Rep. Newman Secures Over $15.9 Million in Funding to Invest in Mental Health Care Services, Community Programming and Transportation Initiatives on the Southwest Side and Suburbs

Funding would provide monumental investments for community organizations and local municipalities across Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District   

Rep. Newman taking a photo with a crowd

CHICAGO, IL – As part of this year’s community project funding from the House Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Representative Marie Newman (D-IL-03) announced today that she has secured more than $15.9 million in federal funding to invest in crucial community and health services and strengthen our transportation networks across the Southwest Side and Suburbs. Upon passage in Congress, this funding will go to the listed community organizations and local municipalities to strengthen community and public services across Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District. 

“We are lucky to have so many outstanding community organizations and municipal leaders in the district, and it is my honor to contribute to the great work they perform each and every day,” said Congresswoman Newman. “These projects include investments in health care and rehabilitation programs, food and counseling services for low-income communities, and youth counseling organizations. Additionally, my team has secured necessary transportation investments that will create jobs and spur economic development. These community projects represent victories for our entire community, and I’m grateful for the help of my local partners for the work they do to make our communities more vibrant and resilient.” 

The following community project funding requests were approved today by their respective subcommittees. In addition to these requests, Congresswoman Newman had two projects approved earlier this month to bring over $7.5 million to the district to address flooding concerns (read more here). All submissions must designate federal funding for specific projects that demonstrate a positive benefit to the community and are a good use of taxpayer funds. Find a full list of Congresswoman Newman’s Community Project Funding Requests here.   

The Academy for Global Citizenship/Cultivate Collective Southwest Chicago’s Sustainability Hub – $250,000 

The project will help expand community services at a community development hub located in a public housing site in the Archer Heights neighborhood of Chicago. The funding will be used to provide job training, financial counseling, business incubation, homeownership assistance, and economic development on Chicago’s southwest side. 

“This funding will catalyze an equitable, sustainable, and resilient future for our Southwest Chicago community through expanding programs and wraparound services at the Cultivate Collective Hub,” said Sarah Elizabeth Ippel, Founder and Executive Director of the Academy for Global Citizenship. “Thanks to this investment, we can increase access to learning, nutritious foods, health care, green spaces, job training, and small business incubation.” 

Advocate Community Center for Mental Well-Being and Trauma Support – $2.94 Million 

This project would expand and extend the mental health and trauma prevention and support services associated with the Advocate Trauma Recovery Program at this new community-based location. The new Community Center will house Advocate’s Community Health, Trauma Recovery Center, and Faith and Health Partnerships departments and will offer an accessible venue for community members to gather, learn, heal, and share experiences. 

“The Advocate Community Center for Mental Well-Being and Trauma Support will offer an accessible, safe space for the community, housing an array of activities and services including individual and group counseling, support groups for trauma, resilience, and healing, and the food bank “Food Farmacy” which provides fresh, healthy food for food insecure individuals and families,” said Dr. Kim Miller, Director of Trauma Recovery and Resilience at Advocate Aurora Health. “It will also provide a space for community groups to hold meetings and share programs with neighbors. In addition to providing services, we know that building community capacity and allowing community members to share their wisdom and expertise with each other is critical to tending to the root causes of community violence and to addressing the social determinants of health. This Community Center will be an incubator focusing on improving the mental and physical well-being of the communities that are most impacted by health inequities.”      

The Bridge Teen Center Job Readiness and Future Focused Programs – $500,000 

The project will help provide and expand free, holistically designed hands-on job readiness programming and life skills training for students in grades 7-12. The programming is offered in a positive, supportive, and safe environment, and is tailored around the interests and individual needs of teenage students in the Southwest suburbs. 

“We are honored that Rep. Newman chose to include The Bridge Teen Center in her appropriations request for the year,” said Priscilla Steinmetz, Founder and Executive Director of The Bridge Teen Center. “There is no shortage of great causes in her district, and we consider it an honor that she supports our organization’s mission. For a locally grown grassroots nonprofit organization like ours, this type of support is truly game-changing. This support will enhance our job readiness and future-focused afterschool programming in a profound way in the next year. On behalf of the 11,000+ different students from 128 neighboring communities we have served since 2010, we thank Rep. Newman for her generous heart and the importance she places on providing holistic resources for local teens and families” 

Chicago Public Schools Arts Initiative – $500,000 

The project would allow schools to support increasing access to the arts within their school community. It includes the purchase of supplies and equipment to ensure a newly hired arts teacher can outfit their emerging arts program according to the school’s vision or the development of an in-depth arts residency with a highly qualified arts partner that would provide arts enrichment over the course of a school year. The supplies and equipment will significantly boost each school’s arts programming. 

“Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is grateful to Congresswoman Marie Newman for championing these projects on behalf of our students to provide resources in support of art programs in several schools,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “These funds support our commitment to making sure all students have access to art classes in the coming school year for a well-rounded education.” 

Schools receiving funding include John H. Kinzie Elementary School; Phoebe A. Hearst Fine Arts School; Velma Thomas Early Childhood Center; Michael M. Byrne Elementary School; John C. Dore Elementary School; and The Barbara Vick Early Childhood Center. 

Moraine Valley Community College NDT Testing Equipment Modernization – $500,000 

The project will allow Moraine Valley Community College Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) training program to update classroom and lab equipment to give students hands-on experience using digital technologies found in today’s industrial applications. The investment in equipment upgrades will help build a highly skilled workforce and spur economic growth in many NDT-related industries, including aerospace, construction, manufacturing, and more. MVCC is the only institution in Illinois to offer NDT training, which is the process of inspecting, testing, or evaluating materials, components, or assemblies for defects without destroying the usefulness of the part or system. 

“Upgrading classroom and lab equipment for Moraine Valley Community College’s Nondestructive Testing program is an investment in our community that will pay dividends,” said Dr. Sylvia M. Jenkins, President of Moraine Valley Community College. “Congresswoman Newman’s support of this community project will not only lead our community college students to skilled jobs, but it will also enhance the local economy and infrastructure.”  

Mosque Foundation Community Center Facility Expansion – $1.5 Million  

The project will provide capital improvements, planning, and pre-construction services for the Mosque Foundation Community Center (MFCC) expansion project. The MFCC is an anchor for the community and provides invaluable social and recreational programming for youth and community members. The project will allow MFCC to expand its programming and serve more members of the local Bridgeview community. 

“We thank Congresswoman Newman and her staff for their tireless work improving the lives and well-being of people across the district. Today is another reminder of Congresswoman Newman’s ability to get things done. Generations to come will be served by the improved and expanded MFCC, ensuring a stronger, more vibrant community for all of us,” said Oussama Jammal, President of the Mosque Foundation. “By securing $1.5 million in federal funds for the Mosque Foundation Community Center (MFCC) Facility Improvement and Expansion Project, Congresswoman Newman understands the strategic value community centers have in reaching families of Illinois’ 3rd and serving the unique needs of a growing and more diverse district.” 

Next Steps Foundation Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program Expansion – $645,695 

The project will allow for facility renovation and acquisition of new rehabilitative equipment for use in the Next Steps Chicago rehabilitation clinic. This clinic serves adult and child survivors of spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and other neurological conditions with intensive physical and occupational therapies and fitness aimed at paralysis recovery. It will allow the clinic to make advanced technological therapies for paralysis recovery more readily available and address service gaps for neurological rehabilitation for pediatric patients and military veterans. This will help eliminate the need to travel out of state to access outpatient facilities that focus on neurological recovery. 

“Next Steps Chicago has provided activity-based exercise rehabilitation for spinal cord injury survivors since 2004,” said Kelly Heneghan, Director of Next Steps Chicago. “Rep. Newman’s actions have positioned us for the single largest funding award in our 18-year history. If not for Rep. Newman’s kind support, these facility and equipment improvements would be impossible.” 

City of Orland Park 143rd Street Widening – $7 Million 

This project would improve traffic flow through this section of the 143rd Street corridor and bring the 5-lane continuous cross section closer to completion. The roadway improvements would relieve traffic congestion, improve roadway capacity, improve drainage, address safety deficiencies, reconstruct pavement and the vertical alignment, and complete pedestrian and bicycle facilities. This would benefit the region in making 143rd Street another east-west arterial corridor to the south Chicago suburbs. 

“This regional transportation project impacts not only Orland Park, but several communities will benefit from this improvement,” said Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau. “This east/west corridor is a vital component to uphold the transportation needs as well as serve as an economic driver for the region.” 

