Office of Faith Based Initiatives (OFBI)

The Office of Faith Based Initiatives (OFBI), is committed and dedicated to bridging the gaps between Chicago Public Schools and the faith based communities of Chicago.

Our mission is to establish effective partnerships with faith based institutions city-wide. We understand the role of faith based leaders as valuable resources, and know that these partnerships actively engage the community and contributes towards the success of our students and schools. OFBI has several programmatic branches: Safe Haven (more details below), Crisis Training, The Church Adopt-a-School, and Capacity Building Training.

Safe Haven

The Safe Haven program is housed in the Office of Faith Based Initiatives of Chicago Public Schools and provides a “safe haven” for CPS students that is a reliable and no cost alternative place for students and parents during critical high violence periods in the city. The mission of Safe Haven to eradicate bullying and instill practices to combat youth violence and to engage students in workshops that focus on positive conflict resolutions, anger management, anti-bullying, and anti-violence.

Safe Haven is a partnership between CPS and the Faith Community. There are currently over 300 established partners. The program runs in 3 cycles: Afterschool (November - May); Spring Break (March/April); Summer Break (July-August). The program serves over 12,000 students annually.

Safe Haven Sites

South Side Churches

Southside Church Pastor Address Zip
Bright Star Pastor Chris Harris 735 E. 44th Street 60615
KLEO Center Pastor Torrey Barrett 119 E. Garfield 60637
Lilydale Progressive Pastor Lawrence Walker 10706 S. Michigan 60628
New Canaanland Pastor Pervis Thomas 5957 S. Peoria 60621
New Memorial Pastor Roosevelt Walker 6844 S. Indiana 60637
New Nazareth Pastor Jarvis Hanson 7933 S. Yates 60617
Redemptive Tabernacle Pastor Linford Coleman 9989 S. Beverly 60643
St. James Industrial Pastor Warner J. Pitts 8539 S. Racine 60620
Vernon Baptist Church Pastor Andrew Gibson 6400 S. Champlain 60637
Metropolitan Pastor Leon Finney 4100 S. King Drive 60653

West Side Churches

West Side Churches  Pastor Address Zip
Corinthian Temple Pastor David Whitney 4520 W. Washington Blvd 60624
Mt. Ebenezer Community Outreach Pastor Leon Miller 3555 W. Huron 60624
Greater Rock MBC Pastor Floyd James 718 S. Independence 60624
Heirs of the Promise Pastor Joseph Kyles 4821 W. Chicago Ave 60651
Peoples Church of the Harvest Pastor Michael Eaddy 3570 W. Fifth Ave 60624
New Landmark Pastor Cy Fields 2700 W. Wilcox 60612

North Side Churches

Latino/North  Pastor Address Zip
Christian Fellowship Flock Pastor Freddie Caraballo 10724 S. Ewing 60617
Family Empowerment Center Pastor Scott Menke 1533 W. Devon Ave 60660
First Congregational Pastor Jose Rosa 1305 N. Hamlin 60651
Grace and Peace Pastor John Zayas 2100 N. Kildare 60639
New Life Centers Pastor John LaTorre 1410 N. Springfield 60651
New Life Pilsen Pastor Robert Belfort 2512 S. Oakley 60608
New Life Family Centers Pastor Edwin Carrera 2910 N. Central Ave 60634
United Church of Rogers Park Pastor Wesley Dorr 1542 West Morse Avenue 60626

Crisis Support

One of the many functions of the Children First Fund is to assist with funeral arrangements for an untimely death of an active CPS student. This operation is housed in the Office of Faith Based Initiatives (OFBI), and the Office of Family and Community Engagement (FACE). Once a crisis alert is issued from the Crisis Response Team, an OFBI Field Coordinator is assigned to contact the family, express condolences, and work with the family and funeral home to assist with financial support.

Qualified families are offered up to a $1500 stipend to assist with funeral cost. All active CPS students are eligible for this fund, including charter, contract, and alternative schools. Inactive students or recent high school graduates are not eligible for the fund.


OFBI values this special partnership that expands community participation and involvement in the development of educational support for Chicago’s students in areas of truancy remediation, social service support and family literacy.

Churches are required to “Adopt-A-School” to make ensure a collaborative effort is established between the community and school to address the challenges that our students and families face in an effort to help them realize their full potential.

Office of Family and Community Engagement in Education
773.553.FACE (3223)

Community Action Councils
Parent University 
Local School Council Relations
Volunteer Programs


Page Last Modified on Wednesday, April 25, 2018