CHICAGO — The coffee shop ‘Coffee, Hip Hop & Mental Health’ is now not only feeding the mind with healing, but also now the body with food.
“The goal is to make this a safe space for people — not just a coffee shop,” said Christopher Lemark, the founder of Coffee, Hip Hop & Mental Health.
The shop is a way to bring free therapy to parts of the city often overlooked and is now hosting a brunch as a fall fundraiser to expand their efforts.
The cafe manager, Kristen Prodehl, says their goal is to bring their services to Englewood, which is where the owner is from.
“I feel I found my purpose with my job here,” Prodehl said.
Prodehl said they are attempting to raise $220,000 to send to people going through therapy.
It has been a little more than a year since the café opened its doors to a permanent home on Belmont and Seminary, where they work on a donation model — order what you want and pay what you can.
“A portion of funds fund the operation of the café itself, and the rest gets funded into our free therapy program, which is a scholarship program where we pay for people to go through sessions of therapy,” Prodehl said.
With a goal to grow, Prodehl said they hope to expand to more parts of the South Side and have already helped hundreds access mental health care.
“To be able to bring free therapy, in any capacity, to people everywhere would be incredible,” Prodehl said.