Our Temporary Home: Maryville Crisis Nursery

When a family is in crisis, it’s the children who are most vulnerable.

Maryville Crisis Nursery, located on Chicago’s northwest side, provides hope, a temporary home, and the resources to keep families together.

According to Amy Kendall-Lynch, Program Director, a mother might call the Crisis Nursery hotline because she has four young children and one of them needs to be hospitalized for an extended period of time.

“If she doesn’t have family to watch the other three, we can help,” says Kendall-Lynch.

The Crisis Nursery would give the three siblings a temporary home, supervise them during the day, feed them nutritious meals, place them in a shared bedroom and send each child home with new clothes and a book, donated by the Illinois Literacy Program.

“Our three main goals are to increase parenting skills, reduce the maltreatment of children and reduce parental stress,” says Kendall-Lynch.

According to Nina Aliprandi, Family Services Division Director, Crisis Nursery is only one of six organizations of its kind that is recognized nationally, and deals proactively with a host of social problems.

The Crisis Nursery is available to children from newborn through six years old, and offers a maximum three-day stay. The facility features a small gymnasium, several rooms filled with developmentally appropriate toys and activities, sleeping nurseries, a delightful water play room and a beautiful library.

Aliprandi says when families bring their children to the center, “a family advocate meets with them and comes up with a family action plan.” She adds, “They can rely on the nursery for up to 30 days in a year.”

Aliprandi has enough money in the budget to accommodate eight children at a time.

“It’s big enough to handle up to 15, but I can only pay for my current staff,” says Aliprandi.

To raise funds in hopes of being able to accommodate more children, the Crisis Nursery is holding a pair of fundraisers:

Individuals and families experiencing problems with their health, housing, or domestic issues can reach a counselor by dialing the Crisis Hotline at (773)205-3637.