December 18, 2023

The City Of Chicago Department Of Family And Support Services And Mayor Brandon Johnson Announces Opening Of Westside Community Reentry Support Center

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO – Today, the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) and Mayor Brandon Johnson announced the opening of Chicago’s fifth Community Reentry Support Center (CRSC), furthering the City of Chicago’s commitment to improving and providing residents returning from periods of incarceration the supports and services needed to successfully integrate into their communities, fostering paths toward a brighter future and reducing the likelihood of reoffending. 

“As part of our comprehensive community safety plan, reducing recidivism rates is a significant move towards creating an alternative vision of community safety while disrupting the cycle of incarceration,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “Providing pathways to returning residents is a critical step in supporting that plan, and supporting those who have progressed through the system and are facing enormous hurdles as they return to their communities.”  

The latest Center, operated by the Safer Foundation, is located in the North Lawndale neighborhood at 808 S. Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612. The reentry center will serve residents returning to Chicago’s West Side.  

“For more than 50 years, Safer Foundation has assisted Returning Residents with successful reentry, including securing private sector employment,” stated Victor B. DicksonPresident & CEO of Safer Foundation. “Safer Foundation is delighted to provide the newest City of Chicago Reentry Services Center at the Safer Foundation - Danny K. Davis - Second Chance Center. We share the City of Chicago’s commitment to provide holistic services to Returning Residents in a safe and welcoming environment.”  

The CRSCs are essential resource hubs aimed at providing returning individuals with a supportive and holistic environment for reintegration. The newest Center will serve as a safe space where individuals can access a range of services, including job training, counseling, education, and social support networks.  

“By fostering connections and partnerships between returning residents, community members, and service providers, the center will work towards breaking down barriers to ensure successful reentry and promote healing to help individuals chart the next phase of their lives,” said Brandie Knazze, Commissioner of the Department of Family and Support Services. “Our goal is to make sure individuals have the tools and resources they need to thrive.” 

The four additional Community Reentry Support Centers are operated by Teamwork Englewood, Centers for New Horizons, Howard Area Community Center, and Community Assistance Programs. Each Center offers employment assistance, education and training, mentoring and support groups, access to housing assistance, emergency housing and food assistance, substance use and mental health counseling and supports, strategies for presenting criminal backgrounds to employers, information on sealing or expunging criminal records, and family reunification and child support assistance.   

Mayor Johnson’s FY2024 budget allocates $5 million towards opening an Office of Re-Entry within the Mayor’s Office. The Office will coordinate the City’s efforts to ensure the re-integration of residents returning from incarceration.  

In October 2023, DFSS announced the kickoff of its SPRING Forward program (Selected Pre-Release for Intensive Navigation support Going Forward) which also aims at providing comprehensive support for up to 400 individuals with employment and 200 with housing over the next two years reentering society. This $9M program includes extensive housing and employment navigation which builds a strong foundation to ensure returning residents are provided supports in certain areas that can place barriers to successful reentry.  


Interested returning residents should begin by calling the SPRING Forward hotline (312) 798-3310 to get started with an Employment Navigator today. These new initiatives from DFSS highlight and promote the understanding that effective reentry programs can contribute to a safer and more prosperous city, ultimately benefitting all residents.   

Locations of Chicago’s five Community Reentry Support Centers and additional information on reentry support programs can be found by visiting, or contact 2-1-1 to be connected to services. For information on DFSS reentry initiatives, contact Deputy Commissioner Mark Sanders II at