Second annual Stride into Skokie 5k walk celebrates Housing Program expansion

Skokie, IL-On Saturday, October 1st, 125 community members joined Impact Behavioral Health Partners for the Second Annual Stride into Skokie 5k walk.

The walk began at Central Park in the “Skevanston” area of Skokie and ended in downtown at the Skokie Heritage Museum, steps away from the construction site of a new 16-unit apartment building to house Impact participants.

At the endpoint of the event, walkers enjoyed a catered lunch from Village Inn Pizza and speeches from Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen, Betsy White of NorthShore University HealthSystem, and Dr. Maurice Brownlee of Wellness Home. “We’ve accomplished so much over the past year. It was great to celebrate with all our supporters who made this possible,” said Patti Capouch, Impact’s Executive Director.

The Stride into Skokie event, which was put on with support from presenting sponsors Equinix, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Synergy Construction Group, and Michael Schwartz and Angela Murphy was symbolic: After over 30 years of Impact’s buildings exclusively located in Evanston, the agency is expanding its housing portfolio into Skokie with the new 16-unit building and another 6-unit apartment building in central Skokie.

See highlights below or view the full event gallery.

Impact Hosts Designs for Dignity Open House

On September 20, 2022, Impact hosted an open house to show off the beautiful new basement of one of their Evanston properties, finished and upgraded by Designs for Dignity.

Earlier this year, Impact received a grant from Designs for Dignity, a Chicago-based organization that aims to transform nonprofit spaces through pro-bono designs services and in-kind donations through beautiful, functional design.

Over the past few months, Impact staff and volunteers worked alongside Designs for Dignity to finish the space. Now, the basement is a bright, welcoming space featuring a community room, waiting room, and therapy room. The upstairs will house families from Impact’s Family Supportive Housing Program.

Partner Agency Spotlight: Lutheran Social Services of Illinois

In 2021, Impact was asked to participate in a national research study with the BEES Research Group, analyzing the effectiveness of its Employment Services Program model. This study was a success, enrolling 285 participants in the randomized controlled study.

Based on the success of the initial study, BEES asked Impact to collaborate on a second study, this time with Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI). This new two-year study will examine Impact and LSSI’s efforts to integrate employment services into substance use treatment programing. The enrollment target for this study will be 300 participants, randomly assigned to a service or control group.

LSSI, based in Des Plaines, IL, provides a range of community-based social services for children, families, adults, and seniors. They also provide residential mental health and substance use treatment programs.

Impact started working with LSSI as part of a statewide effort to offer employment services to participants moving out of mental health facilities and reintegrating into the community. Impact assigned an employment specialist to LSSI, who was welcomed into LSSI’s treatment team meetings and integrated into LSSI’s service delivery structure. After several months of successful collaboration, LSSI and Impact expanded their partnership to include LSSI’s substance use treatment program.

“LSSI has been great to work with,” says Christopher Knoper, Impact’s Director of Participant Services. “It’s such a welcoming environment for both participants and Impact staff. We’re really looking forward to giving more people access to employment services and building on our relationship with LSSI.”

LSSI staff enjoy the open collaboration with Impact staff and enjoy working with them. We sometimes face barriers with follow-up and engagement on behalf of the clients after they have expressed interest in working. The Impact staff diligently work to engage the clients and build relationships over time. The success of this collaboration is demonstrated by the number of clients obtaining employment and being able to maintain it over time.

LSSI Community Support Team

Program spotlight: nursing services

Impact’s Clinical Service Program provides a full range of clinical services to low-income individuals living with a diagnosed mental illness. A unique component of this program is Impact’s nursing services, which helps ensure participants’ physical health needs are being met alongside their mental health needs.

Impact’s full-time program nurse works directly with participants, providing direct nursing care and health care support. Additionally, the nurse works to coordinate participants’ health care and medications among multiple providers. Taken together, this work ensures that participants’ unique and comprehensive health needs are met.

While Impact’s primary focus is on mental health, physical and mental health are closely linked: the life expectancy of those living with mental illness is 20 years shorter than the national average. Most of those deaths are due to chronic health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.

Over half of Impact’s participants have chronic physical conditions that they manage alongside their mental illness. For them, the program nurse has been a lifeline: multiple times, the nurse has caught slow-building medical crises like untreated diabetes and high blood pressure.

The nurse has also helped participants advocate for medical care, whether through accompanying participants to medical appointments and treatments, or helping them talk through physical impairment-related job accommodations they might need to maintain employment.

