Volunteer Spotlight – Lauren Maloney

July’s Helping Hands Club inductee is Lauren Maloney, Jack of all Trades volunteer.

Every Harbour volunteer is important and appreciated no matter how much time they give to our mission.  Some volunteers give hundreds of hours of help throughout the year.  Some come in once a week to assist with specific tasks.  And others give whatever time they can to help the mission.

“There are no great acts, only small acts done with great love.” – Mother Teresa

“Everyone in life is busy, but most of us can squeeze in assisting others in small ways.  This makes helping The Harbour a pleasure since we all can do a little together.” – Lauren Maloney 

As a local Park Ridge native, Lauren started helping The Harbour by coordinating baked good donation drop offs with two local bakeries, House of Cakes and LeFlour. Lauren would stop by with lots of day-old goodies for youth in our programs to have and share.  Weekly donation drop offs snowballed into another new project and then another new project.  Over one year later Lauren continues to come up with new ways to help and support The Harbour.

Since joining The Harbour’s volunteer crew, Lauren has hosted a gently used children’s book drive, organized concession donations for our Film Festival and started a lunchtime food/snack sharing program with her students at Lincoln Middle School.

“These ways of helping, however small, make me feel like I can make a difference in the health, safety  and quality of life for the young people involved with The Harbour.  As a volunteer with The Harbour, I am lucky to work with the staff to have flexibility and creativity about the ways that I can help. They are open to ideas in which young people can support the programs and mission, and help us all to share our time and talents with others.” – Lauren

Lauren’s small gestures, in some way, impact each youth in all the Harbour’s programs.  STEPs parents and children can bond and read new stories thanks to book donations. Harbour youth felt like movie stars getting VIP treatment thanks to Lauren and her group’s help organizing concessions for our Film Festival.  Both middle school students and Harbour youth can have and share healthy snacks foods thanks to a food sharing program Lauren initiated this past school year.

Lauren believes that small gestures can make a big impact.  Little by little she is making a difference in the lives of everyone at The Harbour.

“Knowing that even small things help, like dropping off coffeecakes for breakfast, or having friends clean out bookshelves for gently used books — makes it a meaningful way to help others.  None of these small gestures will solve the problems of homelessness, but if we continue to work together to connect the dots in ways we can share, donate, contribute and help — then the problems do not seem hopeless, but instead we can all feel hopeful.” – Lauren

Thank you, Lauren, for your dedication and support!


New Leader Kicks off New Fiscal Year

The Harbour is pleased to announce Kris Salyards, LCSW, as the new Executive Director of The Harbour.  Mrs. Salyards will succeed Randi Gurian, LCSW, who is retiring, June 30, after 15 years at The Harbour.


Mrs. Salyards has served as The Harbour’s Program Director for the past three years.  With over 20 years of experience working with disadvantaged and foster youth, Kris has been an integral part of the growth and change at The Harbour.  She holds an MA in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Illinois.


As Program Director, Kris managed three community programs and two DCFS programs: Safe Harbour Emergency Shelter, Youth in Transition and Successful Teens/Effective Parents, DCFS Transitional Living and Independent Living.  Each program is designed to foster self-sufficiency and success.   The Safe Harbour Emergency Shelter offers safe, short-term shelter for girls ages 12-21.  Community Youth in Transition provides up to 18 months of transitional housing to youth ages 16-21 through both supervised group living and scattered-site apartments.  Successful Teens/Effective Parents provides specialized services to pregnant and parenting youth ages 16-21 as they live in their own apartments and learn skills to parent effectively.  DCSF Transitional Living and Independent Living provide DCFS wards with up to three years of support as they approach emancipation.   


Kris’ focused and creative vision has led the agency to implement a strengths-based partnership model for youth, created and sustained three new extra-curricular groups for youth and offered on-site GED prep classes.  As The Harbour embarks on their 45th year of service Mrs. Salyards has big aspirations for The Harbour and its future.  Kris plans to expand services additional youth in our communities, offer additional support to promote positive outcomes and self-sufficiency and develop opportunities for youth to practice skills learned from the program.


For more information on how to get involved or to learn more about our services and programs, please visit www.theharbour.org, or contact Rosie Paparella, at rosie@theharbour.org.

Harbour Golf Outing is Looking “Fore” Support

The Harbour Invites You to “Chip In” Against Youth Homelessness
Spend a day on the course for a cause and help “putt” an end to youth homelessness.

