In 1975, YSP programming responded to community volunteers’ concerns about the impact of drugs on the youth and the community.

Since then, YSP has expanded to meet the changing needs of the community through a continuum of programs that focuses on youth development, recreational opportunities and respecting the voices of our young people.  YSP has been able to help transform the lives of almost 1,000 young people annually.  Our core service areas are recreation, prevention, diversion, intervention, arts and culture, education, and community building.

The communities YSP serves are not limited to Humboldt Park, Hermosa, Logan Square, Belmont-Cragin, West Town and Austin.  We conduct youth development programs throughout the community and the schools therein.  The community is predominately Latino and African-American, 48% and 47% respectively.  In addition, 95% of YSP’s youth come from low-income homes. Compared with statistics for the city of Chicago as a whole, the community has a lower median family income and a higher unemployment rate.  Humboldt Park ranks among the communities with the lowest median incomes in Chicago. Census data also indicates a strikingly high unemployment rate of 19.1% in Humboldt Park.