In the fall of 1978, 10 dedicated Chinese Americans came together to bridge the gap in services for Chinese American immigrants in Chicago. Their passion and commitment ignited the spark for the Chinese American Service League (CASL), which has since burgeoned into a nurturing hub in the heart of Chinatown.
Today, some 34 years later, CASL is the largest, most comprehensive social service agency in the Midwest dedicated to serving the needs of Chinese Americans. At CASL, we welcome all who walk through our doors, providing child services, elder services, employment training services, family counseling, and housing and financial education to over 17,000 clients of all ages and backgrounds each year.
With more than 450 multilingual and multicultural professional and support staff — complemented by a team of over 700 dedicated volunteers — we offer our clients vital physical, economic, mental, and social support. Our nearly $11.5 million budget — which includes generous contributions from individual, foundation, and corporate donors — supports programming that mainly serves newly arrived immigrants who often lack formal education, possess few transferable job skills, and know little of the new world around them. Since many of these individuals do not speak English and sometimes have no family or friends in the area, CASL becomes their instant family, friend, and teacher.
With our support, CASL clients become thriving residents of the greater Chicago community, making valuable contributions in their own right as independent, productive members of society. In the words of one of those clients, “We had nothing but our dreams. The Chinese American Service League helped us realize them.”