About A New Direction

A New Direction (AND) is a domestic violence agency formed in 2010 with the mission to provide counseling, education, advocacy and support for families in need. Our nonprofit organization has provided critical services to assist those suffering from abuse whose struggle is often invisible to others.

AND Spreads Its Wings

As of Jul 1, 2022, AND will be a subsidiary of WINGS, the largest domestic violence agency in the State of Illinois.



A grassroots group of community members and civic leaders in Chicago’s 19th Ward come together to address the needs of local families affected by domestic violence.


AND incorporates and begins providing services.



AND launches its first annual Work Out To Wipe Out Domestic Violence (WOW).



AND receives a $100,000 grant from the Mary Elizabeth Waller Foundation.


AND launches Children’s Therapy Program.



AND receives the Venerable Mary Potter Humanitarian Award from Little Company of Mary Hospital.



AND Executive Director Jessica McCarihan joins Chicago Says No More. 



AND’s Domestic Violence Professional receives the Cook County Peggy A. Montes Unsung Heroine Award.


2017—AND begins Teen Dating Violence Outreach Program at Mother McAuley and St.Rita High Schools.



AND outreach presentation to U.S. Embassy in Russia for International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. 



Ald. Matt O'Shea poses with Jessica McCarihan, AND Executive Director, Nancy Lang, AND Board President, and Rebecca Darr, CEO and President of WINGS Program, Inc.

AND announces partnership with WINGS Program, Inc.

A New Direction is NOT a
24-hour crisis line. 

If you are in crisis, please call 911.

To speak with a domestic violence professional immediately, call one of these following 24-hour helplines:

Illinois Domestic Violence
Helpline (877) 863-6338
TTY 1 (877) 863-6339

National Domestic Violence
Hotline (800) 799-7233
TTY 1 (800) 787-3224

ANDi Awards

Each year, AND is proud to recognize a local organization and an individual who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment in the area of domestic violence. Learn more about our Community Partnership and Individual Courage ANDi awards.

Our Advocates & Staff

We are fortunate to have a wonderful team of domestic violence advocates executing the mission of AND.

Certified Domestic Violence Professional

AND’s adult advocate is an Illinois Certified Domestic Violence Professional (ICDVP) and Legal Advocate who has been providing domestic violence counseling and legal advocacy to abuse victims in the Beverly Morgan Park community for more than 30 years.

She spent most of her career as an employee of Rainbow House/Beverly Morgan Park in Chicago. After Rainbow House closed its office, she worked tirelessly with community residents and partners to help establish A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park, in response to the needs of individuals and families affected by domestic violence. She offers legal advocacy services, education, counseling and support at no charge to men and women in abusive relationships.  In 2016, her work was recognized by the Cook County Board when she was awarded the Peggy Montes Unsung Heroine Award.

Community Liaison

AND is thrilled to welcome Community Liaison Ericka Swanson to its team in 2022. Ericka’s priorities are supporting AND’s advocates and connecting with the stakeholders and supporters of A New Direction.

Ericka Swanson comes from an advertising/newspaper background, most recently serving The Beverly Review as Advertising Consultant and Graphic Artist. She also has worked in retail advertising for Montgomery Ward as Creative Team Manager and in Digital Graphics at Spiegel/RR Donnelley. Ericka grew up and also lives in the Beverly area. She has two lovely daughters and a forever-loved son who passed in 2019. Her family values and commitment to supporting those suffering and recovering from domestic violence are what led her to join A New Direction. A longtime volunteer for AND, she looks forward to serving the community in her new position with AND and as an Executive Assistant with WINGS.

Executive Director Emeritus

Jessica McCarihan has worn many hats for AND, serving as a founding board member, Board President from 2011-2020, and Executive Director from March 2020 through June 2022. Jessica is passionate about giving back to her community. In addition to her work with AND she holds a part-time position with Impact House, where Chicago’s leading philanthropic organizations work together to connect community needs to community resources. Jessica has also volunteered for many other organizations such as the Beverly Area Planning Association, St. Barnabas School, Pat Mac’s Pack, St. Baldrick’s and Chicago Says No More.

AND/WINGS Honorary Leadership Council

AND is advised by the WINGS main advisory board and the newly formed AND/WINGS Honorary Leadership Council.  This council includes prominent members of the community who endorse the work of AND, supporting our mission and vision. 

Council Members

Tim Baffoe

Michelle Brett

Kelly Burke, Illinois State Representative, Mayor, Evergreen Park, IL

Nicole Centracchio

Bill Cunningham, Illinois State Senator

Maureen Davis

Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff

Paul Duggan

Tim & Patty Enright

Penny & Steve Golden

Rebeca Huffman, WINGS Board of Directors

Fran Hurley, Illinois State Representative

Marty Joyce

Michaelene Kelly

Sheila King

Matt O’Shea, Alderman 19th Ward

Mary Pat & Jim Rohan

Rob Solano

Brad Trowbridge

The following AND Alumni Board members serve on the Council:

Susan Anderson

Monica Carey

Marybeth Carlson

Yvonne DelPrincipe

Sarah Hurley

Jessica McCarihan

Jamenda McCoy

Nancy McMorran

Martha McNicholas

Colleen Mixan Mikaitis

Michele Pettiford

Jan Rauen

Kelly Stanley

Guy Wolgamott

AND Board Alumni

Lizzy Benner

Paul Butera

Tatiana Duchak

Craig Huffman

Michael Hurley

Jeri Linas

Marie Ferro Lusk

Amy Mikuzis

Melissa O’Donnel

Sarah Peterson

Sean Slevin

Mary Murphy Smith

Tammy Stanton

Judy Sullivan

Michelle Sullivan

Matt Walsh

Diana Farina White

Jayne Thompson (in memoriam)

What Can I Do?

You can make a difference in our community and in the lives of others by sharing your time and talents.

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