Search is a community-based nonprofit. Our programs serve more than 500 people and their families annually at locations stretching from the southwest side of Chicago to the northern suburbs of Waukegan and Mount Prospect. Search has provided high-quality services and supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1968. Our services include supported living arrangements, adult learning and employment programs, as well as medical, behavioral, therapy and home-based services.
Search empowers individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve their full potential, accept a valued role in their community and lead rich, rewarding lives.
Search’s vision is of a world where all people live, learn, work and play alongside one another, bringing their unique abilities to the community.
Search got its start in 1968 as a grassroots movement of parents in the Cabrini Green neighborhood of Chicago advocating for the inclusion of their children into the public school system. Standing up against the segregation of people with disabilities from their communities is core to our legacy.Learn More
Alan Nadolna, Chairman
Associates Group, Inc.
Ray Covyeau, Vice Chairman
International Real Estate Brokerage
Tim Wayras, Treasurer
John Friedland, Secretary
Family Focus, Inc. – Retired
Associates Group Inc.
Federal Bureau of Investigation - Retired
Holland & Knight
Industrial Growth Partners
Munday & Nathan
Ashland Capital Advisors
Rogers Benefit Group
NorthShore University HealthSystem
Chief Executive Officer
Search, Inc. is licensed by the Illinois Department of Human Services and is accredited by the Council on Quality and Leadership (CQL).
This past year has been among the most challenging in Search's 50+ years. It’s striking to think of just how drastically our lives have changed. All of us have been impacted in some way by the pandemic, having to cope with disruptions to our daily lives and uncertainty about the future. All of us have been called to action whether it’s been to stay at home or to go out and work to serve others.
Here at Search, our staff members - from our Direct Support Professionals to our case managers to our management and clinical teams to our IT department and physical plant crews - have shown up to support the people we serve and each other in a time of great need. They haven’t had the option of staying home because for the individuals we serve, Search IS home. During this crisis they have been working around the clock to keep people safe, healthy and maybe most importantly in good spirits.
As one of our valued staff members put it, “We are Search Strong! Hold onto hope, look for the helpers, and take time to breathe! After the storm comes the rainbow."
When infection rates peaked in the spring of 2020, and then peaked again in the fall, 83 staff members sacrificed time with their families and volunteered to live-in 24/7 for weeks at a time at our 29 residential sites. This was put in place to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus for the individuals we serve. In some cases, staff members volunteered for live-in duty knowing that individuals in the home they would be working at had tested positive for COVID-19.
Live-in staff had to monitor residents for symptoms, including routine temperature checks and symptom management. This was all while preparing meals, cleaning and sanitizing the home, assisting individuals with taking their medications and simply helping the residents cope with the disruption this pandemic has caused in their lives by having a little fun – all while wearing PPE!
As live-in volunteer Ashley put it at the time, “These ladies needed around the clock care. They needed to know that they would not go through this time alone but with a familiar face around the house. This is a big adjustment for all of us and all we can do is continue to be optimistic and keep positive vibes flowing throughout the atmosphere.”
Then, there were the remarkable, yet mostly unseen, contributions of our operations teams working tirelessly to make sure that every day (and not so every day) operations like staffing of our program sites, payroll, recruitment and the distribution of PPE continued without interruption under challenging circumstances. Staff spent endless hours on their laptops with Search participants making sure that almost every hour of the day was filled with opportunities for remote activities on Zoom, from daily workout sessions to virtual tours of museums to online dance parties. The physical plant team went above and beyond to keep our homes and program sites well taken care of and safe for the individuals we serve and their support staff.
Everyone pitched in to do everything they could. Staff members did the grocery shopping for our homes, built activity boxes, and provided daily no contact deliveries of food, medication and other supplies to 29 different residential sites over the course of this past year. Our clinical services team spared no effort to make sure that our residents got the critical medical, nursing and behavioral health care they needed and deserved without interruption, even as they sheltered in-place at home.
Regardless of position title or job description, each to a person at Search set aside personal risk and stepped up to selflessly take their place on the frontline of our pandemic response. Whatever role they might have played at Search before COVID-19, each one is a frontline hero now, and we are so grateful for their bravery, dedication and compassion. Their resilience, grace and optimism in the face of adversity has been a constant source of light in this difficult time. At every single level, in every program, the commitment of our staff has shined through. We are thrilled to honor our Front Line Heroes with our 2021 Search Trailblazer Award.
Read more about our other Trailblazers 2021 Honoree, Resurrection University Nursing and Health Sciences.
Register for our virtual event on Thursday, May 20th here.
Learn more about our 2021 event here.
All people, including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), deserve access to high quality healthcare that not only enhances their wellbeing and meets their needs, but also takes into account their personal values, desires and life goals. The availability of disability-aware clinicians is critical to individuals with I/DD receiving the person-centered, quality care they deserve.
That is why we are so proud of our collaboration with Resurrection University Nursing and Health Sciences to host their Community Health Clinical course at Search’s adult learning programs in Lincoln Square and Mount Prospect.
With 106 years in the education sector, Resurrection University continues to offer world-class healthcare education in Wicker Park while committing to develop and use intellectual capacities, skills and talents in service to humanity.
Each semester, for an eight week rotation, Resurrection University nursing students embed with our frontline staff in the program environment. The students also work with our nursing team at Search’s onsite medical clinics. Search has hosted 113 nursing students since the partnership with Resurrection University began.
By working alongside our team to support the individuals in our programs, these future nursing professionals gain important insights into a service population that isn’t traditionally included in clinical education. As Yolonda Baker, Instructor, College Of Nursing puts it, "By the end of their rotations students cared deeply for the individuals and felt that their time at Search gave them invaluable, beneficial, and meaningful experience”. When they enter the field in the coming years, we know they’ll be able to use their experiences at Search to enhance the quality of the lives of their patients with I/DD.
One of the great things about Search’s partnership with Resurrection University is that we don’t have to wait for their nursing students to graduate to benefit from their compassion, energy, creativity and enthusiasm.
Clinical Service Division Manager, Jaclyn Rovner says of the students she has encountered, “They are caring individuals, have a strong will to learn about working with the people we serve, and make a great contribution to our medical services clinics.” Director of Search’s Adult Learning Program, Nick Larson observes that, “Our staff really appreciate working with the students. They like to share their wisdom and communicate with the students about what it is like working with people who have disabilities”.
Beginning in March of 2020, we had to temporarily suspend hosting Resurrection University nursing students because our program sites were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the past 12 months, we have all been reminded of the importance of nurses and other healthcare professionals as they have bravely stood on the frontlines of this pandemic. We are so grateful for their service. We are excited to announce that in May 2021 we will be welcoming Resurrection nursing students back to Search where they will once again be able to make a meaningful impact on the lives of the people we serve.
For leading the way on disability-aware nursing, and for all that they continue to do to ensure that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are respected, understood and supported, we are thrilled to honor Resurrection University College of Nursing with our 2021 Trailblazer Award.
Read about our other Trailblazers 2021 Honoree, Our Frontline Staff.
Register for our virtual event on Thursday, May 20th here.
Find out more about our Trailblazers 2021 event here.
The Keystone Alliance was founded in 2009 through a unique partnership between two like-minded nonprofits with similar missions, Glenkirk and Search, Inc. The Keystone Alliance was created in the interest of generating administrative efficiencies and sharing best practices. Today, Search’s administrative overhead is just 8.5% of its total expenses. Glenkirk and Search have benefited greatly from sharing innovations and best practices with one another.