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 Paid Summer Opportunities (ages 13 – 24)

The Chicago Housing Authority offers many paid opportunities where you can spend your summer working, learning, creating and developing skills at a local business, on a university campus or in a non-profit or government institution in Chicago! For more information about our programs, please, visit the Youth Application page, call the Youth Hotline at (312) 786-6930, or email

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) participants. The voucher allows children between the ages of 6 and 12, to attend Summer Day Camp and fall, winter and spring Park Kids Programs at any Chicago Park District location that offers these programs. With a voucher, the cost per session is only $15 and the total cost for the year, if a child attends all sessions, would be $60 for each child – Extended Summer Day Camp and any Vacation Camp costs an additional $5 per session.

CHA is also proud to announce that the voucher allows people with disabilities to attend Special Recreation Day Camp sessions for only $15 during the summer and Special Recreation Leisure Programs during the fall, winter and spring at no cost. There is no age requirement to register for Special Recreation Day Camp or Leisure Programs for CHA participants with disabilities where these programs are offered. For more information on the camp voucher program, visit your local park or contact your FamilyWorks provider, LAC president, HCV regional office, the CHA Park Voucher Hotline (for park district vouchers inquiries only) at 312.786.6656.  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. For information about the Chicago Park District’s Special Recreation programs, call 312-742- 5798 or email special.recreation@chicagoparkdistrict.

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.

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