Home


Chicago Star Chicago Star Chicago Star Chicago Star


Chicago Star Chicago Star Chicago Star Chicago Star


Chicago Star Chicago Star Chicago Star Chicago Star

Generic placeholder image

Mental Health

"The Mayor’s commitment to supporting mental health and the support from the Chicago Department of Public Health for the trauma informed centers of care,  has really helped Apna Ghar and the immigrant and refugee communities we serve, particularly in West Ridge and Rogers Park areas that have been hit extremely hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding support has increased our capacity to support community members (adults and children) with their emotional, mental and behavioral health needs as well as their physical health needs. The support has strengthened our partnership with Hamdard Healthcare, and in addition to serving the broader community, it has also increased our ability to provide specialized care for survivors of gender-based violence. We look forward to building on this work to ensure that all community member receive the mental health care they need to cope with the impact of the pandemic."

- Neha Gill, Executive Director, Apna Ghar, Inc. (Our Home)


Chicago Star Chicago Star Chicago Star Chicago Star

Complete list of more than 100+ ways Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot has made government work for you

Chicago Star Chicago Star Chicago Star Chicago Star

  • Created a $4 million artist relief fund in partnership with the State to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Provided $1.3 million in direct support to the local theatre community during the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre.
  • Created the Performance Venue Relief Fund to provide grants of at least $10,000 to performing arts venues, resulting in 120 grant recipients.
  • Announced “Arts77,” a citywide arts recovery and reopening plan for all of Chicago’s 77 community areas, representing an initial investment of over $60 million from the Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.
  • Awarded $2.5 million in artist commissions and arts organization grant opportunities.
  • Announced “Artists in Residence” in four South and West side neighborhoods.
  • Created a commission to review Chicago’s monuments focused on historical reckoning with Chicago’s racial history.
  • Named best big city in the country by Conde Nast for the 4th year in a row in 2020.
  • Over 100 companies have either expanded or relocated in the City of Chicago since the start of the pandemic.
  • Chicago is the 1st U.S. city to have published an economic recovery plan.
  • Assembled over 100 leaders from the business, government, and nonprofit sectors to form a recovery task force focused expanding economic opportunity. The recovery task force work has led to several corporate relocations to Chicago in key growth sectors, the launch of large mental health related support initiatives, and regional efforts to promote tourism.
  • For the first time in the City’s history, climbed the pension ramp to actuarial funding for the police and fire pension funds.
  • Chicago was identified as the #1 easiest city (population > 1 million) to start a business.
  • After 30 years of futility, secured authorization for a casino in the City of Chicago which will bring thousands of jobs and economic development to the City as well as provide new revenues to support the police and fire pension funds.
  • Created Community Advisory Councils for ongoing community feedback on Lincoln Yards and 78 TIFs.
  • Passed the FY2020 and FY2021 City budgets balancing over $2 billion of budget deficits with $985 million of structural solutions across both years demonstrating the City’s commitment to a structurally balanced budget through transparent and equity-driven budgeting practices.
  • Signed a deal to add the City of Joliet as a new regional water partner to the City’s water system, helping generate $24-37 million in revenue every year.
  • Site Selection Magazine ranked Chicago #1 large city in America for corporate expansions and relocations for the 8th year in a row. Over 50 new companies opened up their offices or headquarters in Chicago.
  • Positioned Chicago as one of the global research and innovation hubs for Quantum Technology with $230M of investment from the Department of Energy and the first quantum startup accelerator in the world.
  • Developed first comprehensive workforce strategy to connect displaced workers with opportunities in high growth sectors.
  •  Eliminated aldermanic prerogative as it pertains to all executive functions and operations.
  • Announced full review of practice of aldermanic prerogative and developed plan to eliminate veto powers in department decision making.
  • Hired the City’s first ever Chief Equity Officer
  • Hired the City’s first ever Chief Risk Officer.
  • Strengthened the ethics code to increase the statute of limitations on ethics violations, eliminate conflicts of interest in aldermanic outside employment, and increase fines for general violations, as well as strengthening the Inspector General’s Office.
  • Modernized the workers’ compensation program to eliminate alleged fraud, improve services to injured workers and save the city millions each year.