The Harbour is looking to attain sponsors for its Third Annual Fore! The Harbour Golf Outing on Aug. 15 at the Grove Country Club, 3217 Rfd in Long Grove.
Four distinct sponsorship opportunities are available this year.
Hole in One: $5,000
• Presenting event sponsors and exclusive marketing benefits

19th Hole: $2,500
• Luncheon or Awards Ceremony sponsor

Eagle: $1,500
• Bar sponsor

Birdie: $500
• Hole Sponsor or Participation Gift Sponsor

Sponsors will receive upwards of 1,000 exposures throughout the course of the outing and including several weeks leading up to the event. Our sponsorship opportunities are designed to help you meet your marketing objectives. Each package includes customization support from our sponsorship staff.

All funds raised benefit The Harbour’s emergency and transitional housing programs and supportive services to homeless youth in the north and northwest suburbs.

For more information and to secure your sponsorship, contact Rosie Paparella at (847) 893-0690 or rosie@theharbour.org.

Volunteer Spotlight – Jennifer Jennings

June’s Helping Hands Club inductee is Jennifer Jennings, Young Professionals Board member.
Some volunteers have been supporting The Harbour’s mission for several decades.  Others have just recently joined our mission. One thing is common for all our volunteers – they are passionate about making a difference and know, in their heart, The Harbour is where they were meant to be.

Many of our Young Professionals Board members came to The Harbour looking for a way to give back to their community.  Jennifer came to The Harbour looking to give back to at-risk youth  – something she was passionate about.

“I took a job that gave me more free time and I wanted to spend that free time doing something meaningful. I was looking for an organization in the suburbs that addressed issues that are important to me–at-risk youth, foster care, homelessness.” – Jennifer 

After transplanting to Glenview, the Madison, WI native was looking for a way to give back to those in need and support a cause that was close to her heart.  The mission of the organization attracted Jennifer to The Harbour and she soon found herself inquiring about our Young Professionals Board.

Known as the “Eliminator of all confusion” Jennifer is known for listening intently, asking questions and turning program ideas on their head at work and in volunteer positions – all great qualities for a Young Professionals Board member.  Since joining she has helped with donation sorting days, the annual spring benefit, our youth banquet and has taken on her own projects.

“I like doing something that gives back to the community and feels worthwhile. The best moments are when you get to interact with the people that you are helping, and then you can see the impact.” – Jennifer 

Though Jennifer’s journey with The Harbour is merely starting out, she has already made an impact.  She is already volunteering with the Young Professionals Board and has stepped up to plan an upcoming fundraiser – a Paint Nite on June 27.  Painters of all ages and artistic abilities are encouraged to join the Young Professionals Board for a night of painting fun.  For more information, please visit our website.

We are excited to see what else Jennifer will accomplish in her time with The Harbour.  Thank you, Jennifer, for your dedication and support!

Head “fore” the golf course this summer

Spend a day on the course for a cause and help “putt” an end to youth homelessness.

Hit the greens with Fore! The Harbour: Third Annual Golf Outing Aug. 15 at The Grove Country Club, 3217 Rfd.

Enjoy a day of golf with The Harbour at a private golf course in Long Grove. Fore! The Harbour is a shotgun scramble outing that will get everyone to chip in today for opportunities for a successful tomorrow.

The $200 entry fee includes a day of golf, lunch, goody bags and awards reception. Hole contests, raffles and more will be available throughout the course.  Winning foursome will be commemorated on our Fore! The Harbour trophy.

Foursomes and individuals can register online or by mail.

All funds raised benefit The Harbour’s emergency and transitional housing programs and supportive services to homeless youth in the north and northwest suburbs.

For more information and to purchase tickets, call (847) 893-0690 or email Rosie at rosie@theharbour.org.



Congratulations Randi on being named the 2016 Bobby Mayer Commitment to Youth honoree! You are an inspiration to all.

When Randi signed on as Executive Director of The Harbour in 2001, she brought with her experience in direct practice and child welfare administration. Randi had been a leader in professional organizations, notably President of the National Association of Perinatal Social Workers, and both Vice President and Treasurer of the Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Randi had worked for 17 years as a clinician, beginning her career working with families in a special education district, and then working for 13 years at Children’s Memorial with a variety of populations, most notably teen parents and the families of infants requiring intensive care. Randi moved from direct practice to administration, with progressively responsible positions at several child welfare agencies.

