About Us

We believe it’s time to change the approach and acknowledge families as the experts in their own lives.

We offer individuals and families in the Chicago area resources that foster emotional support, financial stability and access to employment.


Workforce and Human Development Services was established in 2007 by Jack and Larry Fitzpatrick of Employment & Employer Services. The transformation to The Journey Forward began in 2020 when Executive Director, Annemarie Fitzpatrick, recognized that these underserved and vulnerable families needed more access to services and more hope.

Years of inequity and community disinvestment left many without access to resources and opportunities. As a result, long-term poverty, lack of employment, and access to financial services severely impacted their ability to thrive.

 In response, The Journey Forward adopted the Family-Centered Coaching model and launched a comprehensive, holistic approach to services. As The Journey Forward, Annemarie assembled a talented team to assist and guide families in moving forward, working toward goals, and striving for their dreams.

Staff Leadership

Annemarie Fitzpatrick

Executive Director

Annemarie is an experienced social service professional with a Master’s degree in Human Services & Counseling. She is dedicated to advancing equitable services to ensure families are recognized as the leaders in their own lives and celebrated as what truly enriches a community and causes it to thrive. In her role, Annemarie has worked to develop a Board that is dedicated to the mission and committed to the growth of The Journey Forward. Annemarie builds community partnerships to enhance the service delivery system and raise awareness of services available through The Journey Forward. Annemarie is a proven leader in times of substantial agency growth and transition.

Loren Seeger

Director of Program Operations

Loren is an insightful, energetic, and creative leader who has spent her career advocating for social change. Before joining The Journey Forward, Loren was a Program Manager at our partner agency, E&ES, overseeing FamilyWorks Programming operated in collaboration with the Chicago Housing Authority. In addition to program management, Loren and her team connect agencies with the services of The Journey Forward. She has been instrumental in launching our programs, developing partnerships, and advancing the mission of The Journey Forward.

How You Can Help

Become a Community Partner

When members of our communities succeed, our communities thrive. As a Community Partner, you join a group of generous supporters who play a key role in advancing the success of families and individuals throughout Chicagoland.

It takes commitment and strength of spirit to accomplish meaningful changes in our lives. As a Community Partner, you provide the support that allows families to thrive.

To learn more, Contact Karen Walsh, Development Director at karen.walsh@thejourney-forward.org

Become a Program Partner

At the Journey Forward, we partner with many nonprofits across Chicagoland by offering our services to complement those you currently provide.

We believe that we are stronger together. And together we can assist more families and individuals on their journey to success.

If you would like to learn more about how The Journey Forward can help those you serve, don’t hesitate to contact Loren Seeger, Program Director at loren.seeger@thejourney-forward.org

Get Involved

Are you looking for a way to get your, employees, civic, or other group involved in helping The Journey Forward?  How about a donation drive? Grocery store cards, gas cards, Target, WalMart, are invaluable resources for families who are struggling to make ends meet. We have seen firsthand how a small amount of assistance can have a big impact.

Want to volunteer and make a difference? We welcome community-minded individuals who are interested in working to help support the work of The Journey Forward. Throughout the year we need volunteers for community outreach, fundraising events, and special initiatives.

To learn more about these opportunities, Contact Karen Walsh, Development Director at karen.walsh@thejourney-forward.org

Our Community Partners