  • Live streamed City Council meetings and hearings.
  • Created the first-ever City Council Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight.
  • Implemented unprecedented TIF transparency measures including a new TIF investment committee and stronger standards for spending.
  • Revived the Veterans, Women, New Americans, LGBTQ, and Equity advisory councils to create a direct line of communication between the Mayor's Office, City departments and residents.
  • Launched City's first-ever enterprise risk management system.
  • Led city-wide, public/private response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Launched 11 free COVID-19 testing centers on the South and West sides.
  • Invested $56 million to establish a citywide COVID Contact Tracing Corps, resulted in grants to 31 CBOs in Chicago’s hardest-hit communities hire 450 contact tracers and 31 supervisors.
  • Distributed more than 18 million units of medical grade PPE across the healthcare system and distributed nearly 4 million free masks to community organizations.
  • Mobilized city’s Safe Passage workers to distribute PPE and provide information about vaccines to 400,000 households.
  • Created the McCormick Place alternative care facility, with nearly 40% of the contracting going to minority- and women-owned contractors.
  • Formed the Racial Equity Rapid Response team to develop hyperlocal, data-informed strategies to slow the spread of the COVID-19 and improve health outcomes among communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID infections and death.
  • Produced the most equitable vaccine distribution in the country (among large cities) through Protect Chicago Plus.
  • Tripled the city’s budget to address mental health.
  • Launched Family Connects pilot to improve infant and maternal health by offering families a free home nursing visit to assess health and family needs and connect families to community-based resources.
  • Invested $8 million in annual funding to 32 trauma-informed centers of care that served over 12,000 ppl in Q1 of 2021.
  • Launching alternate crisis response pilot in July 2021 -- the first ever integration of mental health professionals into 911 call center and crisis response teams.
  • Committed $11 million to healthcare developments in North Lawndale and Auburn-Gresham.
  • Announced a plan for more than 25 new community health centers for communities in need.
  • Passed a ban on flavored vaping products.
  • Launched the Lead Service Line Replacement Program, which provides assistance to residents who wish to replace their lead service lines, prioritizing those who are low income.
  • Passed an ordinance allowing CDPH to increase fines on air pollution as part of an ongoing effort to further protect residents from environmental hazards.
  • Passed an ordinance to establish a new regulatory framework for implosion demolitions in Chicago to ensure extensive community engagement prior to this type of demolition activity.
  • Passed an ordinance to prevent employers from retaliating against their employees for taking time off when they were sick with COVID symptoms or taking time to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Signed an executive order explicitly ensuring that all benefits, opportunities, and services provided or administered by the City of Chicago are accessible to all residents, regardless of birth country or current citizenship status
  • Removed all carve-outs from Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance, eliminating local police collaboration with ICE and ensuring undocumented crime victims can call 911 without fear of deportation
  • Created the first Immigrants and Refugee Rights Committee in City Council. The Committee takes on legislation and resolutions that impact Chicago's immigrant and refugee communities.
  • Increased funding by nearly 20% for the Legal Protection Fund, a $1.5M fund that provides free legal immigration services and Know Your Rights education to Chicago residents.
  • Issued an executive order, to fight against COVID-19, mandating that all City services and resource be accessible to all residents, regardless of immigration status.
  • Issued executive order to terminate ICE access to citywide databases and ban police cooperation with ICE on immigration enforcement.
  • Outperformed most large cities in census count, including Los Angeles, Houston and Philadelphia.
  • Removed all carve-outs from Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance, eliminating local police collaboration with ICE and ensuring undocumented crime victims can interact with City departments, including CPD, without fear of deportation.
  • Increased language access plans within City Departments.
  • Instituted a congestion zone and a congestion tax on ride-hail companies to mitigate traffic in the central business district and encourage the use of more sustainable modes of transportation.
  • Invested $20 million in bus priority zones to speed up CTA bus service along several key routes serving neighborhoods and added 7.6 miles of Pop-Up Bus Lanes.
