CASL is the largest, most comprehensive social service agency in the Midwest dedicated to serving the needs of Chinese Americans. For 40 years, we have welcomed all who walk through our doors regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, lifestyle, and needs. We serve over 11,000 diverse clients each year:
- Providing an educational and cultural foundation for our children
- Ensuring our seniors live full and independent lives with dignity
- Enhancing education and training for tomorrow’s workforce
- Strengthening families while honoring cultural heritage
- Securing our community’s housing and financial well-being
With more than 500 multilingual and multicultural professional and support staff — complemented by a team of over 250 dedicated volunteers — we offer our clients vital physical, economic, mental, and social support. Our $13+ million budget — which includes generous contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporate donors — supports programming that primarily serves 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 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.”
The Chinese American Service League (CASL) was established and exists as a nonprofit community-based social service agency for the purpose of strengthening the physical, economic, and mental health of people of all ages and backgrounds of the Chinese community in the greater Chicago area. This is achieved through comprehensive program activities that:
- Lead to family economic self-sufficiency
- Strengthen families
- Ease the cultural transitions of individuals and families as they integrate into American society
- Engage in advocacy to achieve positive social systemic change
CASL will be a critical anchor for the greater Chicago Chinese community delivering impactful programs and services that preserve and nurture the connection that current and future generations have to their Chinese culture and heritage. Supported by CASL, our community members will live prosperous and empowered lives integrating the best of Chinese and American cultures.
Person-centered: We value the individuality of each participant and his/her right to informed self-determination.
Cultural competence: We value the importance of providing services in the language of our participants and strive to honor each participant’s root culture and heritage.
Resiliency: We believe that individuals can thrive in spite of adversity when provided with the appropriate supports.
Integration: We believe that immigrants can acquire the knowledge and skills to prosper in America while retaining their Chinese identities and culture.
Community-based: We strive to deliver services and programs in a comfortable culturally competent community-based setting.