Mon. Feb 6th, 2023

LAKEVIEW — Espresso, Hip-Hop & Psychological Well being, a nonprofit cafe that makes use of cash from espresso gross sales to ship individuals to remedy, has discovered a extra everlasting residence in Lakeview after shifting out of its previous area final 12 months.

The two,200-square-foot cafe lately opened at 1051 W. Belmont Ave. It would function headquarters for the donation-based cafe’s mission of normalizing remedy and psychological well being discussions.

In its new residence, the nonprofit hopes to lift sufficient cash to match at the least 20 individuals or households with remedy every month.

“There are such a lot of social and well being obstacles in Black communities with an absence of assets,” stated founder Christopher LeMark, who began Espresso, Hip-Hop & Psychological Well being in 2019.

“Lack of entry to high quality well being care, financial stability, assets and primary survival wants plague people and households alike, making it a problem to be receptive to remedy and its advantages,” LeMark stated.

Credit score: Jake Wittich/Block Membership ChicagoChristopher LeMark, proprietor of Espresso, Hip-Hop & Psychological Well being.

Espresso, Hip-Hop & Psychological Well being’s first occasion in 2019 attracted about 20 contributors, who loved reside music and conversations with licensed therapists about psychological well being. However the motion shortly grew, with a second occasion being held a month later on the Promontory in Hyde Park, the place 133 individuals confirmed up, LeMark beforehand advised Block Membership.

“We simply saved rising and rising till March 2020, which was our remaining occasion as a result of the pandemic hit and enormous gatherings couldn’t occur anymore,” LeMark stated.

That’s when the nonprofit pivoted to operating a Individuals’s Meals Drive, which has fed 1000’s of households for the reason that pandemic began, LeMark stated.

Espresso, Hip-Hop and Psychological Well being.

On the espresso store, LeMark sells T-shirts, sweaters and different merchandise to maintain the model alive, he stated. The cafe additionally sells specialty espresso drinks — named after artists like Lil Kim, Lauryn Hill and Biggie — and pastries equipped by different native companies.

The cafe additionally presents free yoga each Saturday from 7-7:45 a.m., free group remedy with a licensed therapist each Sunday and free sizzling meals each Monday at 5:30 p.m.

LeMark hopes to increase the nonprofit’s choices subsequent 12 months with after-school and youth applications; wellness assets like sound remedy and walk-in pace remedy classes; month-to-month networking brunches for therapists; hip-hop cyphers; and e book golf equipment.

“We will complain and look away or we will do one thing about it,” LeMark stated. “That is our approach of doing one thing about it [by] launching their therapeutic journeys with hopes of fixing neighborhood and household dynamics.”

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