Randi was ready for a challenge when the Executive Director position was offered. The organization was facing significant issues at the time, but she saw something special in The Harbour – a place where youth could find a safe haven and new beginnings. Randi’s background in child welfare and extensive experience providing direct service to children and families proved an asset to the organization; fifteen years later, The Harbour is stronger than ever, with exciting things on the horizon. Randi brought her energy and dedication to youth and families to the agency. During her tenure, Randi has tirelessly dedicated herself to the organization’s mission: Offering youth safety today and opportunities for a successful tomorrow. Randi expanded services to new populations; the Safe Harbour Emergency Shelter was opened to youth 18 and over, and a program for pregnant and parenting youth was developed. Services to wards of the state expanded to include services to youth in their own apartments. As the organization has grown, Randi has created a learning culture at the organization, and has mentored dozens of youth and staff. Under her leadership, over 1,500 youth have received services.

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Master’s degree in Business Administration and over 40 years of social work experience, Randi’s professional credentials are

impressive. Equally inspiring is Randi’s ability to balance professional achievements with a rich personal life of eclectic interests. A lover of adventure travel, Randi has hiked in Switzerland, France, Italy, and Yosemite, and has even gone down the Grand Canyon in a rubber raft. Randi is also a fan of figure skating and ice hockey. In her downtime, Randi enjoys a game of hearts or scrabble, and admits that Candy Crush is one of her guilty pleasures. An avid reader, Randi enjoys a variety of genres including mysteries, fantasy and military science fiction. Although Randi sees her retirement from The Harbour as bittersweet, she looks forward to spending more time with her beloved family – husband, Charles; son, Josh; and future daughter-in-law, Perrin.

Randi’s dedication to Harbour youth throughout the years epitomizes the adage, “When passion meets action, lives change.” We are honored to recognize her 15 years of service to The Harbour. Congratulations Randi on being named the 2016 Bobby Mayer Commitment to Youth recipient!


Congratulations A’Shonti on being named the 2016 Beacon of Success! You are an inspiration to all!

As a teenager, A’Shonti experienced years of intermittent homelessness. During high school, her mother kicked her out several times, and she bounced around from one family member to another. Despite the instability at home, education was important to A’Shonti; she finished high school and she went to the University of Iowa without substantial support from her family. A’Shonti was not welcome home during school breaks and instead couch surfed at friends’ homes. During her second year at college, a reunification seemed possible – A’Shonti’s mother invited her to come home during Christmas break. Unfortunately, A’Shonti’s hopes of a relationship were dashed when she was kicked out by her mother in the middle of the night. After spending the night at the police station, A’Shonti took a mega bus back to Iowa, where she began couch surfing again. This instability made it impossible for her to remain in school and she returned to Chicago where she got a job and continued to couch surf.

A’Shonti heard about The Harbour from a co-worker. She entered the Safe Harbour Emergency Shelter where she found a welcoming environment, freedom to express herself, and a place to call home. The Harbour staff helped A’Shonti again explore the possibility of returning home, but it was not possible. A’Shonti transferred to a supervised group home within The Harbour’s Youth in Transition program. A’Shonti gained independent living skills, and prepared to move into her own apartment within the Youth in Transition program. In addition to providing A’Shonti with startup household goods and a gradually declining rent subsidy, The Harbour provided continued case management to her during her time in the program. A’Shonti credits her Therapeutic Case Manager, Jessica Zimmer, for providing a critical support system, offering advice, and helping her plan for her future. While at The Harbour, staff supported A’Shonti in maintaining healthy relationships with her brothers and other family members.

Two years after her first night in the Emergency Shelter, A’Shonti has graduated from The Harbour and attends DePaul University, where she will soon graduate with a major in Psychology with a Human Development concentration and a minor in Communication Studies. A’Shonti’s dedication to obtaining her degree is nothing short of impressive; she has worked between three and four jobs to make college possible. In addition to working with the disabled community to teach living and social skills, A’Shonti also works with the Oxford House Study to research individuals with substance abuse issues. With the tools and resources A’Shonti gained at The Harbour, she is currently moving in to her own apartment, and looks forward to applying to graduate schools for her Psy.D or Ph.D program. Ultimately, A’Shonti hopes to become a psychologist doing clinical work with adult male prisoners.