Annual Update Of Chicago Program Info

Between January and August of each year the programs in the Chicago Program Locator database need to be contacted to confirm that they are still in business, still able to be reached via the email, phone number and web site link we have.


  • log in for program locator data is not working, so I've not been able to add/update info since 2013
  • no funds, or manpower, to help collect program information; educate others to create their own map-stories; or use in desired ways

In the early 1990s this was done via mailing this survey to every program and following up with phone calls. The original goal was to not only get information about what programs were operating, what type of tutoring/mentoring and what age group was being served, but how many youth and volunteers were involved. This could be used to build an overall understanding of number of youth served, gaps in service, and change from year to year.

In reality we have never had the manpower to do this as well as we wanted to. Just contacting the programs on the list by phone to assure that they were active has been a minimal task but it too has been difficult with so many programs and limited to no staff at T/MC.

Yet, this is a role that we need to take in order to retain confidence in the information on the maps and the database.

What if students from different neighborhoods took responsibility for updating program locator data?
Read this essay describing how students, interns and volunteer groups could share this role.

These are steps to update the data:

I have created an Excel worksheet with 451 listings, representing multiple locations of several programs. (updated in 2016)

I will need to go to the Program Locator at and search by zip code to get a list of programs in each zip code

I will check on the link for each program to see if the web site works. If it does not work I will need to contact the organization to see if a new web site is in place. If no one answers the phone I will assume the program is not active and deactivate it. I will record changes on the Excel spread sheet and put a date to show when the program was contacted.

If I do 10 zip codes a day, starting a 60601 it would take 10 work days just to cover all of the main zip codes in Chicago.