Brews & Bites is June 25

Join us on Sunday, June 25, 2023, at Double Clutch Brewing located at 2121 Ashland Avenue in Evanston. This large, accessible, relaxed venue will give us the chance to taste all kinds of beers, eat a delicious summer dinner, play Brews & Bites bingo, and much more!  

All money raised at Brews & Bites will go to support CIF’s

  • Person-Centered Coaching 
  • Supported Housing 
  • Community Activities 
  • Consulting Services for Schools & Agencies 

Brews & Bites 2023 will feature:

  • Summer cookout dinner: Freshy grilled burgers, brats, salads, and sweet treats! 
  • Live music – featuring Evanston’s own No Regrets Band 
  • Brews & Bites Bingo – with great prizes & hilarious hosts
  • Wine & Beer Pull 
  • “Choose Your Prize” Raffle 
  • Silent Auction

So grab your family & friends and join Center for Independent Futures for an awesome summer party! Get your tickets today!  

Let Your Voice Be Heard: Red & Purple Line Accessibility

Accessible public transportation can be a cornerstone of a full life. The ability to get around gives us the freedom to keep from being isolated, keeps us connected with friends and family, and gets us to work.

We encourage our community to have their voices heard on the issue of accessible public transit in northern Chicago and Evanston.

Please consider joining CTA staff to learn about a planning study for the future of the Red and Purple Lines and provide input about how the transit experience could be improved.

Attend a virtual community meeting about the RPM Next Phases Study on March 14 (Chicago project area) or March 16 (Purple Line Evanston Branch) to hear from the project team about the CTA’s vision for a more accessible, reliable, and modern Red and Purple Line. Similar information will be shared at both meetings. You are also invited to take a survey to share your input, whether you can attend a meeting or not.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 | 6-7 pm
Chicago Project Area  Click here to register for the Zoom meeting

Thursday, March 16, 2023 | 6-7 pm
Purple Line Evanston Branch Click here to register for the Zoom meeting

Take the Survey Survey Link

CTA is undertaking the next phase of the Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) program to rebuild and modernize the 100-year-old northern portion of the Red and Purple Lines from Belmont to Linden.

Phase One of the RPM program is currently under construction (in the area just north of Belmont station and approximately between Lawrence and Bryn Mawr stations).

The RPM Next Phases Planning Study initiates the planning work necessary to complete the improvements along the remaining areas within the 9.6-mile corridor, including the entirety of the 3-mile Purple Line Evanston Branch.

Once completed, the RPM program would fully replace infrastructure and stations that are significantly beyond their useful life and would allow CTA to increase train capacity, add accessibility, and improve the customer experience for generations to come.  The RPM Next Phases Planning Study is the first step of the planning process that will set goals and objectives, engage the public, identify potential projects, and evaluate alternatives and

The RPM Next Phases Planning Study focuses on three segments of the north Red Line and the Purple Line Evanston Branch:
 Addison to Sheridan
 Thorndale to Howard
 Evanston Branch (Howard to Linden)

Join CIF for Trivia Night at Double Clutch! 

Come on out and join us for a hilarious night of trivia and fun on Sunday, April 16th from 5 – 7 pm, at Double Clutch Brewing Company, 2121 Ashland Avenue, Evanston.

Buy your ticket now for only $25 for a fantastic night of trivia and laughs hosted by Strewpendous Productions. We will have fun and funky raffle baskets plus prizes for the First, Second, and Third Place teams

Everyone who buys a ticket will have the chance to join a team. Attendees are free to set up their own trivia teams, or CIF will provide support determining teams. We will contact all attendees prior to the event to set up the teams.

Don’t miss out! Get your ticket today! 

Art Encounter honors CIF as their Community Partner of the Year 

This February, Art Encounter announced Center for Independent Futures as their 2022 Community Partner of the Year.

Art Encounter is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating, empowering, and connecting people of all ages and backgrounds through interactive encounters with visual art. Their broad range of programs foster community, creativity, and a greater understanding of the world around us.