  • Launched a major expansion of Chicago’s bike share system, Divvy, bringing bike share for the first time to the far South Side of Chicago and installing 66 new bikeshare stations and 12 new e-stations for Divvy e-bikes that expanded the network by almost 60 square miles.
  • Installed, replaced, or repaired 45,000 traffic & street signs, filled nearly 400,000 potholes, paved more than 700 blocks of streets and alleys, installed 1000 ADA ramps and planted over 1600 trees.
  • Installed 30 miles of new bikeways and re-striped 50 miles of existing bike lanes
  • Invested $850 million in capital improvements at O’Hare.
  • Kept CTA running full-time during COVID-19 pandemic to support essential workers.
  • Launched the Invest South/West Neighborhood Economic Development Program that deployed over $70M in 10 neighborhoods to catalyze over $300M in follow-on investment from the private and philanthropic sectors.
  • Invest S/W successfully awarded first 3 RFP winners to develop on vacant land or rehab neglected buildings, representing over $65M of investment.
  • Launched Chicago Works, the City’s first ever five-year Capital Plan committing $3.7 billion across five years, beginning with $1.4 billion over 2021 and 2022 to leverage capital investments to spur economic development and job creation.
  • Launched largest series of municipal small business grant and loan programs in the country, allocating over $130M to supporting Chicago small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • Passed landmark inclusionary housing legislation by overhauling the Affordability Requirements Ordinance to incentivize developers to build more affordable housing.
  • Developed a process in partnership with Choose Chicago to more prominently feature neighborhood cultural assets as part of the city’s tourism promotion.
  • Passed an Obama Center community benefits agreement—the Woodlawn Affordable Housing Preservation Ordinance, a first-of-its-kind ordinance focused on stabilizing a low-income community on the precipice of the Obama Presidential Center investment, which created requirements to use vacant city land for affordable housing, longtime homeowner repair grants, a home refinancing program, and a low- and moderate-income home buyer program.
  • Shepherded the finalization of federal review of the Obama Presidential Center which will allow for a Fall 2021 groundbreaking.
  • Launched Chicago’s first citywide planning initiative since 1966.
  • Launched "On the Block," a 7-week pilot in summer 2020 to bring fun, recreational activities and valuable City services to show up for residents where they are during COVID through pop-up events on South and West side. Reached 21 residential blocks in 18 communities reaching over 700 residents, with participation from 17 City departments and sister agencies.
  • Renamed Douglass Park for Frederick Douglass and Anna-Murry Douglass.
  • Launched the Invest South/West Neighborhood Economic Development Program that deployed over $70M in 10 neighborhoods to catalyze over $300M in follow-on investment from the private and philanthropic sectors.
  • Invest S/W successfully awarded first 3 RFP winners to develop on vacant land or rehab neglected buildings, representing over $65M of investment.
  • Launched Chicago Works, the City’s first ever five-year Capital Plan committing $3.7 billion across five years, beginning with $1.4 billion over 2021 and 2022 to leverage capital investments to spur economic development and job creation.
  • Launched largest series of municipal small business grant and loan programs in the country, allocating over $130M to supporting Chicago small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • Passed landmark inclusionary housing legislation by overhauling the Affordability Requirements Ordinance to incentivize developers to build more affordable housing.
  • Developed a process in partnership with Choose Chicago to more prominently feature neighborhood cultural assets as part of the city’s tourism promotion.
  • Passed an Obama Center community benefits agreement—the Woodlawn Affordable Housing Preservation Ordinance, a first-of-its-kind ordinance focused on stabilizing a low-income community on the precipice of the Obama Presidential Center investment, which created requirements to use vacant city land for affordable housing, longtime homeowner repair grants, a home refinancing program, and a low- and moderate-income home buyer program.
  • Shepherded the finalization of federal review of the Obama Presidential Center which will allow for a Fall 2021 groundbreaking.
  • Launched Chicago’s first citywide planning initiative since 1966.
  • Launched "On the Block," a 7-week pilot in summer 2020 to bring fun, recreational activities and valuable City services to show up for residents where they are during COVID through pop-up events on South and West side. Reached 21 residential blocks in 18 communities reaching over 700 residents, with participation from 17 City departments and sister agencies.
  • Renamed Douglass Park for Frederick Douglass and Anna-Murry Douglass.
  • Won historic reforms around accountability and transparency in police supervisors’ contracts including investigation of anonymous complaints, preservation of disciplinary records against destruction, safeguarding the names of complainants to guard against retaliation, among other wins.