During the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program nurse has helped lead the agency’s response to the pandemic, including coordinating hospital discharges and follow-up care for participants diagnosed with COVID-19. Once vaccines became available, the program nurse also assisted in coordinating a vaccine clinic for Impact participants.

None of the work of the program nurse would be possible without the relationships and trust built with Impact’s participants. Impact’s current nurse, Maria Moreno, brings over 40 years of experience working with a diverse range of ages and medical needs to her work with Impact. “Maria is such a critical asset to Impact’s participants,” says Patti Capouch, Impact’s Executive Director. “Many of our participants have had negative experiences seeking medical care, and Maria works hard to make sure they feel heard and comfortable receiving medical care. The work she provides is absolutely lifesaving.”

Impact breaks ground on new 16-unit building

Impact breaking ground on new apartment building in Skokie, IL

Housing Program Helps Evanston Family Avoid Homelessness

This week, a day before losing their apartment, an Evanston family with school-age children moved into Impact’s new Family Supportive Housing Program.

The Family Supportive Housing Program provides long-term housing and access to clinical and employment services for families with children where an adult household member is living with a mental illness. With a permanent roof over their heads, family members have space and time to work towards stability, healing, and improving long-term mental health.

Impact staff also work with Evanston School District 65 staff, local homeless service providers, and youth service agencies. This ensures children have a smooth transition to their new home and can utilize the resources they need.

The Family Supportive Housing Program launched in response to more families experiencing housing insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Impact’s program helps fill a gap in the social service safety net by providing housing support to families before they become homeless.

Even one night of homelessness has profoundly negative consequences for children. Any amount of homelessness increases the risk of developmental delays, dropping out of school, and future mental illness. The Family Supportive Housing will directly prevent these outcomes and set Evanston families up for future success.

Impact Partners with Howard Brown Health

Chicago, IL- Impact and Howard Brown Health are partnering to provide employment services for Howard Brown clients out of the Broadway Youth Center, located in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.

Howard Brown Health is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), specializing in the holistic health needs of the LGBTQ+ community, including LGBTQ+ affirming primary and specialty medical care, HIV/AIDS services, and behavioral healthcare. The Broadway Youth Center location focuses on the needs of LGBTQ+ youth and young adults ages 12-24 who are under resourced or experiencing homelessness or housing instability through youth-centered integrated healthcare and social services.

At the Broadway Youth Center, Impact will provide a dedicated Employment Specialist to work with young adults interested in finding employment. The Employment Specialist will provide individualized, one-on-one support in finding and maintaining competitive employment. As part of the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) model that Impact utilizes, Impact’s Employment Specialist will collaborate closely with the Howard Brown treatment team to ensure participants receive comprehensive support to help meet their employment goals.

“We are very excited to collaborate with Howard Brown,” says Christopher Knoper, Impact’s Director of Participant Services. “The staff of the Broadway Youth Center are fantastic advocates for their patients. Offering our employment services to Howard Brown patients is a natural fit for Impact’s mission and our ongoing effort to reach those most in need of assistance.”

Prior to this Employment Services partnership, Howard Brown awarded Impact $25,000 in June 2021 in recognition for their work in the greater Chicago community.

First Family Moves into New Family Supportive Housing Program

Impact Expands Clinical Services Program to Eligible Evanston-Area Residents

Impact Behavioral Partners is expanding their Clinical Services Program to provide individual counseling, therapy, and case management services to Evanston-area adults who are Medicaid-eligible and have a diagnosed mental illness.

After decades of providing comprehensive clinical services to adults living with mental illness and residing in Impact’s Housing Services Program, Impact’s Clinical Services Program can now work with any individual who meets Impact’s eligibility requirements. The specialized care provided by Impact’s Clinical Services Program will increase prompt access to mental health services to communities that have been hit disproportionately hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are very excited to be offering up the excellent services of our clinical team to the Evanston community,” says Christopher Knoper, Impact’s Director of Participant Services. “Our highly trained staff are experienced in working with individuals struggling with a range of mental health issues and significant past trauma. Our Clinical team prioritizes integration and collaboration with participants’ other supports and providers to enhance the effectiveness of their interventions.”

Nationally, there has been a surge in individuals seeking out mental health services during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, mental health providers have struggled to keep up with rising demand. Lack of access is particularly acute for those who are on Medicaid or lack insurance: some providers report waitlists hundreds of people long.

For more information on eligibility for any of Impact’s programs, please visit