NS Great Lakes Community
The Navy and Goodwill Great Lakes have a long-standing partnership which began in 1974 with a contract to clean the linen for Recruit Training Command and Naval Station. That partnership with the Navy and federal programs continues today with Goodwill providing laundry, food service, uniform issue and a variety of logistics and administrative services at Naval Station Great Lakes.
This mutually beneficial partnership supports both the Navy’s training mission and Goodwill’s mission of providing employment opportunities and skill development for persons with disabilities. The most important aspect of Goodwill’s mission is to assist these men and women to overcome barriers to employment through training so that they become independent and self-sustaining individuals who contribute to their communities. An extensive training program helps ensure Goodwill employees’ success, provides operational stability and retains a qualified workforce. The training program addresses technical skills, customer service skills, job retention skills, employer expectations and Navy protocol. Training is ongoing and is focused on maintaining and increasing employees’ skills as well as preparing individuals for career advancement.
Goodwill currently operates 13 galleys at Naval Station Great Lakes. Serving meals to recruits in the Navy’s only boot camp requires a responsive food service operation that can adapt quickly to the changing needs of the Navy customer. In recent years, the number of meals served to recruits and Sailors averages 10 million meals annually which equates to approximately one-third of all the meals served ashore in the Navy. Goodwill Great Lakes is focused on providing new services and products in the Galleys. The food service operation emphasizes healthy choice options by adding new healthy food items to the menu and a nutrition education initiative which promotes healthy eating habits and a fit lifestyle. The Galleys have eliminated all deep fat fryers and instead utilize the technology of the Combi-Ovens to improve food quality. In addition to providing comprehensive food service, Goodwill has also supported the Navy with various logistics and administrative services. Goodwill employees provide logistics services in the areas of uniform issue, administrative support of RTC and Training Support Center (TSC), warehouse operations, transportation and postal operations. Goodwill manages the uniform inventory and ensures that recruits are correctly and comfortably outfitted. Annually, Goodwill issues uniforms to over 38,000 recruits and processes 4.5 million pieces of mail.
TRICARE Service Center
The TRICARE Service Center staff at the Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes takes beneficiary or provider problems to military treatment facility personnel for resolution. TRICARE team leaders educate corporate regional office personnel when a particular TRICARE problem is solved, ensuring solution consistency throughout the system. While the TSC staff has a single focus on its service to beneficiaries, its members bring diverse experiences and backgrounds to their jobs. Many are retired military members or dependents.
Contact them at:
Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes
3001A 6th St., 6th Floor
Great Lakes, IL 60088
Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Burkey Mall (Building 3452) is the main shopping facility on base. It houses the Navy Exchange and the Commissary. The mall offers one-stop shopping for shoes, clothing, cosmetics, health and beauty aids, housewares, appliances, electronics, luggage, toys, hardware, automotive supplies, liquor and beverages, books, fresh-cut flowers, eyeglasses, haircuts, engraving, check-cashing, snacks, videos and dry cleaning. Burkey Mall is located near base housing. Navy Exchange: (847) 578-6280/ 6273. Commissary: (847) 688-2644.
The Student Store is the second largest Navy Exchange facility and carries a merchandise mix that reflects the large population of Training Support Center students. The base uniform center is located there. Other services include a spacious food court featuring Subway, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, a barbershop, check cashing, Western Union, fresh-cut flowers, video rental and one of the largest Navy Pride gift shops in the country.
Authorized Navy Exchange patrons can fill up at the gas station on the east side of the NEX Student Store. Ten self-serve pumps are available for cash transactions Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Gas may be purchased at any time by credit card (Visa, Master Card, CITGO, Discover or American Express) and ATM card.
A full range of religious programs and services is available for all Naval Station personnel and their families through the Chaplain Department. The Great Lakes Bulletin publishes the times of all chapel activities and special religious programs. Additional information is available by calling (847) 688-5610.
Programs at the various chapels favor specify groups, but everyone is welcome to attend whichever chapel is appealing or convenient.
Navy Fleet and
Family Support Center (FFSC)
The Fleet and Family Support Center is an on base social service agency whose goal is to improve the quality of life for the military member and family through counseling and assistance. The FFSC is the first stop for singles and families seeking counseling or assistance with a personal or family matter. FFSC’s many free classes and seminars are also a great resource for self-improvement and Navy lifestyle education.
Fleet and Family Support Center
2601E Paul Jones St.
Naval Station Great Lakes, IL 60088
Main Number: (847) 688-3603/4/5
plus listed extension
Fax: (847) 688-2827
Information and Referral
Fleet and Family Support Center’s front desk personnel can assist with welcome aboard packages, base maps, a variety of brochures, and directions to the appropriate staff for assistance. In addition, FFSC provides phone numbers and addresses for various military, city, county, state and federal agencies such as hospitals, local schools, childcare facilities and Veterans Affairs. No appointment is necessary. Dial ext. 100 or 101.
