How We Live

DeKalb and Sycamore are diverse cities, with all of the opportunities and challenges diversity brings. We have connections to the larger urban areas of Chicago and Rockford, and to smaller farming communities throughout the region. We share much of the history and many of the adversities that affect small cities throughout the Midwest – and we face these adversities together, with pride in our community and appreciation for the many assets that set DeKalb/Sycamore apart.

Health and Safety

With the state-of-the art Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital as its centerpiece, DeKalb and Sycamore boasts a robust network of medical, physical therapy and mental health practitioners. DeKalb and Sycamore is are also served by the DeKalb Police Department, the Sycamore Police Department, the DeKalb County Sherriff’s Office, the NIU Department of Police and Public Safety and the DeKalb and Sycamore Fire Departments.

Diversity and Inclusion

As a community that values diversity and dialogue, the DeKalb/Sycamore community is engaging in ongoing conversations to resist bigotry and build belonging. The meaningful work of changing perspectives and challenging systemic problems relies on the dedication of civic, community and university leaders. With community gatherings such as the interfaith Beloved Community Potluck Dinners, advocacy organizations such as Welcoming Western Counties and Black Lives Matters DeKalb, IL, and public events such as Diversity Dialogues, DeKalb County is responding creatively and compassionately to the challenges of our time.

School Districts

From preschool through college, DeKalb/Sycamore and the surrounding areas provide high-quality lifelong education. We’re proud of our local public school districts, DeKalb Community School District 428 and Sycamore Community School District 427 – which are known for a little friendly rivalry (Go, Barbs!). For those who prefer small-town living, there are public school districts nearby in neighboring Somonauk, Hinkley-Big Rock, Genoa-Kingston, Sandwich and Indian Creek. With Kishwaukee Community College and NIU nearby, opportunities abound for high school dual credit courses, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees and beyond.

Religious Institutions

DeKalb County offers abundant opportunities for religious community and spiritual exploration, with an active Jewish congregation, Islamic Center and a wide variety of Christian denominations. Although there are far too many congregations to list here, a web search or a look at the NIU Association of Campus Religious Organizations offer a good starting point.

Social Services and Nonprofits

From the DeKalb County Community Gardens to the Youth Service Bureau, from Elder Care Services to the Ben Gordon Center for mental health counseling – DeKalb County offers a rich tapestry of social service and nonprofit organizations. To learn more about the social services available and how to find the best community organizations to serve your needs, visit the DeKalb County Community Foundation website or simply dial 211 from any phone.

If you’re looking to meet people and make a difference, consider volunteering in the community. For a list of many of the nonprofits in the DeKalb area that you may wish to support with your time and talent, check out the member organizations of the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership and the Kishwaukee United Way.

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