  • Developed an in-service training program, going from 0 to 40 hours of officer annual training within the first three years of CD implementation, including scenario-based use of force training (with over 95% officers completing 32 hours of training through the last reporting period).
  • Created a Force Review Board where top leadership conducts an after-action review of all the most serious uses of force within 96 hours of their occurrence
  • Launched a pilot data-driven officer support system designed to early identify officers who may need support
  • Partnered with a community-based organization to complete delivery of civilian-taught in-service implicit bias training to all officers
  • Established a CPD Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Program, including hiring a full-time ADA Coordinator to review and make recommendations on CPD’s policies, training, practices
  • Overhauled CPD vehicle pursuit policy to establish national best practice approach, including simplified language of policy for ease of understanding, adding further exclusions on the initiation of a vehicle pursuit, create clearer requirements and additional components for oversight and tracking.
  • Created the Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform Management, a new organizational effort to prioritize reform efforts under the Consent Decree.
  • Hosted community conversations to invite members of the public to discuss and provide feedback on 14 different policy topics such as crisis intervention and body-worn camera use.
  • Updated Use of Force Policies implemented after consultation with and input from the Attorney General's office and independent monitoring team. Revised policies include a duty to intervene and ban on certain use of force tactics unless deadly force is authorized. The suite addresses all nationally recognized #8cantwait recommendations.
  • Hosted CPD/community working group to review and revise CPD policies on interactions with members of the transgender, intersex, and gender-nonconforming community.
  • Launched Use of Force Dashboard and Accountability Dashboard to improve transparency by providing the public with interactive data on investigations into officer use of force and complaints of officer misconduct.
  • Implemented a new policy requiring notification if an officer's firearm is pointed at a person.
  • Announced reformed search warrant policy in partnership with the Chicago Police Department.
  • Signed an executive order to update the City's police video release policy to allow people who have made complaints with the Civilian Office of Police Accountability about an incident and request copies of video and audio should in many cases be able to get them within 30 days.
  • Launched the Neighborhood Policing Initiative, a new community policing program designed to build and foster a collaborative partnership with local businesses in communities across Chicago, including a designated Business Liaison Officer for all 22 police districts.
  • Appointed the first director of the Mayor’s Office of Violence Reduction to provide dedicated staff and resources to proactively address violence in Chicago and supporting the communities most impacted.
  • Convened for the first time in April 2019 an ongoing Public Safety Cabinet to bring a whole of government approach to public safety.
  • Launched the Mayor’s Office Violence Reduction Dashboard as a data transparency achievement and tool to enable community-based partnerships. The dashboard provides updated data on violence and victimization to City departments, violence reduction partners, and the general public while depicting the City’s response to violence through City-funded programs and interventions.
  • Convened the Violence Prevention Planning (VPP) process to compile recommendations from local policymakers, philanthropy, community leaders, and individuals with lived experience to create a 3-year, public-facing violence prevention plan to make Chicago a city where everyone is and feels safe.
  • Increased funding by 1400% for community approaches to violence reduction by investing nearly $25 million in 2020 and 2021 to build out the City’s street outreach and victim services provider network. Those services support and intervene with individuals at highest risk of violence and provide trauma-informed services to victims of violence and their families.
  • Increased the homicide clearance rate by double digits, with the more homicides cleared in 2020 than any year since 2005.
  • Partnered with Lyft and Uber to provide free and safe transportation to individuals fleeing violence including domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
  • Created the city’s first citywide strategic plan to address Gender-Based Violence and human trafficking.
  • Invested in programs for youth most likely to be impacted by gun violence, including Choose to Change and SCaN, to connect young people with wraparound services to increase positive outcomes and promote self efficacy.
  • Collaborated with the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) on Weekend Warriors, a holistic program designed to vigorously engage young men identified as being ‘at the highest risk of shooting or being shot’ and allow them to earn a certificate in welding from Daley College.
