About Friedman Place

Friedman Place is a supported living community for adults who are blind and visually impaired.

Located on the northwest side of Chicago and accessible to its many cultural, social, and educational opportunities, Friedman Place encourages residents' self-determination and independence. We are not just a residence but a vibrant community in which people with impaired vision can reach their full potential.

Residents enjoy both the privacy of their own studio or one-bedroom apartments and the richness of community. Some residents travel to work, school, or volunteer commitments before joining others in the lounges and dining room to eat, talk, and participate in many activities. Others may choose to weave a cloth of many colors and textures or to surf the Internet in our state-of-the-art technology center. Medical and social services, as well as personal assistance with activities of daily living, are provided so that residents' days will be healthy, dignified, and stimulating.

Everything at Friedman Place—from the lighting in the hallways to the exercise area for guide dogs—has been designed with the needs of the visually impaired in mind. Our staff members are caring, courteous, sensitive, and available when residents need them.

Friedman Place is open to blind and visually impaired adults, regardless of economic, race, ethnic, or religious background. We are able to offer apartments to low-income individuals

Facts and Figures

Click below to view our 2017 Annual Report.

Friedman Place 2017 Annual Report

Click below to view our 2016 Profile Report, which provides information about our residents, staff, volunteers, and finances.

Friedman Place Profile Report - 2016

Click below to view the results of our most recent Resident and Employee Satisfaction Surveys.

Resident Survey 2017

Staff Survey 2016



(December 2016)


Residents are adults of all ages, although most are over age fifty.

o   Our youngest resident is 22 years old and the oldest 93

o   15% of residents are 71 or older

o   51% of residents are between ages 51 and 70

o   17% of residents are between ages 41 and 50

o   17% of residents are between ages 22 and 40

o   The ages of residents has generally stayed the same since last year, although the number of younger (40 and under) has increased slightly and oldest (71 and older) has increased slightly.


About two-thirds of the residents are male and one-third female


o   35% of Friedman’s residents are female and 65% male.

o This ratio is identical to the previous year.
o This ratio differs from what is found in Illinois and the United States, where there are more women than men who are blind or have vision loss. While 35% of Friedman Place residents are women, approximately 60% of people who are blind are visually impaired overall are women. It is unclear why this would be.

The majority of residents are Caucasian, but other races and ethnicities are represented.


o   Asian - 3%

o   Hispanic - 10%

o   African American - 21%

o   Caucasian 66%


While the statistics describing ethnicity do not reflect the general (visually impaired and non-visually impaired) populations of Chicago or even Cook County, they do generally reflect the population of those with visual impairments across the country. Approximately 79% of persons who are visually impaired or blind are Caucasian, which is higher than Friedman Place’s 66%.


All of our residents have significant visual impairments

o   Approximately one-half of our residents experience total blindness and one-half have significant visual impairments.  All are legally blind,  There is a higher percentage of people who are blind as opposed to visually impaired at Friedman Place when compared to the overall United States, where approximately 31% experience total blindness and 69% visual impairment.


 Most residents have significant chronic health issues

o   90% of residents have another major health issue besides vision loss, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, heat disease, etc.

o   On average, each resident has 5 chronic health conditions, not including blindness or vision loss.


The agency provides residential services to approximately 90 people per year, although this year there were 100.  An additional 100 professionals (not including Friedman Place staff) received a wide range of professional training.


o   One hundred people (three in the new Transitional Living Program) were served in 2016, five more than in the previous year.The number served typically varies between 88 – 96 per year.

o   Our number served is more than our capacity since several residents move out of Friedman Place each year and are replaced by new residents.

o   The vast majority of residents who move do so due to their needing a higher level of medical care and support.  Most residents who move our move into a nursing home.

o   On average, 84 individuals reside at Friedman Place at any one time.

o   241 separate Individuals have been served between 2010 and 2016.


Nearly all of our residents have very low incomes


o   92% of Friedman’s residents have incomes at or below the Federal definition of Very Low Income and 653% at the Poverty Level. This is much higher than the 31% of people in the United States with a visual disability who live below the poverty line.





o   15% have been residents for less than one years

o   84% have been residents for at least one years

o   70% have been residents for at least three years

o   54% have been residents for at least five years

o   Our longest term resident has been with the agency for 29 years

o   The average length of stay is 6.5 years





·         Friedman Place's 70 employees remain with the agency, providing a skilled and stable workforce

·         26% of the employees have worked for the agency for at 3 years.

·         21% of Friedman Place employees have worked for the agency continuously for at least 5 years

·         17% of Friedman Place employees have worked for the agency continuously for more than 10 years

·         Friedman Place's 70 employees are ethnically diverse

·         19% Hispanic, 18% Asian, 23% Black, and 31% White

·         Most employees are female

·         71% Female

·         29% Male

·         Friedman Place's 70 employees span a wide age range

·         10% ages 61 or over

·         45% ages 41 – 60

·         22% ages 31- 40

·         22% ages 30 or under


· 49% of our staff is trained in CPR & First Aid


·        Staff receives ongoing and comprehensive training.

o   Staff are required to complete orientation and annual training that covers resident rights; infection control; crisis intervention; prevention and notification of abuse, neglect and financial exploitation; behavioral intervention; tuberculosis identification, prevention, control and reporting; and encouraging independence.

The agency benefited from the use of the services of over 128 volunteers in the last year.



(this information is from fiscal year 2016: July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016)

Friedman Place saves taxpayers money and keeps people out of nursing homes.

o   The State of Illinois pays Friedman Place less than 50% of what it pays to the average Nursing Home in Illinois for each resident.  

o   Since without Friedman Place, most residents would end up in nursing homes, the agency saves the State of Illinois and its taxpayers approximately $20,000 per resident per year.

o   Since without Friedman Place, most residents would end up in nursing homes, the agency saves the State of Illinois and its taxpayers approximately $1,500,000 per year.

o   Friedman Place receives 29% of our income directly from government sources, which is much lower than most nonprofit organizations of our size.

The agency is efficient in how it spends money, assuring that as much as possible goes to directly benefit the residents.

o   Nearly all of the agency’s expenses go directly towards programs and services. Eighty-two percent (82%) of expenses went directly to programs and services, which is much higher than the minimum 65% recommended by the Better Business Bureau’s Standards for Charitable Accountability and 60% by the American Institute for Philanthropy.

o   Friedman Place spends nearly 82 cents of every dollar on resident services and programs and only 185 cents on administration costs. 


Donate to Friedman Place
5527 North Maplewood: Chicago, IL 60625 Phone: (773) 989-9800