Pembroke, Illinois

Pembroke was the beginning. The community that inspired the founding of Family-to-Family when it was featured in a front-page September 2002 New York Times is:

  • Located in Kankakee County, one hour, or 70 miles south of Chicago
  • Populated by 2,140 residents, primarily African-Americans
  • Lacking a supermarket, police force, barbershop, gas station, bookstore and pharmacy
  • Without a bus or train connection
  • Made up of many roads paved with only sand or gravel

Many homes in Pembroke are trailers or crumbling shacks with dirt floors and no running water. Some homes feature tires up top to keep the roof from flying off, and many households have no telephone service. Until a credit union opened in 2007, there were no banks or financial institutions of any kind. Residents had to drive at least 25 miles just to cash a check.

As of 2014 in Hopkins Park (part of Pembroke Township):

• 42.4% of families have annual incomes below $25,000
• 54.5% of families with children under the federal poverty level
• 25.1% of adults are unemployed
• 100% of families with children under the age of 5 only live under the poverty level

In the Pembroke Consolidated School District, 100% of students are poor enough to qualify for free lunch (as of March 2016)

With support from the Parent Coordinator at the Lorenzo R. Smith Elementary School and the Pembroke School District’s Superintendent of Schools, Family-to-Family serves families throughout the Pembroke/St. Anne/Momence area.

In Pembroke, Family-to-Family purchases groceries for our sponsored families from the Bradley Illinois Kmart.

Community Contact
Linda Terrell
Lorenzo R. Smith School
4120 S. Wheeler Road
Hopkins Park, IL 60944

Read more about Pembroke Township:

  1. Here We Are, Chicago Magazine
  2. Pembroke Township: Mired in Poverty, Now Devastated by Tornadoes, No Help in Sight
  3. A Promise to the Illinois Town that Progress Forgot
  4. Invisible Lives

Sources: Population – U.S. Census Bureau, Census 2000; Poverty & Income — U.S.
U.S Census Bureau, American Fact Finder, Community Facts 2014; Poverty & Income
Credit Union System “INDEPTH”, 4th Quarter 2008.
Illinois State Board of Education; Free and Reduced-Price Meal Eligibility Data

Yes, I’d like to sponsor a family!