Friday (except state holidays)

For answers to your questions, you may also write:

Illinois Department of Human Services
Bureau of Customer Support and Services
100 South Grand Avenue East
Springfield, Illinois 62762

Visit our web site at:

Programs, activities and employment opportunities in the Illinois Department of Human Services are open and accessible to any individual or group without regard to age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion. The department is an equal opportunity employer and practices affirmative action and reasonable accommodation programs.

DHS 4032 (R-03-13) Fact Sheet - Illinois Welcoming Center  Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois -0- Copies