Mission & History

Mission Statement

The Crisis Center for South Suburbia is a non-profit community organization that provides emergency shelter and other essential services for individuals and families victimized by domestic violence and addresses the societal issues that contribute to domestic violence.


1976—The Committee on Women of the Palos Branch of the American Association University Women began to study the issue of domestic violence. They visited safe houses, attended conferences, read extensively on the subject and prepared a comprehensive bibliography.

1978—The committee established a “hotline” in a member’s kitchen. They began documenting the calls they received from battered women seeking safety and support. That spring, the group received seed money from the American Association of University Women to begin training volunteers and to provide services to clients.

1979—The group had obtained their incorporation as a not-for-profit agency and had established a primary catchment area comprised of the ten townships south of Chicago. Eight beds were secured at a local community center and professional counselors were hired.

1980—A farmhouse, capable of sheltering nineteen women and children was secured by the agency. Counseling sessions took place on the back porch in the summer, and in the busy living room in colder weather. Staff, volunteers and nineteen clients shared a single bathroom.

1980-1989—The Crisis Center would continue to work out of the farmhouse, expanding services and implementing new programs over the next nine years.

1986-1993— In1986, Neat Repeats opened in Blue Island as a way to channel clothing donations for clients and to raise funds for programs and services.  In 1988, Neat Repeats moved to Worth.  In 1993, Neat Repeats moved to its current location in Worth.

1989—The board of directors initiated a capital campaign to construct a new shelter. In the subsequent three years, $1.3 million was raised.

1991—The board of directors, volunteers, staff and nineteen women and their children moved into a new 35-bed shelter facility. This facility is home to the Crisis Center for South Suburbia today.

1996—Due to the growth of the agency, a garage, multi-purpose room, and additional office space was added to the facility.

2001—The Crisis Center announced its Bridges Transitional Housing Program as it continued it’s comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence.

2001—Construction of a 3,000 square foot addition was completed, including nine counseling offices, a group counseling room, and a computer room, and was dedicated as the Elizabeth F. Mahar Counseling Center on Wednesday, September 19, 2001.

2002—The Crisis Center announced its Community Policing Program to better assist domestic violence victims seeking assistance through law enforcement.

2002—The Crisis Center opened its second Neat Repeats resale store in a new strip mall located at 9020 W. 159th Street, Orland Park.

2002—The Crisis Center received the President’s Community Volunteer Award from President George Bush.

2003—The Crisis Center is 25 years strong!

2005—An apartment building was purchased for the Transitional Housing Program.

2005—A new logo was introduced, with outstretched arms representing the comprehensive nature of the services offered through the Crisis Center.

2007—A new playground was built with new equipment and flooring, offering a safe outdoor play environment for the children staying at the shelter.

2008—The Crisis Center began its 30 year anniversary, remembering its founder, Dianne Masters, and honoring the many victims and survivors of domestic violence whose lives have been touched by of the vision and passion of its founding mothers.

2010 – The Crisis Center entered the social media world with a page on Facebook, offering a new way to post photos, announce upcoming events, and connect with friends.

2012 – Neat Repeats Orland Park moved to a new location. With expanded space, Neat Repeats generates increased revenue.

2011 – 2013 – Expanded Transitional Housing funding allows the Crisis Center to increase the program from three units to nine.

2014 – The Crisis Center for South Suburbia has provided services for victims of domestic violence for 35 years!

2017 – Neat Repeats – Worth moves into new, larger location a few blocks east of previous location (6602 W. 111th St.).

2018- Neat Repeats – Orland Park undergoes renovation including new lighting and fixtures leading to a better overall shopping experience.

2019 – The Crisis Center for South Suburbia celebrates 40 years of HOPE! #hope4forty

Crisis Center for South Suburbia