When the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul opened Marillac Social Center as the Catholic Social Center 100 years ago, it was more of a traditional settlement house, with social activities and classes for residents of its Near West Side neighborhood. Now at 221 S. Francisco Ave., Marillac Social Center has become a local institution, offering child care, senior programs and other social services. It recently opened its new Vince and Pat Foglia Family and Youth Center, which features a gymnasium and other facilities that will allow it to offer new opportunities for its participants. While the center moved from its original location at 945 W. Jackson in 1947, it still caters to the needs of its local community, said Maureen Hallagan, Marillac House’s executive director. “It’s always been changing as the neighborhood has changed,” Hallagan said. “It’s become higher-quality in terms of services. We have really improved our programs to best practices.” Jalisa Haggard can attest to that. Once a participant in Marillac House’s Hope Junior program, Haggard has earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and now works in the same program she counted on to provide a safe place and enriching experiences after school. Hope Junior offers afterschool and Saturday programs including homework help, arts and crafts, choir, piano lessons, sports and dance. “It gave me a place to go after school,” she said. “I didn’t have to hang out on the street.” Marillac helped her get a scholarship to Notre Dame High School, and provided trips to colleges and museums, she said. Now she is a mentor for children ages 7 to 13 who can look to her for guidance navigating the same community in which she grew up. “I have connections from growing up in the neighborhood,” she said. “I can relate to the children.” Among the biggest services that Marillac provides are child development programs for working parents. Those programs are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and provide full-time care for toddlers through preschoolers and before- and after-school care for older children. They are open to parents who are working fulltime or seeking employment. The center is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, and offers nutritious meals, art therapy and access to a registered nurse. Other programs include Project Hope for pregnant and parenting teens. Senior services include social groups and activities, resource and referral services with a focus on aging in place, food delivery to seniors’ homes, help monitoring health status and managing money, field trips and companion services. Family services include help applying for utility assistance and public benefits, adult education and a branch of Catholic Charities’ emergency assistance department. Quality comes with a price. And Marillac receives some of its funding from the state of Illinois and the Chicago Board of Education. Because of the funding structure, some programs are open to students at certain schools or residents of certain neighborhoods near the center, Hallagan said. The Foglia Center, which was dedicated Sept. 20 as part of Marillac’s centennial celebration, is a major addition. It is on the southeast corner of Francisco Avenue and Jackson Street, across the street from the main center, on a site that once housed Marillac’s Nifty Thrifty resale shop. The shop closed about five years ago because the costs of running it outstripped the revenue it brought in, and since then, the building was used mostly for Marillac’s food pantry, Hallagan said. The facility now will include the gym and a stage, as well as room for a large food pantry. It will allow Marillac to expand its offerings and perhaps attract new participants to its programs, Hallagan said. For more information, visit marillacstvincent.org.