  • Rolled out new 311 features to connect callers in need of legal protection to lawyers.
  • Opened two new police areas, Areas 4 and 5, to improve neighborhood policing and homicide clearance rates across Chicago.
  • Launched “Our City, Our Safety", the City's first-ever three-year comprehensive plan to reduce violence. The plan was crafted in collaboration with multiple other government agencies, community groups, and residents. The plan’s five pillars included empowering and healing people; protecting and securing public places; improving and advancing policing; affecting public policy; and planning and coordination and placed priority on demonstrating a measurable impact in 15 of Chicago's hardest-hit neighborhoods. 
  • Appointed new CPD Superintendent in April 2020.
  • Established the Fast-Track Business Sign Program, which permits applicants for a business license to also obtain a sign permit without going through the full sign permitting process and shaves weeks off of the regulatory approval process.
  • Established the $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund, the largest city-run small business loan fund in the country, to provide a lifeline to over 1,700 small businesses and save 9,000 jobs, in particular those that would not be served by federal programs including cash businesses, businesses owned by immigrants or those that are less well banked (over 63% of recipients were in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods).
  • Established the $10 million Hospitality Relief Fund to bring $10,000 grants to restaurants and bars, resulting in nearly 1,000 grant recipients with south and west side businesses receiving 59% of the funding.
  • Created a $5 million Microbusiness Recovery Grant to help businesses with four or fewer employees resulting in nearly 1,000 loans made to 36 low- to moderate-income neighborhoods primarily on the city’s south and west sides.
  • Created nearly $10 million Together Now grant program to provide relief to small businesses working to recover from COVID-19 impacts and damage sustained during nationwide protests and unrest, resulting in over 2,300 grants made with south and west side businesses making up 61% of recipients.
  • Created the $25 million Vendor Impact Fund to provide priority access for City vendors certified as Minority-Owned Business Enterprises (MBE), Women-Owned Business Enterprises (WBE), Veteran-Owned Business Enterprises (VBE), and Business Enterprises Owned or Operated by People with Disabilities (BEPD) to loans from the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and 7(a) loan program.
  • Launched the city’s first ever Outdoor Dining/Shared Streets program, with outdoor dining at more than 270 locations and Shared Streets covering 125 blocks.
  • Passed a cap on third-party delivery app fees to help restaurants.
  • Launched five regional business centers to help support small businesses and provide training.
  • Created the Concessions Relief Program to help small businesses in Chicago’s airports.
  • Reduced the amount of time to receive a building permit by 15% since 2019.
  • Gave $10.5 million in Neighborhood Opportunity Fund grants to around 60 projects and improved the system to provide small businesses and local organizations with enhanced access to capital, business training opportunities and other benefits, resulting in more applicants receiving funding and launching their businesses.
  • Issued $7.2 million in conditional grants to small businesses through the Small Business Improvement Fund.
  • Raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021 for most Chicagoans.
  • Passed Fair Work Week legislation to give lower-wage workers and their families predictability in scheduling and fairer working conditions.
  • Reformed fines and fees by creating affordable payment plans and instituting a city sticker ticket amnesty and suspended booting, towing and debt collection during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Announced extension of Sunday library hours, eliminated library late fines, cancelled outstanding patron debt, and began installation of payment kiosks at all library branches.
  • Halted water shutoffs for non-payment.
  • Launched the Utility Billing Relief (UBR) Program to cut water and sewer bills in half for working families, as well as forgive any owed debt, as long as families make payments for a year.
  • Led the nation by passing legislation to require that people with disabilities receive minimum wage by 2024 –currently no floor exists to protect this population of vulnerable workers.
  • Launched Sittercity system to provide child care for essential workers.
  • Established a rental and mortgage relief program to provide grants up to $3,300 for residents.
  • Hired Chicago’s first Director of the Office of Labor Standards.
  • Opened eight temporary housing shelters to help protect homeless individuals through social distancing during COVID.
  • Invested $35 million in the expedited housing initiative to house 2,550 by September 2022.
  • Opened five temporary housing shelters to help protect homeless individuals through social distancing during COVID.
