The work of SOS Children's Villages in the United States began in 1950, when a group was established in New York to put Hermann Gmeiner's idea into practice in that country. In 1963, "Friends of SOS Children's Villages International Inc." was officially registered. Despite its economic wealth, many children and young people are in need of protection and support in the United States of America.
At present there are four SOS Children’s Villages in the USA.
SOS Children’s Village Chicago opened in central Chicago on Thursday 26 August 2004. What was once the site of an old mattress factory is now the home of almost 100 children. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and Alderman Latasha Thomas of the 17th ward joined local leaders at the grand opening on the city’s Southside.
The village consists of twelve family homes and four duplexes, which house children and SOS parents. The village can house up to 90 children. In addition, another 24 homes are in the process of being built for moderate-income families through the Chicago Department of Housing’s New Homes for Chicago and will round out the scattered site community. The village also has a director's house, administration building and playground.
The centrepiece of the village is a community centre that includes day care, and infant and toddler programmes, an outpatient therapy centre, meeting rooms and administrative offices. Soon, ground will be broken and construction will begin on the centre, which will be open to the entire Auburn-Gresham community.
This project would not have been possible without the help of the Mayor and the City of Chicago. The City’s contribution came from its Safe Homes for Kids and New Homes for Chicago programmes. The Illinois Housing Development Authority provided a grant from the State’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund and funds from the State’s Donation Tax Credits Fund.