The Housing Authority of Cook County and Cook County Health partner to place behavioral health care coordinators in public housing communities throughout suburban Cook County

$5.8 million behavioral health initiative to benefit HACC residents at 18 housing sites

(COOK COUNTY, IL) — Today, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced that, thanks to a partnership with Cook County Health (CCH), the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) has added behavioral health care coordinators to 18 HACC public housing communities. Thanks to federal funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), HACC behavioral health care coordinators will play a proactive role in ensuring that Housing Authority residents receive resources that foster mental health, physical health, and will also provide referrals to other healthcare resources when necessary. This includes case management, therapy/counseling, housing stability support and workforce development.

“Access to quality behavioral health care is a fundamental right, and we are committed to ensuring that every resident of the Housing Authority of Cook County has the support they need,” said President Preckwinkle. “Today, we are proud to stand with our partners and Board of Commissioners to announce the placement of behavioral health care coordinators at all our public housing communities in suburban Cook County. This initiative will bridge the gap between mental health services and our residents, providing comprehensive support where it's needed the most. Together, we will foster a healthier and more resilient Cook County."

The behavioral health initiative is funded with $5.8 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars allocated by the Cook County Board of Commissioners to be overseen by Cook County Health. As a provider of physical and behavioral health care, Cook County Health is supporting this initiative with clinical and operational expertise. The health system assisted in the development of key performance indicators and will provide guidance and support for the program.

“The Housing Authority of Cook County is proud to collaborate with Cook County Health and the Office of the President to the launch of this monumental initiative,” said Richard Monocchio, HACC Executive Director. “We are hopeful that this initiative will become a permanent fixture for the residents that reside within the jurisdiction of the Housing Authority of Cook County.”

“Mental health is an essential part of your well-being, yet too often dealing with a mental health challenge is a silent, internal struggle. Cook County Health is pleased to work with HACC to reduce barriers to mental health care through this initiative and we look forward to continuing to support these essential services,” said Israel Rocha, CEO, Cook County Health.

Services are being provided by two behavioral healthcare organizations, Impact Behavioral Health Partners and Grand Prairie Services. Due to the vast size of Cook County and the number of HACC properties, Impact Behavioral Health Partners will provide services to residents in Northern Cook County while Grand Prairie Services will provide services to residents in Southern and Western Cook County.

Grand Prairie Services has provided quality comprehensive healthcare services for over 70 years. Services are provided in an integrated healthcare environment which addresses the physical, mental, behavioral health and housing needs of individuals and families. The organization began in 1950 as a counseling agency in Park Forest and then merged in 1956 with social service groups representing Park Forest, Chicago Heights, Homewood and Harvey. Grand Prairie Services is led by President & CEO, Dr. Sharronne Ward, Project Director Wendell Brown, Tim Moore, Kimberly Shelton-Mamon, and Shelia Winters.

“GPS is committed to offering a comprehensive continuum of professional behavioral healthcare services to children, adolescents, adults, and seniors living in the thirty-two municipalities of Bloom, Bremen, Rich, and Thornton townships,” said Dr. Sharronne Ward. “These vital services are provided by a staff of 130 individuals – we are excited to bring our expertise and resources to HACC residents.”

Impact Behavioral Health Partners is led by Executive Director Patti Capouch and provides comprehensive housing, clinical, and employment services to adults living with mental illness. Founded as Housing Options for the Mentally Ill Evanston in 1988, Impact has grown from possessing one building to serving over 450 individuals throughout Chicago and its suburbs every year. Impact’s vision is to close the gap in accessibility of care for low-income and housing-insecure individuals living with mental illness, ensuring all Chicago area residents have access to the supportive services and housing they need to thrive in their communities.

"We have participants who have been housed with Impact for 15, 20, and even 30 years, and our average length of stay is nine years," says Patti Capouch, Executive Director of Impact Behavioral Health Partners. "We look forward to bringing our expertise in providing long-term housing stability and clinical services to HACC residents. There is a significant need for this type of support, and it's an honor to be chosen for this partnership."

In 2021, 1 in 5 adults experienced mental illness and 1 in 3 teens reported poor mental health nationally. Mental health concerns impact every demographic, every age, every socioeconomic stratum. While mental illness is often treatable, some HACC residents face additional barriers to care. Many elderly and disabled residents are isolated, without loved ones monitoring their health, some also have limited mobility. Many residents live with untreated mental and behavioral health conditions. These health issues interfere with residents’ quality of life, especially when they co-occur with other health issues, and may worsen neighbors’ quality of life as well.


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