Founded in 1972, Howard Brown Health Center is a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender facility in Chicago, Illinois. It operates primary as a medical facility with a focus on research, behavioral health, HIV/STI services, senior care, youth services and community outreach. The behavioral health department offers structured outpatient programs catered to adults dealing with substance abuse disorders. Treatment includes a non-intensive basic outpatient track as well as an Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP) that incorporate individual and group therapy sessions on a weekly basis.
Treatment and Staff
Treatment at Howard Brown Health Center begins with an intake process to determine the proper level of care. Those in need of detox, inpatient or sober living services are given referrals to LGBTQ-sensitive providers in the community. Those in need of psychiatric medication management are also provided with appropriate referrals upon request.
Each client’s treatment plan varies in length. Those in need of non-intensive care are offered individual therapy sessions and a harm reduction group. Individual therapy sessions are scheduled as needed whereas the harm reduction group is held every Monday from 6 to 7:30 pm. During this time, a substance abuse professional teaches adults how to moderate their use, reduce risk or abstain from alcohol and drugs completely.
The IOP requires adults to attend therapy for 10 hours a week. Group sessions take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 8 pm. During group sessions, counselors use the Matrix Model to focus on abstinence and relapse prevention. Aside from groups, clients also meet with their primary therapists on an individual basis for an hour a week. Staff members include LCSWs and CADCs who use evidence-based modalities during therapy.
An alumni group is available to those who complete treatment at Howard Brown Health Center although others are also welcome to take part in aftercare services if they have completed treatment elsewhere. This includes a weekly group session aimed at relapse prevention, healthy social connections and sober living.
Howard Brown Health Center runs a walk-in clinic Monday through Saturday where individuals can receive comprehensive testing and screening for STIs and HIV/AIDS. In hopes of preventing HIV, the team at Howard Brown Health Center also provides free testing to the LGBTQ community at nearby venues. Testing Together is a service offered at the walk-in clinic, which encourages couples to get tested together and learn tips for safer sex.
Those dealing with HIV are strongly supported through the facility’s Linkage to Care (LTC) program as well. LTC assists individuals by linking them to health education and literacy training along with referrals to services and HIV testing.
In addition to LTC, HIV clients are offered holistic management services that include therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic and massage. Clients can also benefit from nutrition services, counseling and medication management.
Programs catered to HIV positive adult cisgender women, transgender women as well as adolescents and young adults between the ages of 13 and 24 are also available. These include medical, mental and case management services. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) and PrEP medications are available on a walk-in basis as well to mitigate or prevent HIV as well.
Individual behavioral health counseling is available, with smoking cessation one of many topics covered. Those dealing with emotional, physical and sexual violence have access to the Violence Recovery Project (VRP) which includes individual and group counseling as well. LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence are also provided access to refuge services.
Howard Brown Health Care holds a variety of on-site support groups as well. These options include groups for adults living with HIV, transgender topics, gender-inclusive intimate partners violence, elder groups, youth groups and bi-sexual, straight and LGBTQ women’s groups.
Lastly, the Broadway Youth Center at the facility provides young LGBTQ adults with free refuge, medical care, social services and clothing when necessary. GED assistance and in-person insurance enrollment services are also available.
Overall, Howard Brown Health Care is somewhat of a niche organization that provides extensive services beyond substance abuse treatment to the LGBTQ community in Chicago. The organization has structured programs as well as a variety of flexible additional offerings. For those who fit the demographic in Chicago, Howard Brown Health Center is a very strong resource.
Howard Brown Health Center
4025 N. Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60613
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