During the 2020 pandemic shutdown, Jeff Morthorst, CIF’s Activities Director, partnered with Art Encounter to provide creative and social enrichment through virtual and in-person hands-on artmaking workshops, visits to artists’ studios, and in-depth coaching of independent studio practice.

Together CIF and Art Encounter have grown our Art Club over the past few years thanks to the passion and dedication of Art Encounter staff, Jeff’s work to provide high-quality activities, and CIF’s creative grants team Niki Moe and Geri Miller-Brown. Congratulations everyone!

Join #TeamCIF for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Are you a runner looking to make a difference in your community? Do you have a passion for philanthropy and want to find a way to combine your love of running with giving back? Look no further! Join #TeamCIF!

We are seeking enthusiastic runners to join our team for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and to raise money for Center for Independent Futures. The Chicago Marathon is a world-class race that attracts runners from all over the world. It is a chance not only to challenge yourself and push your limits but also to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities. 

By joining TeamCIF, you will have the opportunity to run the Chicago Marathon and fundraise to support individuals with disabilities live full lives and realize their hopes and dreams. We want you to feel connected and motivated to make a difference, and we will be there to cheer you on! 

As a member of TeamCIF, you will receive support and guidance on how to fundraise and reach your fundraising goals. CIF does not require runners to guarantee their fundraising in advance, but we ask you to have a passion for our mission. We encourage all runners to have a fundraising goal of $1250 and to make a good faith attempt to raise that amount. Some raise more, others less, and last year we beat our goal! 

So why wait? Sign up to join #TeamCIF for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon today and make a difference while doing what you love!

Questions? Email Ready to register? Click here. 

Help us reach our 2023 fundraising goal!

We make full lives a reality

Throughout our 20-year history, CIF has supported individuals with disabilities as they live their full lives. We have also supported their parents, siblings, and friends, who rest assured knowing that their loved one is supported with dignity and respect.

CIF was founded by two mothers on a mission to find individualized long-term independent living options for their disabled daughters where none were accessible. Today, we provide life-skills coaching, housing, and community activities for over 100 participants.

Every day, North Shore families reach out to CIF to get answers where seemingly, none exist. They turn to us because of our two decades of firsthand experience in supporting individuals with disabilities by providing:

● Person-centered life-skills coaching
● Community-based supported housing
● Community-building activities
● School and Agency consulting services

Will you help us create more opportunities for people with disabilities and their families by donating to CIF today? Help us celebrate 20 years – and ensure that CIF will support full lives for decades to come.

Click here to donate today!


The Coleman Foundation Match – a collaboration that makes full lives a reality

For 10 years, Center for Independent Futures and the Coleman Foundation have collaborated to develop self-directed supports for individuals with disabilities. With their vision to “create more compassionate, equitable and inclusive resources and opportunities that improve people’s lives with thoughtful and sustainable solutions,” the Coleman Foundation seeks “to preserve and strengthen the physical health and the economic and emotional well-being of people living in the greater Chicago region.” 

We are excited to announce that the Coleman Foundation is again providing a generous matching opportunity for CIF during this year’s giving season. From now until December 15, the Coleman Foundation will match each $1,250 donation dollar-for-dollar up to $12,500 to help us generate funds to make our work a reality.  

Together with this generous financial support and CIF’s 20 years of firsthand experience in supporting individuals with disabilities, the Coleman Foundation and Center for Independent Futures make real impact in the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families through 

  • Person-centered life-skills coaching
  • Community-based supported housing
  • Community-building activities
  • School and agency consulting services

With this match opportunity, now is the time to consider a gift to Center for Independent Futures as we continue to fulfill the unmet needs of so many area families. 

Click here to donate today!

Double the impact of your gift!

Thanks to an anonymous donor every dollar you give to Center for Independent Futures before December 31, 2022 will be matched dollar-for-dollar until we reach $50,000 in donations!

When parents have a child with disabilities, they are plunged into an unfamiliar world without a sense of what to do next and no way forward. They often have overwhelming anxiety about the future. How will education work? Will he ever have a job? Will she ever have friends? Will they go to school, live alone, and someday get married?

