The Indo-American Center (IAC) was founded in 1990 by a group of Indian immigrants in response to the needs of Chicago’s growing South Asian immigrant population. The founders of IAC were individuals who had worked hard to attain success in America, and they were driven by the desire to help others adjust to a new country far from home. The founders established the guiding mission of the Indo American Center:
…to promote the well being of South Asian immigrants through services that facilitate their adjustment, integration and friendship with the wider society, nurture their sense of community, and foster appreciation for their heritage and culture
IAC’s genesis was in a one-room office which focused on immigration assistance. Clients reflected the diversity of Chicago’s North Side immigrant populations—from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Over time the agency’s geographic reach expanded to serve people from the entire Chicagoland region, representing more than twenty nationalities from all over the world.
IAC’s programmatic offerings also expanded to address the growing range of needs. In 1996, to accommodate this growth, the agency purchased the two-story building at 6328 N. California which continues to serve as its headquarters.
Since its beginnings, the Indo American Center has welcomed people of any nationality or creed. The agency serves over 35,000-40,000 people annually and provides comprehensive support through the following interrelated programs and services :
- Adult Literacy
- Citizenship Classes
- Computer Classes
- Cyriac D. Kappil Legal Clinic
- Immigration & Citizenship
- Public Benefits
- Senior Services
- Workforce Development
- Youth Development