Program Areas of SJL Community Development

St. Jude League Community-Based Development programs encompass housing, sports, the arts, mentoring, and violence-prevention. These programs introduce healthy role models, involvement in positive community activities, and access to an environment that promotes constructive coping skills.


Here are some of the issues that St. Jude League Community-Based Development programs address:

  • Adequate housing is a basic human right, but families in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods often lack access to not just adequate, but also affordable housing. This harsh reality undermines the safety, stability, and nurturing potential of a home for these families. Adequate and affordable housing is an essential component in maintaining healthy households, strengthening communities, establishing bonds among neighbors, creating the expectation for effective schools, and building healthy business districts. The needs in these communities are often greater than what the federal, state, and local governments are able to provide.
  • Sports and the arts play a special role in sparking new growth and healing for youth living in communities plagued by poverty and violence. Participation in athletic or creative activities outside of school, directed by responsible adults, provides young people with a safe, constructive environment in which to spend their free time and fosters a sense of peer-based nurturing and belonging that youth might otherwise seek out in less auspicious environments. Many of the qualities that arts and sports programs foster in young people—including the ability to manage anxiety and aggression levels, accept and follow instructions, and block out distractions while working hard toward a goal—also serve a vital role in their everyday lives.
  • Mentoring programs invest in local communities by fostering a sense of community pride and value in young people, especially regarding academics. By helping students take control of their lives in a productive way, mentoring cultivates a new generation of leaders who have the academic skills necessary to thrive. When young people have relationships with stable, healthy adults who care about them, they are more likely to make positive decisions. These caring mentoring relationships promote self-esteem and self-control in young people, and as a result, mentored youth often grow to trust other authority figures and communicate better with them.

These are some of the programs that are funded in part by St. Jude League Community-Based Development across the United States and Canada:

  • Gabe’s Place is a youth and young adult leadership development program offering summer school curriculum and summer camps to school-aged children in grades K-5th. Gabe’s Place provides a summer curriculum and camp experience for elementary aged students with learning in the morning focused on math, language arts, and music exploration with typical summer camp activities in the afternoon, led by San Gabriel Mission High School students.
  • Villa Guadalupe is an apartment complex offering affordable living for seniors aged 55 and older. The Villa Guadalupe community provides access to health services, social programs, and case management at no cost to the residents, in the hopes of providing life-enhancing services to seniors in South Chicago.
  • Claretian Associates envisions itself as the go-to resource for the South Chicago region and aspires to create a community that is affordable, safe equitable and fosters a sense of safety and community.
  • The Parent-Child Center of Rutland County helps people transform their lives with whole-family services delivered through community programming. RCPCC programs include early childhood education, early intervention and literacy, nutritional programs, and parenting classes in order to support children by supporting the whole family, especially parents.
  • Parents 4 Non-Violence has been serving communities in Illinois since 2012, building community capacity for violence prevention and empowering parents in order to strengthen youth, families, and communities by building up parent-child relationships. P4NV provides education and support for parents to raise children in emotionally healthy ways, so that their children can thrive personally, socially, and academically.
  • Jovenes, Inc. helps youth aged 18-25 in southeast Los Angeles County end their cycles of homelessness and unlock their potential by addressing their needs for housing, healthcare, education, employment, and trauma recovery. Jovenes, Inc.’s Immigrants with Disabilities Project seeks to learn about the realities, challenges and needs of Latinx immigrants living with disabilities in the U.S. in order to better support them.

To learn more about St. Jude League Community-Based Development, please visit our Programs page or lend your support and have an impact on communities fighting back against poverty and violence.

Read more about SJL Community Development’s influence through Community-Based Development programs on our What’s New page.