Red Cross leader takes over 360 Youth Services in Naperville

  • Harley Jones, a former Red Cross disaster relief official, has been named CEO of 360 Youth Services in Naperville.

    Harley Jones, a former Red Cross disaster relief official, has been named CEO of 360 Youth Services in Naperville. Courtesy of 360 Youth Services

Posted1/25/2018 10:06 AM

A former Red Cross disaster relief official now is working to provide relief from housing issues, mental and emotional struggles and substance abuse for young people in his hometown.

Harley Jones, 38, of Naperville has been named the new CEO of 360 Youth Services, a nonprofit organization that provides housing, counseling and drug use prevention services based in Naperville.


Jones, who previously worked as regional disaster officer for the Chicago and Northern Illinois chapter of the American Red Cross, said he wants to focus on strengthening Naperville youth as the foundation of the community.

His aim as CEO of 360, following the resignation last summer of the group's previous leader Katy Leclair, is to "meet children where they are and give them skills to deal with the realities of life," Jones said.

Jones, a native of Arizona who moved to Illinois in 1996 and to Naperville five years ago, takes over as 360 Youth Services begins its 47th year.

His goals in the new role are twofold, he said: increase "strategic partnerships" with other organizations in the area and boost revenue so 360 can provide more help to more teens.

"As the CEO, I want to spend my time going out, telling the story, sharing the outcomes of the programs that we're doing," Jones said. "I want to get us to a place where we've got enough resources to meet the needs of all youth in our community."

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Debra Lellbach, president of the board, said the panel chose Jones after a five-month process run by Naperville executive search firm KEES. His experience with the Red Cross, directing disaster responses and referring people in need to local groups such as 360, stood out, Lellbach said. So did his interest in helping the next generation.

"He shares the passion for youth," Lellbach said.

Jones' first day at 360 was Jan. 8. He has spent his early days on the job touring sites where counselors meet with youths and their families, where 360 runs a group home for boys ages 13 to 17, and where the organization provides transitional housing for young men and women ages 18 to 24, including people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

It is exactly these services that Lellbach and the rest of the board hope Jones' leadership can increase.

"We are looking to expand our reach and our services to youth in our community," Lellbach said.

Jones takes over as interest in Naperville youth -- and the stressors facing them -- is high because of concerns about substance abuse and suicide. Jones said he's sensitive to these struggles and wants to ramp up drug and alcohol use prevention work as well.

"People come to us with a variety of issues and problems," Jones said. "Every person's needs are different."

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