A $75,000 grant from the Healthy Communities Foundation (HCF) will strengthen Erie Neighborhood House’s efforts to create access to free counseling and mental health services for people living on the Southwest Side of Chicago as well as neighboring Berwyn and Cicero.

Proyecto Cuídate, a wellness initiative at Erie House that aims to restore relationships as a means of restoring communities, will be able to increase its capacity to serve folks in and around its Little Village/South Lawndale location thanks to the grant.

The program is guided by licensed clinicians who are able to deliver individual therapy, a scarce resource in this community that is all too often inaccessible for low-income individuals and families.

In addition, Proyecto Cuídate offers women’s empowerment groups, parenting classes, youth mentoring, instruction on restorative practices and case management—all of which are free services underwritten by private and public grant funding.

“For adults who don’t have insurance or can’t afford out-of-pocket costs, therapy can remain out of reach,” says Rosa Sanchez, program manager for Proyecto Cuídate. “Many of our clients have nowhere else to go or no one else to talk to.”

She notes that her team saw a total of 85 clients for individual therapy last year and that the duration of care can range from as little as 4 sessions to a year or more. The HCF grant will enable Proyecto Cuídate to hire an additional clinician and significantly expand its caseload (there are currently more than 50 names on a waitlist for therapy).

“The wraparound, holistic support Proyecto Cuídate provides is incredibly valuable and is transforming the lives of people in our community.”

– Kirstin Chernawsky, Executive Director

“The wraparound, holistic support Proyecto Cuídate provides is incredibly valuable and is transforming the lives of people in our community,” says Erie House executive director Kirstin Chernawsky. “We are so grateful to the Healthy Communities Foundation for such a substantial investment in their wellbeing.”

For more information on the Proyecto Cuídate program at Erie House, please visit www.eriehouse.org.

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