Pace Suburban Bus 95th Street Transit Signal Priority – $840,000 

The project would allow for the installation of transit signal priority (TSP) equipment at 30 traffic signals along this 95th Street corridor, which has the heaviest bus ridership in Pace’s service area. TSP technology allows buses to communicate with traffic signals to help reduce bus travel time, improve rider experience, and give residents of southwestern Cook County a more efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly transportation option. 

“On behalf of the thousands of daily Pace riders in the 95th Street corridor, we thank Congresswoman Newman for her support for securing funding for a critical piece in the development of our future Pulse 95th Street Line,” said Pace Executive Director Melinda J. Metzger. “This grant for transit signal priority will not only offer an immediate reduction in travel times for existing riders in the corridor but will become one of several enhancements to public transit service that we are developing as part of the forthcoming Pulse rapid transit line.” 

Pathlights Home Delivered Meals Program – $100,000 

The project will help provide and expand access to nutritious and medically necessary special dietary meals to older Americans and adults with disabilities in the southwest suburbs of Cook County, Illinois, along with additional supportive and supplemental services to provide those individuals with holistic care. 

“In the last two years, Pathlights has experienced a 28% increase in the demand for nutritious food and a 100% increase in requests for medically necessary special dietary meals from older adults in Illinois’ 3rdDistrict,” says Elaine Grande, Executive Director at Pathlights. “New funding secured by Congresswoman Marie Newman is incredible news and means that Pathlights can continue to meet the growing needs, providing low to no cost nutrition to older adults in the southwest suburbs of Cook County. Nutrition is critical to health, wellbeing and quality of life and this support will enhance our efforts in reducing hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition for older adults.” 

Saint Xavier University Health and Wellness Corridor Initiative – $106,885 

The project will establish a Health and Wellness Corridor by expanding Saint Xavier University’s existing health center and its wellness offerings for Chicago’s southwest side and surrounding suburbs. The space will also provide hands-on learning and clinical opportunities for the university’s nursing and exercise science students. 

“Saint Xavier University is pleased to be included in the list of funded community projects moving forward from the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations subcommittee,” said Gwendolyn George, DNP, Interim Provost and Dean, School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Saint Xavier University. “Our Health and Wellness Corridor will be a benefit to the communities in and around Chicago’s southwest side, providing mental and physical health resources as well as experiential learning opportunities for our students. We are grateful for Representative Newman’s leadership in ensuring this project receives the funding necessary to make it a reality and look forward to growing our healthcare and wellness footprint in the community.” 

UCAN Counseling and Youth Development Services – $95,000 

The project will provide school-based counseling in Chicago schools, outpatient therapy to youth who have experienced trauma, and other mental health services through UCAN’s Community Outpatient Mental Health Program.  

“UCAN extends our sincere gratitude to Cong. Marie Newman for her long standing, continued support of Chicagoland nonprofits that provide much-needed programs and services to the city’s youth,” said Claude Robinson, Executive Vice President of External Affairs and Diversity at UCAN. “Through the Congresswoman’s support and this additional funding to UCAN’s Counseling and Youth Development Services program, we will be able to provide expanded outpatient therapy to underserved youth who have experienced trauma, increase our school-based counseling in Chicago schools, and provide more and enhanced mental health services through UCAN’s Community Outpatient Mental Health program. UCAN is a relevant and respected community-based organization that focuses on providing opportunities that positively changes the lives of those we serve through impactful programs, a consistent presence and unrivaled diversity and inclusion. We look forward to expanding our diverse yet focused services to residents in greater Chicagoland through the infusion of added resources. We appreciate the Cong. Newman and her continued support and confidence in the impact of our work.” 

Worry Free Community Be Well Free Clinic Expansion – $1,000,000 

The project will provide necessary capital modifications, equipment, and program development to support healthcare needs of uninsured and underserved patients in the region. It will provide clinical and social services through physician encounter, case management, support groups, and one-on-one counseling in linguistically appropriate and culturally sensitive manner. It will also help address social determinants of health for the new immigrant and vulnerable communities while improving health and systems literacy for positive health outcomes to advance health equity. 

“Residents of Oak Lawn and surrounding neighborhoods thank Marie Newman for her exceptional understanding of the problems plaguing the underserved,” said Fatema Mirza, Director of Worry Free Community. “We appreciate her dedication to organizations such as ours, and her commitment to meeting the needs of not only individuals and families but small businesses, counties, and cities.” 

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