Youth Opportunities



CHA offers a number of afterschool and summer learning programs that provide public housing and HCV youth with opportunities to learn about college and careers, participate in paid internships and work experiences as well as community service projects, and develop employability skills. 

Youth Council

In 2016, CHA launched the Year of Youth campaign to increase youth engagement through several new and innovative initiatives, including the development of the CHA Youth Council in partnership with Mikva Challenge. Each summer, council members engage in an intensive leadership development, team-building and participatory action research internship, in which they develop recommendations for CHA decision makers. In addition, throughout the year, council members work to plan a youth-led summit for young people to share ideas and solutions on improving our city. Visit the Youth Council’s website to see their work from last summer.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Partnership

CHA is the first City of Chicago sister agency to participate in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Workplace Mentoring Program. CHA implemented the program beginning in January 2016 at CHA headquarters with students from John M Smyth Elementary School and CHA staff. The Workplace Mentoring Program provides a place for 4th through 6th grade students to build one-to-one relationships with caring mentors. Matches participate in activities with an intentional focus to increase social skills, develop self-esteem and new interests, and plan for the future. CHA expanded the program in the fall of 2016 to include Gary Comer High School to reach even more students and have a positive impact on their lives.


Chicago Park District

The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) partners with the Chicago Park District to provide a limited number of year-round vouchers to CHA public housing residents and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) tenants. The voucher allows children between the ages of 6 and 12, to attend summer day camp and fall, winter and spring after school programs at any Chicago Park District location that offers these programs.* With a voucher, your cost per session is only $15 and the total cost for the year if a child attended all sessions would be $60 for each child – Extended Summer Day Camp and any Vacation Camp cost $5 per session. For more information on the camp voucher program, contact your FamilyWorks provider, LAC president, HCV regional office or the CHA Youth Park Voucher Hotline (for park district vouchers inquiries only) at 312.786.6656.

In addition to the vouchers, CHA partners with the Chicago Park District of offer the Counselor in Training Program and Windy Hoops, a year-round basketball league hosted Friday and Saturday nights in targeted communities across the city, including Altgeld Gardens and Phillip Murray Homes.

*For a list of the Chicago Park District’s recreational programs, dates and times, visit the Chicago Park District, call 312.742.PLAY (7529) or visit your local park.

The Chicago Department of Family & Support Services (DFSS)

CHA youth can access existing afterschool programs free of charge through CHA’s partnership with the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services (DFSS). Download a list of DFSS delegate agencies offering CHA afterschool programs here.

FamilyWorks Onsite Direct Youth Programs

FamilyWorks plays a vital role in connecting youth to appropriate engagement opportunities, along with resources and supports needed to foster the development of academic achievement. FamilyWorks also provides youth programming, which takes place in the afternoon and evening hours and during the spring and fall, at CHA developments. For more information, contact your FamilyWorks provider