Before becoming part of Chicago in 1889, Riverdale was mostly farmland occupied by a Dutch settler and abolitionist named John Ton who managed Riverdale’s stop along the Underground Railroad. It was also an actual railroad, the Illinois Central Railroad, which led to the town’s Chicago annexation and industry in the area. Bordering Roseland, Riverdale from its start was also infused with progressive thought (for the time) regarding diversity. Today, Riverdale is recovering from the effects of the collapse of major sources of industry, but the community is mending quickly and on the rise.
The center is named after Dorothy Gautreaux, a Civil Rights activist and community organizer who fought for housing equality. She was an Altgeld resident who was instrumental in winning class-action lawsuits against the Chicago Housing Authority for unjust public housing practices, including segregation. The Gautreaux Program, named after her, was a nationwide initiative that desegregated public housing and improved quality of life for program members.
The center offers quality Early Childhood Education programming. In addition, the center benefits from CYC partnerships that provide additional services, including family literacy, computer literacy and the Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy program. The center’s goal is to give children the tools, support and guidance they need to reach their full potential through the following age-specific programs:
CYC – Dorothy Gautreaux Youth Center
975 E. 132nd Street
Chicago, IL 60827
Child Care Director