Annual Report


The Steans Family Foundation works with partners to dismantle the pandemics of inequality and oppression in our community.


We are privileged to work alongside steadfast leaders across two amazing communities and look forward to amplifying their good works in 2022.

North Lawndale Giving
North Chicago Giving
Policy & Ecosystem Giving
Total Giving
North Lawndale 2021 Annual Report - The Steans Family Foundation

North Lawndale

Since 1996, The Steans Family Foundation has supported programs and projects that promote economic advancement and enhance quality of life for individuals and families in the North Lawndale community.

North Lawndale Reads Campaign

Books Distributed
Community Events
Little Free Libraries Installed

North Lawndale Grantees

SFF is honored to fund the work of our North Lawndale Grantees.

  • AARP Foundation
  • Boxing Out Negativity
  • Carole Robertson Center for Learning
  • Celestial Ministries
  • Chicago Architecture Biennial
  • Chicago Community Foundation
  • Chicago Botanic Garden
  • Chicago Youth Centers
  • Chicago-Lawndale AMACHI Mentoring Program (LAMP)
  • Children First Fund: The Chicago Public Schools Foundation
  • Children’s Literacy Initiative
  • City Year
  • Communities in Schools of Chicago
  • Community Organizing & Family Issues
  • Cradles to Crayons Chicago
  • Firehouse Community Arts Center
  • Forefront
  • Foundation for Homan Square
  • Friends of the Children – Chicago
  • Gads Hill Center Child Care Facility
  • Holy Family Ministries
  • I AM ABLE Center for Family Development, Inc
  • Illinois Action For Children
  • Juvenile Protective Association
  • KIPP Ascend Charter School
  • Ladder Up
  • Lawndale Christian Development Corporation
  • Lawndale Christian Health Center
  • Lawndale Christian Legal Center
  • LEARN Charter School Network
  • Legacy Charter School
  • Link Unlimited Scholars
  • MAPSCorps
  • Mikva Challenge Grant Foundation Inc
  • National Center for Family Philanthropy
  • National Forest Foundation
  • New Covenant Community Development
  • Noble Network of Charter Schools
  • North Lawndale College Prep Charter High School
  • North Lawndale Employment Network
  • Old Town School of Folk Music
  • Open Books Ltd
  • Planning Implementation and Evaluation Org
  • Project Exploration
  • Project Lifeline
  • Public Allies Chicago
  • Reading in Motion
  • Reading Power Inc
  • Sinai Community Institute
  • Sinai Health Systems
  • Spark Program Inc
  • Teach for America
  • Turning the Page
  • UCAN
  • United Way of Metropolitan Chicago
  • University Of Illinois At Chicago
  • Urban Growers Collective Inc
  • UtmostU – Network for Young Adult Success
  • Young, Black, and Lit
  • Young Men’s Educational Network (YMEN)
  • YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago

North Chicago 2021 Annual Report - The Steans Family Foundation

North Chicago

North Chicago Grantees

SFF is honored to have funded the work of the following organizations in 2021.

  • Bernie’s Book Bank
  • Boys and Girls Club of Lake County
  • Camp for All Kids
  • Center for Childhood Resilience
  • Chicago Voyagers
  • City of North Chicago
  • College of Lake County Foundation
  • Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep
  • Family Focus
  • iBio Institute
  • Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
  • Innovations for Learning
  • Keeping Families Covered
  • Kids Above All
  • Kids Rank
  • Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago
  • Lake County Community Foundation
  • Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center
  • LEARN Charter School Network
  • North Chicago Community Partners
  • North Chicago Community Unit School District 187
  • North Chicago Public Education Fund
  • Mano a Mano Family Resource Center
  • Network for College Success
  • Nicasa Behavioral Health Services
  • One Hope United
  • Reading Power
  • Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
  • Teach for America
  • The Beacon Place
  • YouthBuild Lake County
  • YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

North Chicago - The Steans Family Foundation

Policy & Ecosystem

The Steans Family Foundation not only invests in community-focused programming and support, but also policy-level work that addresses the root causes of systemic economic, educational, and social injustice.

The Policy and Ecosystem work builds upon the Foundation’s community approach in North Lawndale and North Chicago, with a focus on local and statewide systemic issues that may impede or support the healthy development of individuals, families, and communities. The Foundation addresses this work by creating an environment for its partners and leaders to solve systemic problems across SFF’s program areas.

Education and Social-Emotional Access

Expand high-quality early childhood learning and development; enhance access to academic, social-emotional supports; increase college degree or other postsecondary attainment for underserved populations.

Employment and Economic Equity

Strengthen the pathway to thriving careers for underserved communities. This work includes building a workforce development system that prioritizes both racial equity and economic growth.

Justice and Rehabilitation

Sustain and expand effective violence prevention models while working to reform the criminal justice system to meet the rehabilitative needs of 18-26 year-old individuals.

Stronger Communities

Increase the wealth of families in underserved communities of color while supporting efforts and opportunities to organically increase resiliency, agency, and self-efficacy.

Policy & Ecosystem Grantees

SFF is honored to fund the work of our Policy & Ecosystem Grantees.

  • Advance Illinois
  • Carole Robertson Center for Learning
  • Chalkbeat, Inc
  • Chicago Community Foundation
  • Chicago Community Trust
  • Civic Consulting Alliance
  • Educators for Excellence
  • Forefront
  • Healthy Schools Campaign
  • Heartland Alliance
  • Hopewell Fund
  • Illinois Action for Children
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • Metropolitan Planning Council
  • New America
  • New Life Centers of Chicagoland
  • North Lawndale Employment Network
  • Northern Illinois University Foundation
  • Northwestern University
  • Partnership for College Completion
  • Purpose Foundation
  • Robert R. McCormick Foundation
  • The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute
  • The University of Chicago
  • The University of Chicago Urban Labs

Patricia Ford - Steans Family Foundation

Letter From the Executive Director

If you are reading this report, count yourself fortunate as a survivor during one of the most historic moments of our lifetime. The stresses and uncertainties resulting from the devastating COVID 19 pandemic continue to have lasting impact across the globe. Not surprisingly, North Lawndale and North Chicago are disproportionately affected by this crisis. Inadequate health care, premature deaths, loss of employment, the challenges of remote-learning, navigating the safe return to school for students of all ages, and upticks in violence have laid bare long-standing inequities and some of our nation’s failures.

But in spite of the immense challenges, our community partners and residents continue to rise above the cacophony with a renewed commitment to dismantle the pandemics of inequality and oppression. They know the pandemic did not begin with the shutdown in March 2020 and have dedicated their lives and careers to not only humbly serve others, but also challenge long-held assumptions and beliefs about what is possible for all children and families regardless of zip code. Their work continues to inspire and encourage us to find new ways to help improve the health and success of the organizations and individuals in the communities we serve.

I invite you to explore the following snapshot of our collective work in 2021. You will learn about an exciting literacy campaign in North Lawndale aimed at increasing the academic preparedness of children from birth through third grade. You will better understand the strategy behind successful teacher recruitment and retention efforts led by District 187 in North Chicago. Finally, you will be informed about the support of a vital Medicaid Technical Assistance Center that increases families’ access to quality healthcare. We are privileged to work alongside steadfast leaders across two amazing communities and look forward to amplifying their good works in 2022!

With Gratitude,

Patricia Ford
Executive Director