Designs for Dignity & The Warming House: a Dramatic Renovation

Designs for Dignity announced the completion of one of its service grant projects—the redesign of The Warming House Youth Center in Howard Park.

To celebrate and dedicate the transformation of the facility, an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Sunday, December 4 in Wilmette.

Available to area junior high and high school students during week, The Warming House is a nonprofit agency that provides a safe, supervised and substance-free atmosphere complete with after school and weekend programs for teens.

Prior to the transformation, The Warming House was filled with dilapidated, ripped and worn furnishings and its walls had years of paint build-up.  Today, all the furniture and equipment have been replaced with new items to provide a warm, comfortable environment in a contemporary space where the teens can play ping pong, billiards, watch TV, fix a snack and even do their homework. A full-time licensed clinical social worker and director is on site, along with a part-time associate director and a dozen volunteers.

“We’re thrilled that Designs for Dignity can be an advocate for The Warming House’s incredible purpose,” said Jennifer Sobecki, D4D Executive Director. “The success of The Warming House, and the impact it’s had on decades of teens is completely reliant on the center’s space. We hope that this renovation will serve to extend the longevity of The Warming House and help the agency to share its wonderful services with local youths for decades to come.”

The redesign, headed by D4D Board members Diane Falanga and Amanda Zitlin, promotes D4D’s continuous mission to enrich individuals’ lives by creating nurturing, everyday spaces.

“For teens that participate in our daily activities and use the center’s resources, this renovation has provided a high-quality, healthy environment that will encourage our youth to maneuver a positive decision-making process and help them to cultivate valuable, sustaining relationships,” states Cynthia Doucette, Executive Director of The Warming House.  “This is so exciting for the teens that use our facility on a regular basis and the staff who work effortlessly to provide a quality environment and programming for them.”

For more information on the Warming House Youth Center renovation and its dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony, please visit, or visit the Warming House website at

Photo caption: Pictured (left to right): Diane Falanga (Co-designer, Designs for Dignity Board Member), Amanda Zitlin (Co-designer, Designs for Dignity Volunteer) and Cynthia Doucette (Executive Director, Warming House Youth Center) celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony in the newly renovated Warming House Youth Center.

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