The facade of the new Impact Behavioral Health Partners building in Skokie. credit: Impact Behavioral Health Partners

Thirty-five years ago, a group of concerned Evanston residents started Impactful Behavioral Health Partners, It was then called Housing Options for the Mentally Ill, to help provide permanent supportive housing to Evanston residents exiting mental institutions. They wanted to create an alternative to homelessness or institutions.

The group believed that every person had the right to live in decent housing, and that with appropriate supportive care, even those with serious mental health problems could live independently and with dignity.

Since their first meeting, the organization has grown. Today, in addition to providing housing, Impact provides employment, clinical and supportive services. “Between July 2022 and June 2023, we provided housing for 64 participants, nursing services for 63 participants, worked with 482 participants in employment services and helped 157 participants find permanent jobs,” said Patti Kabush, Executive Director of Impact Foundation.

I started with a flat six

They acquired their first house in Evanston in 1991. The donated six-apartment house had four two-bedroom units and two one-bedroom units. From the beginning, Impact took care to maintain the property inside and out. The handyman regularly mowed the lawn, shoveled snow, and fixed anything that needed repair.

thirtyTwo years later, that first building, called “Home First,” is still standing strong. Impact now owns five additional small apartment buildings (three two-bedroom apartments, one three-bedroom apartment, and one with nine two-bedroom apartments). For two-bedroom apartments, Impact pairs roommates.

Impact currently manages and hopes to purchase a six-apartment apartment currently owned by the Reva and David Logan Foundation. Additionally, Impact’s “Pathways” program has 26 people living in apartments scattered throughout the community.

Impact recently started a “Family Supportive Housing Program” for adults dealing with mental illness and raising school-age children. The program currently helps six families in District 65, although IMPACT officials say the need far exceeds available resources. Impact works closely with District 65 social worker Allie Harned, according to Lori Flanagan, Impact’s director of development.

The round table has Previously mentioned on hundreds of children in District 65 who are dealing with housing insecurity and homelessness.

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