May 25, 2022
Celebrates 20 years of serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Tinley Park
For 20 years, St. Coletta’s of Illinois has called Tinley Park home.
Nestled in a business park on Crossing Drive, the social service agency has provided residential, educational and vocational services to thousands of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities from throughout the south and southwest suburbs.
On May 4, the Village of Tinley Park recognized the non-profit for its 20-year milestone at 18350 Crossing Drive during its 2022 Tinley Park Business Breakfast.
“It’s no secret that Tinley Park is a great place to live and work,” Mayor Michael Glotz told attendees. “Our business community lies at the heart of our great village, which provides the economic fuel needed to sustain our growth and ensure Tinley Park remains successful long into the future.”
Founded in 1949 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Coletta’s originally operated from a farmhouse in Palos Park. They served 29 boys that first year and, as enrollment increased, expanded the campus to include residential cottages, a school, dining hall and church. Girls were admitted to St. Coletta’s for the first time in 1984.
By 1990, its facilities were in need of expensive repairs, including roofing, masonry tuck-pointing and asbestos abatement.
A decision was made to begin anew by deinstitutionalizing the 105 children and adults living on campus and opening group homes in neighborhoods throughout the south and southwest suburbs. Each home offers 24-hour supervision along with cooking assistance, cleaning assistance, life skills training, clinical supports and evening/weekend activities.
Tinley Park was selected to serve as the site of its new vocational training center and school as it was centrally located to the group homes.
Today, St. Coletta’s of Illinois serves more than 300 individuals, including nearly 100 students at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. School for Exceptional Children and about 200 residential clients at its various group homes.
Residents are transported to the Tinley Park campus each day to work on their life skills, vocational training and leisure activities. The goal of the Community Day Services is to prepare participants for community employment, economic self-sufficiency and integration into the community.
Local businesses, including Jewel, Tinley Bowl, TJ Maxx, Portillo’s, Meijer’s and McDonald’s, have partnered with St. Coletta’s to offer employment to many of the adult participants.
Other businesses and churches, including Orland Toyota and Lexus, Aero Rubber, Atlas Putty, St. Stephen’s Catholic Church and St. George Catholic Church, have delivered Christmas presents to the group homes and even organized food drives through the years.
“All of your employers are wonderful to us,” Executive Director Annette Skafgaard told Tinley Park trustees when St. Coletta’s was invited to be profiled in the Tinley Park Business Spotlight series.
“We are part of your community,” she added. “Our people just love being in the community and being in the homes.”
You can watch the Business Spotlight segment at: Business Spotlight: St. Coletta's (March 15, 2022) - YouTube
To learn more about St. Coletta’s of Illinois, please visit our website at www.stcolettail.org or call Annette Skafgaard at 708-342-5200.