History & Mission

The mission of Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc. is to empower, educate, and employ people to change lives and strengthen communities.

The 100 plus year-old agency was founded by Ada Sophia McKinley in 1919 to provide a sanctuary for Black men, particularly those returning from World War I with no place to go due to segregation and a disparity of resources. This laid the cornerstone to expand support for Black families as they migrated from the South to flee Jim Crow oppression during the Chicago Race Riots.

Currently, the agency serves more than 10,000 people annually at over 70 program locations located mainly in Chicago, with sites in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana. Its wide range of services fall under the following categories: Child Development & Youth; Employment & Community Support; and Behavioral Health & Clinical. Services rendered daily include tutoring, mentoring and college placement, foster care, housing opportunities, mental health, youth and family counseling, employment training and placement, and head start programs.

The vision of Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc. is for all people to have the opportunity for education and employment.

Learn more about Ada S. McKinley the person and how racial bias denied her a rightful place in Chicago history.