More than $100K awarded to organization serving Chicago’s homeless youth after battling it out on Facebook

2010-02-15 16:12:09 (GMT) ( - Press Releases, World News)

CHICAGO, February 10, 2010 ( – Teen Living Programs’ Executive Director, Jeri Linas, recently
received an unexpected call with incredible news—Teen Living Programs, a Chicago non-profit
that provides housing and services to youth who are homeless, was selected to receive a
$100,000 grant from Chase Bank through a new social media campaign called Chase
Community Giving.

“The $100,000 grant is truly a gift during such a poor economy,” Linas said. “Non-profits are
receiving less funding support while the need for our services has increased. Thanks to this
donation, we can continue to help Chicago’s youth without homes.”

The phone call was made by NBA Hall-of-Famer and Olympian David Robinson on behalf of
Chase Community Giving’s Advisory Board—a group of experts from a range of philanthropic
areas. After ending the conversation with Robinson, both Linas and TLP staff members
immediately knew that this call provided some of the best news the organization could have
been given during such trying economic times.

In December Chase bank launched Chase Community Giving, a voter-based initiative that
would award anywhere from $1 million to $25,000 to charities all over the country. The program
asked Facebook users to evaluate what issues mattered most to them and then vote for the
charities they thought should receive funds.

Since the program launched two months ago, more than 2 million Facebook users participated
in two rounds of voting. In the first round, the bank donated $25,000 to the 100 highest vote-getting
organizations culled from over 500,000 eligible charities. After collecting enough votes,
TLP was selected as one of those 100 organizations, qualifying them for the second round. In
the second round of voting, the same 100 organizations worked to make it into the top six, with
$1 million going to the top vote-getter and $100,000 to five runners up.

Once voting closed on January 22, Chase revealed another twist to the program—Chase was
donating an additional $1,000,000 to a select group of organizations hand- picked by Chase
Community Giving’s Advisory Board. TLP was one of only six charities—and the only Chicago
organization— picked by the Board to receive $100,000, making their total gift from Chase

“Even though TLP finished in 63rd, the Advisory Board clearly saw something that stood out in
TLP. It was our ability to mobilize the Chicago community to come out and show their support,”
Linas said. “In eight short days we were able to rally the support of more than 4,000 virtual
volunteers, an amazing accomplishment considering four months ago we had no social media

On any given night in Chicago, there are more than 2,000 youth who find themselves without a
home. TLP, which was established 30 years ago, exists for these youth. Much more than just a
place to stay, TLP delivers comprehensive, long-term solutions to youth without homes who
strive for self-sufficiency and community connection. TLP offers housing, job training,
educational support, mental health counseling, holistic health care, and life skills training within
a community of professional and passionate support.

As the economy continues to take its toll on the nation, the Chicago community has seen an
increased need for TLP’s efforts. The $125,000 from the Chase campaign will ensure that TLP
can continue to effectively and efficiently reach out to homeless youth all over Chicago.

# # #

About Teen Living Programs

Teen Living Programs’ mission is to create hope and opportunity for youth who are homeless
by assisting them to permanently leave the streets, secure stable housing, and build self-sufficient,
satisfying lives. Founded in 1976, Teen Living Programs (TLP) has successfully
served Chicago’s at-risk youth for more than 30 years and is the only agency in Chicago to
focus solely on youth who are homeless.

Teen Living Programs annually serves 500 youth through a continuum of services: a street and
community outreach program, and three residential programs, with wraparound supportive
services in education, vocation, and recreation; health and nutrition; and aftercare. Visit for more information.

Media Contact:

Nia Tavoularis, Teen Living Programs
[email protected]
O: (312) 568-5700, ext. 228
C: (312) 505-6428

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