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! 

Bike the Drive: What a Ride!

Since 2012, Team CIF Bike Club has ridden Lake Shore Drive in Chicago’s FifthThird Bike the Drive. Our team joins thousands of other cyclists for the one day in the year when the length of Lake Shore Drive is open to cyclists and closed to auto traffic. What a great way to kick off fall and be part of such an exciting event!

Over the years, CIF has participated in this event and it proves to be an energizing, motivating, and fulfilling experience for all of our riders. Unlike the Chicago Marathon, Bike the Drive is not a race, but an experience, open to any and all interested bikers! Would you like to join us?

In addition to focusing on fitness, Team CIF is committed to raising funds for Center for Independent Futures. The funds raised at Bike the Drive will support our efforts to provide social opportunities and activities for individuals with disabilities.

Are you interested in supporting full lives and joining thousands of others on Lake Shore Drive? Make a donation or come ride with Team CIF! Contact Jeff Morthorst at (847) 328-2044 to join us on this unique and fulfilling experience!


TeamCIF is training hard for the 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Early on October 10, TeamCIF will enter their corrals for the start of the 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. The field for the 2022 event is set to return to 40,000 participants after hosting a smaller field in 2021. Alongside their goals for the race,  TeamCIF runners are raising funds to support individuals with disabilities as they live full lives! 

Over the next four months, our committed runners will face demanding training schedules, whether they run early in the morning before heading to work or work out in the evening after a long day. All will spend many weekend hours on increasingly long runs as they prepare to take on the challenge of 26.2 miles.

A runner, a participant, and a supporter pose on the Chicago Marathon course

To honor the hard work our runners will undertake on this journey, you can support TeamCIF by helping them along the way to their fundraising goal. With your donations, their hard work running will support CIF’s 

  • Person-centered coaching
  • Supported housing 
  • Community building

Visit this link and donate to the entire team or you can also visit the runners’ individual fundraising pages by clicking on names listed below. 

To learn more about how you can support Team CIF, contact Joanie Ducayet at (847) 328-2044. Thank you for helping our dedicated team run for full lives! 

Team CIF 2022

Would you like to do more to support TeamCIF? Please share this link to our donation page.

We have a place for you at Brews & Bites!

As our Brews & Bites event gets closer, we want to reassure our community that we have worked hard to prepare an event that allows us to gather together in the safest way possible.

While we are not requiring our guests to wear masks, this event will be a mask-friendly environment. Our venue, Double Clutch Brewing Company, provides the opportunity for us to gather (weather permitting) with both indoor and outdoor tables and seating. Our ticket price reflects the fact that we will be providing individually plated dinners, rather than a collection of small bites served on large communal trays.

With large, accessible indoor spaces, and outdoor tables and chairs, party goers will be able to find just the right location to make everyone feel comfortable.

As always, your financial support is crucial to our work. All of the funds raised at Brews & Bites will support our person-centered coaching, supported housing, and community building. These services have never been so important as the world moves forward recovering from the pandemic.

Please join us on Sunday, June 26 from 4-7. If you are not able to attend, please consider making a donation or purchasing raffle tickets for our Weekend Getaway Raffle. Winners need not be present to win!

Thank you so much for supporting Center for Independent Futures!

Win a weekend getaway to historical Galena, Illinois

As Brews & Bites gets closer, we are excited to announce our Getaway Raffle! Tickets are 1 for $25, or 5 for $100 with a total of only 150 sold

Your long weekend experience begins with a three-night stay in a lovely contemporary 3  bedroom, 4 bathroom house located in the heart of The Galena Territory. Relax in the private hot tub and enjoy the spectacular views from either the new deck or the fire pit.

Your stay includes passes to The Galena Territory Owners Club, with a state-of-the-art fitness center,  café with indoor and outdoor patio seating, and three great pools!

To make your weekend complete – this package offers tickets for you and your guests to a tour & tasting at Blaum Brothers Distillery, and tickets to Galena’s own Hoof It! Goat Treks.

All proceeds from this raffle will go to support Center for Independent Futures’ person-centered coaching and education, community-based supported housing, and inclusive community building.

The drawing will be held on June 26th at Brews & Bites. Winner need not be present to win. Date of the weekend getaway to be determined with the owner.  Major holiday weekends are excluded.

Get your tickets now!

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Brews & Bites is moving to summer!!!

We are excited to announce that Brews & Bites is moving to summer! For years, Center for Independent Futures hosted “Something’s Cooking” each fall. In 2019, Something’s Cooking became Brews & Bites to sample the best beers Chicagoland has to offer. Now in our 20th anniversary year, Brews & Bites moves to summer for the ultimate indoor-outdoor experience!

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This year, Brews & Bites will be held at Evanston’s newest brewery –  Double Clutch Brewing Company, 2121 Ashland Avenue, Evanston. Double Clutch is more than just a brewery.  It has on display an extensive collection of rare and vintage classic cars. This large, 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!  

Come and celebrate the past 20 years while supporting Center for Independent Futures’ next steps into the future, supporting full lives! 

Tickets are on sale now! Get yours today!! 

It’s Very Rewarding

Center for Independent Futures’ envisions a future where people with disabilities have access to all the opportunities of living a full life. What’s living a full life? It’s having the right to choose your own path. Picking where you want to live. Working where you feel respected. Choosing your own community and friends. The freedom to make your own decisions matters. 

This vision guides our work with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Our caring, committed, and supportive employees work collaboratively to support individuals and their families to develop skills and make the reality of living full lives possible.

In 2021, Annie Carlson and Julie Miller joined Independent Futures as Life Skills Tutors. Annie said, “I work for Independent Futures because it is my passion to be able to assist individuals with disabilities to maintain living independently through goal setting and supporting the acquisition of life skills in order to achieve their hopes and dreams.”

Julie added, “One of the main reasons I like working with Independent Futures is because you get to develop really interesting relationships with amazing people. It’s like you are getting to learn alongside them. It’s very rewarding.”

If you are a person who believes in a hopeful and vibrant future for all people, please send us a cover letter and resume and let us know why you are the perfect candidate for our job openings!

Success Stories

sun14jul12:00 amsun1:00 pmBingo - Sundays - Zoom

sun14jul2:00 pmsun3:30 pmMusic Sharing Group - Zoom

mon15jul4:00 pmmon5:00 pmYoga - Monday - In Person & Zoom

mon15jul5:00 pmmon6:00 pmBook Club - Zoom

mon15jul6:30 pmmon7:30 pmBowling at Wilmette Bowl - In Person

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

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