A Safe Haven Awarded Stronger Together Grant: Building a More Equitable Behavioral Health System in Cook County


On June 10, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and County Commissioners, joined Cook County Health leaders in announcing the award of over $44 million in grants to 53 organizations as part of the health system’s Stronger Together: Building a More Equitable Behavioral Health System in Cook County Initiative.

“This initiative highlights how government and other sectors of our community can work together to benefit the greater good and the health of our residents,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. “This is a historic opportunity to make meaningful change in Cook County for generations.”

The Stronger Together Initiative aims to address behavioral health inequities across the region’s system of care through increased systems alignment, enhanced system quality, and the expansion of access to early intervention and prevention, treatment, support, recovery, and crisis assessment and care.

The focus areas of the Stronger Together Initiative were developed based on the feedback gathered during the Cook County Behavioral Health Summit, which brought together more than 800 stakeholders representing 300 public and private sector organizations

The call for grant proposals opened in March 2024. More than 300 organizations applied for grants of up to $1M. The grant period is 27 months.

“As Chair of Health and Hospitals Committee and a psychologist it is essential that we provide grant opportunities for organizations who provide accessible, effective and equitable services as it relates to Behavioral Health,” said Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer, PhD, who also serves as Vice Chair of the Cook County Health Board of Directors.

Fifty-three organizations were selected to receive grants through a comprehensive review process, with applicants that serve communities that score among the highest on the Social-Vulnerability Index receiving priority. Twenty-one of the awarded organizations are using the funds to support youth and family behavioral health and health-related social needs, including prevention and intervention services.

“I am grateful to President Preckwinkle, and the Cook County Board of Commissioners for entrusting us as stewards of these funds to help address the broad behavioral health needs we see across Cook County,” said Cook County Health Interim CEO Dr. Erik Mikaitis. “The community-focused institutions awarded today will make a significant impact in expanding access to comprehensive, culturally appropriate behavioral health prevention, treatment, and recovery services. As a leader and convener in this space, Cook County Health knows that we are truly stronger together.”

Of the 53 organizations selected, 40 percent had 100 or fewer employees and more than 64 percent have not received funding from Cook County Health before.

“We are excited to be able to provide funding to a variety of types organizations,” said Dr. Thomas Nutter, Cook County Health Chief Behavioral Health Officer. “This is essential to create equity in distribution and ensure the expansion of a wide range of services in areas where individuals are impacted the most.”

This initiative, led by the CCH Office of Behavioral Health, is supported by funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury, under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocated to CCH by Cook County Government.

Awardee organizations (in alphabetical order):

Prevention and Early Intervention: Youth and Family

  • Association House of Chicago ($999,442.00)
  • Brighton Park Neighborhood Council ($1,000,000.00)
  • Communities In Schools of Chicago ($989,247.55)
  • Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County (CEDA) ($1,000,000.00)
  • ConTextos, NFP ($998,743.35)
  • Free Root Operation ($464,061.61)
  • Friends of the Children – Chicago ($999,942.96)
  • Juvenile Protective Association ($987,753.31)
  • La Rabida Children’s Hospital ($621,969.59)
  • Lurie Children’s Hospital ($989.539.00)
  • New Moms, Inc. ($740,419.00)
  • Project: VISION, Inc. ($500,000.00)
  • Proviso Public Partnership ($499,960.67)
  • Restoring the Path ($1,000,000.00)
  • SGA Youth & Family Services, NFP ($999,512.58)
  • Shelter, Inc. ($273,146.87)
  • SOS Children’s Villages Illinois ($976,956.30)
  • Sunshine Gospel Ministries ($712,443.82)
  • Trilogy Inc. ($998,672.86)
  • UCAN ($1,000,0000)
  • Youth Guidance ($995,087.00)

Early Intervention: Adults and Older Adults

  • Access Community Health Network ($860,361.00)
  • Acclivus, Inc. ($898,631.28)
  • Brave Space Alliance ($812,100.55)
  • Breakthrough ($494,386.00)
  • The Chicago Lighthouse ($ 966,481.74)
  • Esperanza Health Centers ($917,521.94)
  • Pillars Community Health ($500,000.00)
  • Sista Afya Community Care NFP ($ 499,982.00)
  • Sostento Inc. ($499,773.50)

Treatment, Recovery and Support Services: Youth and Family

  • Adler University ($490,464.00)
  • Alivio Medical Center ($1,000,000.00)
  • Alternatives, Inc. ($999,998.31)
  • Arab American Family Services ($1,000,000.00)
  • Board of Education of the City of Chicago ($986,535.36)
  • Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center ($1,000,000.00)
  • Children’s Research Triangle ($941,433.63)
  • Erie Family Health Center, Inc. ($894,157.00)
  • Rush University Medical Center ($989,449.00)
  • Youth Outreach Services ($999,999.00)

Treatment, Recovery and Support Services: Adults and Older Adults

  • The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois ($500,000.00)
  • Chinese American Service League ($1,000,000.00)
  • Family Guidance Centers, Inc. ($999,508.00)
  • Gateway Foundation, Inc. ($999,978.30)
  • Leyden Family Service and Mental Health Center ($996,763.42)
  • Midwest Asian Health Association ($1,000,000.00)
  • A Safe Haven Foundation ($999,919.20)
  • South Shore Hospital ($986,991.00)

Crisis Care

  • Alianza Americas ($840,202.52)
  • Community Counseling Centers of Chicago ($999,999.53)
  • Healing to Action, NFP ($500,000.00)
  • Metropolitan Family Services ($1,000,000.00)
  • YWCA Metropolitan Chicago ($997,172.73)