Our Programs


At home:

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Home life comes in many different shapes and sizes. Yet, one thing is clear: in each of our homes, regardless of with whom or where we live, we are responsible for contributing to the welfare of ourselves, our family members or roommates, and our environment. The road to independence and participation in each individual’s home incorporates the acquisition of a multitude of skills. At Gateway to Learning, we provide hands-on experiential learning in our kitchens, mock apartment and housekeeping groups. Ongoing lifelong learning in literacy and money management is acknowledged and classroom curriculum include daily exposure. Socialization, empowerment, and choice-making are highlights of the program, culminating in afternoon enrichment groups with such topics as: music, work club, yoga, healthy choices, community outings, current events, sports club and self-advocacy.


At work:

Participating in meaningful work enriches our lives. At Gateway to Learning, Life Skills Instructors and Coaches provide programming that focuses on individualized career paths and work preparedness. Pre-vocational and pre-employment skills are developed and practiced and attention is given to time management, attitude, personal appearance, quality of work and the ability to work with others.


The extensive culinary arts program includes 4 commercial kitchens, a bakery and store front cafe, Dorothy’s Can-Do Bakery & Cafe. Through this programming, apprentices receive the education and support to become active and contributing members of the workforce.

Participants are involved in experiential learning and are taught to follow multi-step recipes, to properly use food sanitation guidelines as well as to operate machinery safely.  In addition to these food industry standards, participants learn social skills through interaction with peers, staff, and community members, while also learning to work as a team.

In The Community:


Beyond our work and beyond our homes we are called to be good citizens of our communities. To be actively included involves ongoing socialization and interaction with each other as well as being socially responsible for our neighbors.

Being an engaged citizen means being able to access all the great things that Chicago has to offer - sporting events, museums, unique neighborhoods, the lakefront, educational institutions, restaurants and retail businesses. At Gateway to Learning, we provide the support to be active in the community: riding public transportation, practicing decision-making and money management skills, supporting interactions with vendors, while also promoting social responsibility by giving back through volunteerism.