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Chicago Area Project

About Us

The Chicago Area Project (CAP) is a, not-for-profit organization with a distinguished history and demonstrable track record of over 75 years of work in delinquency prevention and service in disadvantaged urban neighborhoods. The original mission of CAP has not changed since its inception:To work toward the prevention and eradication of juvenile delinquency through the development and support of affiliated local community self-help efforts in communities where the need is greatest.

Chicago Area Project (CAP) was founded in the 1930's by Clifford Shaw, a University of Chicago sociologist, who believed every neighborhood could reduce juvenile delinquency by improving community life.
Our original mission has not changed since that founding. CAP's long history of community building has demonstrated that low-income residents are as capable as others in addressing critical neighborhood issues. CAP believes that community problems cannot be solved by bringing in outside agencies to "fix" local problems such as delinquency, gang violence, substance abuse, and unemployment. Chicago Area Project is a strong network of more than 40 grassroots organizations and special projects aimed at promoting positive youth development and preventing juvenile delinquency through community-building. Begun in 1934, CAP is founded on the concept that every neighborhood has the leaders it needs to solve its own problems.
CAP identifies community leaders and supports their grassroots efforts to mobilize residents to take responsibility for guiding young people. Working together, neighborhood leaders and residents prioritize neighborhood-specific issues, seek effective solutions, and identify available resources to address them.

CAP Affiliates, Alliance Partners, and special projects are located in underserved neighborhoods in the Chicago metropolitan area and throughout the State of Illinois. CAP serves community-based organizations and youth by playing various roles: facilitator, intermediary, mentor, and trainer. Each Affiliate is an independent, self-sustaining organization focused on the needs of neighborhood residents identified by its own leaders. Through its emphasis on community capacity-building, CAP works to develop and sustain its Affiliates and Alliance Partners. In partnership with local academic and national professional associations, CAP delivers training programs to professionalize youth service workers and improve the quality of their work with young people.
CAP uses a three-pronged approach to addressing delinquency and its root causes:
Community Organizing, Direct Services, and Advocacy


We Care About

Community Advocacy

Contact Information

David Whittaker