History & Mission

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

Ada S. McKinley’s founder and namesake was a schoolteacher and social reformer who started the agency in 1919 amid the Flu pandemic and Chicago Race Riot. The agency was founded as a settlement house to assist Black World War I veterans and their families migrating from the South. Today, as we faced similar circumstances with the COVID-19 pandemic along with civil unrest and protests to end systemic racism, Ada S. McKinley continued its consistency in protecting the well-being of the people it serves.

The agency has reached the 100-year milestone, and currently serves more than 7,000 people annually at over 70 program sites throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, Wisconsin and Indiana. Its wide range of services include: 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 our founder and the racial bias that denied her a rightful place in Chicago history.