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Our Journey Through Time 

Incorporated in 1976 as an Intermediate Care Facility (ICF), Riverside Foundation embarked on a journey that has transformed the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Over the past 47 years, we have grown, extending our compassionate services to 97 individuals from diverse backgrounds—individuals transitioning from state facilities, private residences, and family homes. Our main residential location in Lincolnshire, small group homes across Lake County, and the vibrant Work and Activity Center in Vernon Hills have been the heartbeats of our commitment. 

Origins of Care 

In 1976, Riverside Foundation took its first steps by offering residential services to those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In 1978, the Relatives and Friends of Riverside Foundation formed, dedicated to raising funds for our programs. Renamed the Riverside Women’s Board, this group of passionate women volunteered countless hours, raising over $7 million for our cause. 

Expanding Horizons 

In 1986, Riverside introduced an off-site developmental training program in Deerfield, emphasizing individual goals and choices. In 2004, our Work and Activity Center (RWA) found a larger home in Corporate Woods industrial park, Vernon Hills. In 2020, responding to evolving state policies, RWA moved to a more compact Vernon Hills location, broadening our programs to include volunteering, employment, community access, and diverse activities.


Orlandis exploring YouTube at the Riverside Campus

Anna and Paul enjoying a beautiful day on the patio at Riverside

Community Integration and Independence 

In 2015, Riverside inaugurated its first Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA), a supportive home for four men. By 2017, two more group homes were established, providing sanctuary for a total of 12 individuals. In 2020, Riverside introduced an intermittent CILA program, enabling qualifying individuals to live independently with personalized support for less than 15 hours a week. 

Empowering Through Employment 

In 2021, nine individuals secured community jobs earning minimum wage, fostering a strong sense of community belonging. Riverside individuals also contributed significantly by packing kits for Deerfield Coalition, a task later absorbed by Riverside Foundation, resulting in the birth of North Shore Coalition. This subsidiary now offers seasonal employment to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at minimum wage. 

Continued Growth and Care 

In 2023, Riverside Foundation expanded its CILA program, welcoming two new group homes in Mundelein and Grayslake. With these additions, our CILA program now serves 23 individuals, marking another milestone in our ongoing mission to empower lives and nurture communities. 

Join us in celebrating our rich history and the bright future we continue to build together at Riverside Foundation. 

Our team, including: Rick Lange, Mary Swiatkowski, Donna Graves, Katie Ciura, and Bill Mahrenholz, were captured enjoying the lovely patio at our Riverside Campus.

“The residents regularly reinforce the importance and value of showing kindness and acceptance. Additionally, Riv- erside’s talented and caring staff consistently display genuine compassionate attention to each and every resident. And, the Women’s Board continues to go out of their way to provide warm-hearted assistance, creative programs and activities for the residents, along with much needed fundraising. It is a pleasure to be a part of the Riverside Family!”
Jim Walsh
Former Riverside Foundation Board of Directors
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