Breakthrough Urban Ministries: 2012-2013

The Male Initiative: A Behavioral Health program of Breakthrough

 In its 22 years of service, Breakthrough has learned to put high priority on the fact that men and women respond to the world around them in very different ways. That’s why gender-specific care for homeless guests is paramount for those who are eager to get back to a healthy, positive and productive lifestyle.

The Washington Square Health Foundation has allowed Breakthrough to work intentionally with a group of 50 men to dramatically transform their health and happiness through what Breakthrough has called The Male Initiative — a behavioral health service for homeless men who have experienced various forms of trauma.

Once a week, the men get together for group and individual coaching sessions with a licensed clinical social worker and focus on prevention and intervention strategies to overcome trauma, addiction and homelessness. The Male Initiative also offers one-on-one anger management sessions with case managers.

The Male Initiative reinforces the beliefs that…

1.)        Male trauma should not be ignored and must be addressed through interventions.

2.)        Poor choices and negative behaviors that lead to repeated crisis situations are often a by-product of trauma.

3.)        Innovative problem-solving skills make recovery for these men not just possible, but attainable.

Breakthrough’s holistic behavioral health approach is designed to specifically serve medically under-served men and its micro-approach has produced positive change throughout the East Garfield Park community on Chicago’s west side.