WHA Programs

Community.  Working.  Achieving.  Learning.  Playing.  Together.

The most important component of our work is relationship-building among neighbors.  Relationships build the capacity of neighbors to be more effective as civic leaders, parents, students, or providers of other services.  WHA seeks to dispel the myth that scientific data defines a community.  We believe the community’s strength lies in using the capacity of people who are often discarded as victims, and empowering those clients who need help.  Our major challenge is finding ways to utilize the gifts and capacity of the discarded, discounted person.  This requires building trust among neighbors.  We need to find ways to encourage each other as we try on the new role of gift-giver rather than client.

By identifying neighborhood assets and developing trusting relationships, WHA is able to mobilize residents to carry out a community vision in the areas of community organizing, community re-entry and employment services, economic development, health promotions and youth development.  The foundation of our organization is community people.  Ninety percent of our staff members come from the community and several neighborhood volunteers can be found working in some capacity each week.

Community Organizing

In 1995, “Every Block A Village” (EBV), the Community Organizing arm of Westside Health Authority and the cornerstone around which WHA develops its work was organized. EBV harnesses the collective assets of the neighborhood. Through the program, WHA has developed substantial relationships with citizen leaders on 100 blocks in Austin and has reached out to 200 more citizen leaders.

Address: 5852 West North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60639
Phone: (773) 622-8477 

Community Re-Entry and Employment Services

In 2004, nearly 4,000 ex-offenders released from Illinois correctional facilities returned to the Austin community.  Upon returning, they faced many challenges:  re-connecting with families, housing, employment, and, equally important, rebuilding their self-esteem and confidence.

Name: Roger Ehmen
Position: Director
Address: 5816 West Division Street
Chicago, IL 60651
Phone: (773) 786-0226
Email: rehmen@healthauthority.org

Community Technology Center

WHA’s Community Technology Center provides classes in Introduction to Computers, Microsoft Office Suites, Microsoft Word, Web Design, and Network Training and Certification.  The Center has 18 workstations and serves community residents, business owners and youth.

Name: Don McCoy
Position: IP Specialist/Instructor
Address: 5417 West Division Street
Chicago, IL 60651
E-mail: dmccoy@healthauthority.org

Economonic Development

In Austin, signs of economic renewal are everywhere.  A significant development was the construction of the Austin Wellness Center, a $7.9 million healthcare facility developed by WHA, which was built by  a majority of African American contractors from Austin.

Address: 5417 West Division Street
Chicago, IL 60651
Phone: (773) 378-1878
Fax: (773) 786-2752

Health Promotions

Throughout its history, WHA has sought to improve the social, environmental and physical health of the Austin community and its residents. The health promotions program at Westside Health Authority provides and promotes health, focused around seven priority areas.

Name: Cody McSellers-McCoy,
Position: Director
Address: 4800 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60651
Phone: (773) 786-0249
E-mail:codymac@healthauthority.org

Youth Development Center

One of the most vital needs in today's society is positive social and recreational resources for our youth.  WHA’s youth programs include tutoring, field trips, martial arts, dance, drama, academic enrichment, and often, a shoulder to lean on.

Name: Atena Danner-Mcphaden
Position: Director
Address: 5437 West Division Street
Chicago, IL 60651
Phone: (773) 378-5034
E-mail:adanner@healthauthority.org

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