Maximizing the individual, family and community potential of the youth in our care

 Daniel J. Nellum Youth Services, Inc.


At DJNYS, our care goes beyond the provision of a “shelter,” or dwelling. Our residents are our family, and we are determined to prepare them to be self-sufficient before emancipation.   Because of our holistic approach, we resemble a group home and a therapeutic living arrangement all in one.  Our majority male staff serve as mentors, build rapport, and set positive examples for our youth. After twenty-one years of service, our ability to evolve and adjust to take on the socio-economic challenges facing the youth of today stems also from our many years of experience, and our ability to draw on the life and wisdom of Daniel J. Nellum’s vision when he laid our foundation in 1988. 
DJNYS is determined and positioned to sustain the mission and vision of our founder, Daniel J. Nellum, that is, his desire to provide homes for “neglected and abandoned” youth, influence positive change among individuals and families, and also serve as a resource for the community. Although Mr. Nellum did not live to see DJNYS evolve, his legacy and mission continues in the minds and hearts of our Board of Directors, staff, and supporters of today.


recent programs

Our literacy, family outreach and youth advocacy programs advances the welfare of the youth in our care.


Many people volunteer for us each year and make the difference in the lives of our youth. Find out how to become our partner here.

mission & vision

No need is too small and no voice is too quiet to be heard. We will devote the time and energy necessary to educate, advocate and feed.

Daniel J. Nellum was a social worker and humanitarian who honed his skills for designing, managing and operating group homes in the Washington, D.C. Area. Daniel J. Nellum Youth Services, Inc. was established in his memory by members of his family in 1992.


Daniel J. Nellum Youth Services, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to meeting the unique individual needs of teenagers who must overcome a variety of life challenges and are considered high risk youth. DJNYS, (or Nellum,) is located in the Englewood Community of Chicago and serves at risk youth and their families. Over the years the dedicated professionals at Nellum have served approximately 2,000 residents between the ages of 14 and 21. These young men are wards of the state of Illinois and are referred to Nellum by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, DCFS. In their relatively short life our clients have been exposed to a combination of negative socio-economic influences. 

Daniel J Nellum

Our founder