Every day, families reach out to Center for Independent Futures (CIF) to get answers where seemingly, none exist, leaving them filled with uncertainty and fear.

They turn to us because of CIF’s 20 years of firsthand experience in supporting individuals with disabilities by providing:

• Person-centered life-skills coaching
• Community-based supported housing
• Community-building activities
• School and agency consulting services

We ask that you please support Center for Independent Futures as we fulfill the unmet needs of so many area families.

How YOU can support full lives!

$1,250 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous match from the Coleman Foundation on the first 10 gifts of $1250 between November 1-30. This makes it a double match!

$500 provides “Travel the Town” training to a local high school student.

$250 supports a participant in developing independent living skills.

$100 supports one-on-one Life Skills Coaching for a participant.

$50 covers a participant’s activity fees for three months.

All donations make a difference!

SPARK 2022: Tickets on sale NOW!

We are excited to announce that tickets for the SPARK 2022: Building a Brighter Future Benefit are now on sale! Invitations are hitting the mailboxes this week, but digital sales are already open.  

Please join us for an evening of celebration honoring Center for Independent Futures’ 20 years of supporting full lives on Thursday, October 27 at the Hilton Chicago/Northbrook, 2855 Milwaukee Avenue, Northbrook, Illinois. 

The reception will begin at 6:30 pm, followed by dinner and the program at 7:00. After the program concludes, we will hit the dance floor with Euphoria Band until 9:45.

Space is limited, so get your tickets now! Click here to purchase your tickets by October 20.

CIF Bingo Night is back and in Evanston

On August 21, Center for Independent Futures (CIF) is excited to host Bingo Night, an inclusive event full of fun, laughs, and prizes from 6:00-8:00 pm at Double Clutch Brewing Company, 2121 Ashland Avenue, Evanston.

Prior to the pandemic, CIF hosted Bingo Night at Hamburger Mary’s in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. For years, participants, family, board members, and staff gathered for fun evenings of Charity Night Bingo, raising funds for CIF. During the pandemic, CIF held Virtual Bingo Nights hosted by crowd-pleaser and friend of CIF,  Alexis Bevels.

Sadly, Hamburger Mary’s closed its doors, and Alexis Bevels has moved on to Los Angeles.  Imagine how thrilled we were to learn that Double Clutch Brewing Company has begun hosting “Bier Hall Bingo” featuring  Muffy Fishbasket right here in Evanston! 

Both Alexis and Muffy made their mark in Evanston prior to being involved with Center for Independent Futures. In 2017, the Evanston Public Library hosted Alexis and Muffy “as part of its bimonthly program geared toward the city’s LGBTQ teens,” as reported by the Daily Northwestern in the article, Chicago drag queens to speak at Evanston Public Library. 

CIF’s Bingo Night is more than just a fundraiser. It’s an inclusive event recognizing the diversity of our own community. “The LGBTQ community and the disability community intersect in significant ways,” observes an article entitled LGBTQ People with Disabilities. “Too often, people with disabilities are represented by straight, white men in a wheelchair.”  The disability community mirrors society in general, with members of all genders and sexualities. 

We hope you join us for this inclusive night of fun and laughs as we raise funds supporting CIF’s person-centered coaching, supported community housing, and community building. Your $20 bingo card is your ticket to this summer night out. While we play bingo, food will be available for purchase. Dinner costs are not included in the bingo card price.

Come be a part of our community where everyone is welcome! Get your bingo card today! 

Guidestar Platinum

Guidestar Platinum seal

Success Stories

Mailchimp Newsletter


* indicates required
Which emails do you want to receive?

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Center for Independent Futures:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

No Events

Volunteer your time and talent

Regardless of your expertise or experience, giving of yourself can change lives for the better and create new possibilities for those with disabilities.

Volunteer »

Give the gift of independence

Your tax-deductible contributions help us provide life-changing services, develop innovative solutions, and increase community education and outreach.