  • Financed the development of nearly $300 million in new and preserved affordable housing.
  • Passed the Fair Notice Ordinance to give renters more stability in their homes by requiring 60-120 days notice instead of 30 days from a landlord that a tenant’s lease will not be renewed.
  • Created an Emergency Fund at City Colleges, which offers students the chance to apply to receive up to $750 per semester to cover an unforeseen circumstance that would keep them away from the classroom.
  • Passed an ordinance allowing for an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) pilot to increase the supply of affordable housing.
  • Created Your Home is Someone’s Workplace Campaign to elevate care workers and provide a space where employers and care workers can find information, resources, and guidelines on creating safe workplaces.
  • Launched the Fresh Start debt forgiveness program, making 21,000 former CCC students eligible to return to college, clear their debt, and earn a college certificate or degree. To date 910 students have enrolled in City Colleges as a result.
  • Eliminated sub-minimum wage for workers with disabilities.
  • Made City of Chicago communications and services more accessible by standardizing use of ASL interpreters at press conferences, invested in the first-ever Technology Accessibility Compliance Officer, and mandated Access Officers in every City of Chicago Department.
  • Created the first-ever Mayor’s Youth Commission to bring youth voice and leadership to the Lightfoot Administration’s policies and initiatives.
  • Created My Chi My Future, a signature youth initiative dedicated to connecting young people to meaningful experiences and connected youth to more than 10,000 opportunities.
  • Launched the Chicago Youth Service Corps, a first-of-its-kind paid year-round service program directly engaging young people in the City's COVID-19 response. 650 youth ages 16-24 were hired in summer 2020 pilot through Parks and CYSC as Social Distance Ambassadors to promote social distancing and mask wearing.
  • Ensured One Summer Chicago hired 20,000 youth in 6-week virtual paid work experiences in 2020, catapulting it to the largest summer youth employment program in the country, as many cities suspended similar programs due to COVID. 
  • Announced a record 5-year graduation rate at CPS of 82.5%.
  • Provided $77,000 in community seed grants to 14 organizations to address immediate youth needs in response to COVID-19.
  • Created Chicago Connected, a $50M program aimed at eliminating the digital divide for CPS students and their families by providing free access to Wi-Fi and broadband internet. The Program connected over 63,000 CPS students to no-cost high-speed internet, became the largest and longest broadband expansion program in America and was named by Education Week as the “gold standard” for municipally-sponsored internet programs.
  • Distributed over 42 million meals since March 2020 through Chicago Public Schools.
  • Invested $24.3 million to purchase 68,000 devices to help CPS students connect to the internet.
  • Committed to 200 more school social worker positions, 250 additional nurse positions, and an expansion of special education case managers through a new 5-year contract at Chicago Public Schools.
  • Launched CPS’ High School Strategy, a $5 million new initiative which is aimed at improving the district’s high school experience including increasing the number of students taking algebra in middle school and expanding access to college-credit courses for Black and Latino students by 2024.
  • Kicked off Every Child Ready Chicago, a public-private partnership working to ensure all children in Chicago enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life.
  • Created Teach Chicago Tomorrow, a plan to build a new pipeline of talented and diverse teachers by creating a structured pathway with intensive supports for CPS graduates who want to be educators.
  • Created the Chicago Roadmap, a first-of-its kind partnership between Chicago Public Schools and Chicago City Colleges to build durable pathways for high school students to move seamlessly to college and career over the next five years.
  • Set new goals to ensure 100% of incoming freshman CTE students at CPS have work-based exposure and 50% experience an internship or apprenticeship prior to graduation.
  • Piloted Career Launch Chicago, a new public-private partnership to build a robust youth apprenticeship system to connect 1,000 high school students by 2024 to education and workforce training, and ultimately into high-demand careers.
  • Committed to investing nearly a half-billion dollars in Chicago Public Schools, utilizing stimulus funds over the next two school years to address the academic and social-emotional impacts of COVID-19 on school communities. These investments will support every single school in the district, with a specific focus on prioritizing funding and targeted programs for schools that have been historically marginalized or disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
  • Launched expansion of Flexible Housing Pool for youth, committing $5 million annually to address the housing needs of LGBTQ+ youth and all youth experiencing homelessness