Transition, Relocation and Family Employment
Getting out of the military? The Work and Family Life Programs (WFL) can help. Your Command Career Counselor schedules quotas in a Transition Assistance Program (TAP) class. The class provides retiring and separating service members and their spouses with information about résumé writing, interviewing techniques, dressing for success, pre-separation counseling, benefits and entitlements.
Relocation Assistance Program (RAP) specialists provide information about the Navy lifestyle and helpful hints for moving families and household goods from one location to another. Information about other military bases and their surrounding communities is also available in the Relocation Assistance Centers.
For spouses and other family members entering the workforce, the Family Employment Readiness Program (FERP) assists spouses and eligible family members with job preparation and placement. FERP also offers counseling and training to help job seekers with interviewing skills, developing a network, résumé writing, honing job search skills and completing job application forms.
New Parent Support
Home Visitation Program (NPS)
The New Parent Support staff assists individuals or families who are expecting a new baby or who have an infant/toddler through the age of 3 and a half years. The program promotes healthy interaction (bonding) between the parent(s) and the infant or toddler. NPS provides information to parents about how to promote healthy growth and development for their infant or toddler, and helps families adapt positively to the mobile military lifestyle. The NPS staff will visit a family in their home, in the NPS office and even at the hospital. NPS offerings include weekly playgroups and regularly scheduled classes covering: Prenatal (includes infant feeding); Preparation for Labor and Delivery (includes childbirth and Lamaze breathing); New Parents; Breastfeeding; and Boot Camp for New Dads (designed for first-time fathers). NPS helps military families find resources in the military and civilian systems to enhance their quality of life. Call ext. 206 or ext. 207.
Personal Financial Management (PFM)
The Personal Financial Management program offers financial educational classes to assist military members and their families. The Command Financial Specialist (CFS) Training is a weeklong program designed to train command representatives in personal finances for the purposes of command counseling and Navy Military Training. Personal financial counseling provides insight, preventive measures and options for improved financial management by analyzing an individual or a family’s income, living expenses and debt load. Based on the results of the analysis, the counselor can help prepare a spending plan with options to improve financial management.
Licensed clinical social workers and counselors provide short-term, solution-focused counseling. At intake, which can be done via telephone or as a walk-in, the therapist gathers information to determine the most appropriate service for the client and makes the necessary referral. If the referral is for FFSC counseling, the supervisor assigns the case within one work day and the counselor contacts the client to arrange an appointment. Generally, clients are seen for up to ten sessions. If circumstances warrant it, an extension can be obtained by the counselor from the clinical supervisor. Services can be for individuals, couples, families or groups. Eligible beneficiaries are active duty members and their dependents, activated reservists and their families for up to 18 months after their deactivation, and retirees and their families on a space-available basis. Treatment for minors is for ages 6 years through 18. Specialized counseling is available for issues such as transition, deployment, domestic/family abuse, sexual assault, post traumatic stress disorder, couple’s relationships and parent/child relationships.
Our clinicians are also specially trained and available to provide Critical Incident Stress Management Debriefing (CISM) to individuals or groups of people affected by a traumatic incident. Family Advocacy licensed counselors provide assessment and treatment recommendations to families/and or couples where domestic violence has been recognized as a problem or where it appears the family/couple is at risk of it occurring. This program works with the individuals involved to obtain necessary treatment, education and prevention services. In conjunction with the Family Advocacy Program, Victim Support Services are available to ensure that information concerning victim’s rights is provided to the victim and that comprehensive safety planning is assessed and implemented. In addition, Family Advocacy provides training to the commands on spouse abuse and child maltreatment and the impact that it has on the family and the military community. The Sexual Assault Victim Intervention (SAVI) program is specifically designed to meet the needs of sexual assault victims. SAVI services are available to all military service members and their adult family members. The SAVI program offers advocacy, resource information, referrals, SAVI victim advocate training, and awareness/ prevention training. For more information, call ext. 113 or 116. To make a confidential sexual assault report, contact the 24-hour Great Lakes SAVI Hotline at (847) 489-8196.
Work and Family Life Programs
A variety of life skills classes are available by Command request or you can sign up for some recurring classes at the FFSC. Those include Anger Management, Stress Management, Active Parenting Today and Communication Skills. Quarterly Spouse Orientation Sessions (SOS) offer an overview of Great Lakes’ services and facilities for family members who are new to the area.
An Ombudsman Coordinator assists Ombudsman Program volunteers through training and consultation. Ombudsmen are military spouses appointed by the commanding officer to serve as a communication link, providing assistance and information to the family members, particularly during deployment and crises. WFL staff also coordinate with local community volunteers to brighten the holidays for active duty families in need. Holiday food baskets and gifts are received at the FFSC and distributed during November and December. Expertise is available on issues such as nonsupport, divorce mediation, military and family benefits, and community resources.
Retired Activities Office (RAO)
Representatives offer assistance to retired members regarding their rights, privileges, ID cards, benefits, changes in health care, legislative actions, etc. Such information is widely reported by the Retired Activities Newsletters, military publications, military and retired magazines and periodicals.