Breakthrough Urban Ministries

In Chicago’s East Garfield Park, there are significant negative influences to overcome. Breakthrough fosters the development of the community by building healthy relationship networks, growing the skills of the men, women, and children, and promoting the transfer of wisdom to our younger generation. We do this primarily through homeless intervention, youth development, and food services.


Breakthough partners with those affected by poverty to build connections, develop skills, and open doors of opportunity.


Visit us at to see a dynamic list of individual, group, ongoing, and one-time volunteer opportunities and to learn how you can get involved in this powerful work. You can view some of the opportunities to serve below.

VCB Contact: Stephanie St. John

Homeless Intervention:
Meal Group Leader (Manna Ministry): Daily | All Mealtimes
Gather a group to provide and serve a monthly meal while building relationships with guests
Weekday Kitchen Assistant: Monday-Friday | Daytime Hours
Work alongside kitchen staff to prepare healthy meals for homeless guests OR volunteer to serve meals at our women's center during the week from 7-9:30am and/or 11:30am-1pm
Shelter Assistant: Daily | Daytime and Evening Hours
Partner with staff to provide program support, admin help, and build relationships with guests
Activity Program Assistant: Daily | Daytime and Evening Hours
Provide fun activities for guests like spa and game days, tournaments, exercise programs, and team-building.
Skills-Building and Adult Literacy Coach: Daily | Daytime and Evening Hours
Assist adults with job-readiness skills (6-7pm Thursdays), technology training, or GED tutoring
Housing Program Partner: Monthly | Evenings
Come alongside permanent housing guests through community groups and life-skills coaching

Youth Development:
Academic Tutor: School year: M-F | 3:30-6:30pm, Summer: Mon-Thurs | 9am-3pm
Pick a day and work with kids grades K-8 in our youth program while building relationships
Sports and Fitness Coach: Seasonal | Times Vary
Come alongside kids in team sports, running and fitness clubs, and healthy living
Arts and Science Assistant/Teacher: Fri, 4:30-6pm | sat 10-11:30am | Other times available
Expose youth to art, cooking, science, business, or technology in 6-week sessions
Early Childhood Activity Assistant: Mon-Thurs | 8:45am-12:30pm September-May
Partner with staff to provide enrichment activities to help children become kindergarten ready

Neighborhood Transformation:
Fresh Market Community Delivery Driver: Breakthrough’s Fresh Market needs a volunteer to deliver fresh food and produce bags to the homes of our senior and shut-in community residents in East Garfield Park.Drivers must be willing to drive their own vehicles on a pre-assigned route. Deliveries are the second Saturday and fourth Tuesday of every month, mornings or afternoons. For more information, contact Valerie Davenport at (773) 346-1785 ext. 236 or email
Fresh Market Pantry Assistant: 4-8:30pm Tuesday; 7am-12:30pm Thursday and SaturdayHelp alleviate hunger by setting up the pantry, assisting shoppers, and making deliveries.
Food & Supply Donation Pick-Up Assistant: Flexible days and hours
Help feed the neighborhood by picking up donated goods from partner groceries and restaurants.
Technology Center Assistant: Times will vary
Provide one-on-one tutoring or small group instruction on computers and job-readiness.

Behind the Scenes:
Administrative/Event/Volunteer Support: Monday through Friday | 8:30am-5pm
Use your administrative gifts to assist staff with data entry, phone calls, emails, and filing.
HR/Volunteer Management: Flexible days and hours
Work with the program coordinator to manage a volunteer task force.
Facilities/Vehicles: Flexible days and hours
Keep our properties in tip-top shape by volunteering your expertise in maintenance and repair.
Garden Care: Flexible days and hours
Assist a team of community gardeners to grow fresh produce for our kitchens and neighborhood.