For many years Elgin has enjoyed a wonderful network of social service agencies called Health & Welfare Luncheon, but in the summer of 1987, several Hispanic community leaders identified the need for an organization exclusively devoted to the benefit and welfare of the local Latino community. On September 2, 1987, Fabiola Palacios and Estela Gallegos led the first meeting of the Elgin Hispanic Network.
Initially, the group was referred to as The Elgin Hispanic Task Force, but in 1988 the name was officially changed to The Elgin Hispanic Network. It was home to members from a wide variety of Hispanic cultures who had formed bonds as they sought to better the Latino community together.
In 1989, bylaws were drafted and the Articles of Incorporation (for non-profit organizations) were filed with the State of Illinois.
Membership grew dramatically and the Network began to be noticed locally as a leader in the Hispanic community. In 1991, the first Member Awards Ceremony was held in conjunction with the Thanksgiving Luncheon at Jalapenos Restaurant.
On February 19, 1992, the Elgin Hispanic Network hosted the Health & Welfare Luncheon at Elgin Community College and formally introduced itself to the Elgin community by announcing its mission, objectives, and logo. In March of the same year, the Network awarded its first educational scholarship awards.
In September 1993, the Network began the process of formal recognition from the federal government as a non-profit organization, and 501(c)(4) status was granted in 1995.
In March 1994, the Elgin Image Advisory Commission presented the Network with the prestigious Elgin Image Award in recognition of its outstanding contribution to Elgin's image in 1993.
In August 1995, the Network was recognized by the Elgin City Council as the leading Hispanic organization in Elgin.
A few years later in 1999, the Network took the lead in organizing a public forum with city officials to address the Latino community's concerns about housing overcrowding. As a result of the forum, a committee of Latino and African American members was created to further address the concerns of Elgin's minority community.
The year 2000 brought the Network's first-ever Strategic Planning Retreat at the Elgin Community Crisis Center. It resulted in key recommendations and a clarified mission. EHN also became official participants in the City of Elgin's Adopt-A-Highway Program for the next three years.
Since then, EHN has continued to award scholarships using funds raised from the annual Thanksgiving Luncheon and donations.