History

Heartland Health Outreach (HHO) was founded in 1985 as a national Healthcare for the Homeless demonstration project. Since that time, it has grown to become a federally qualified health center and leader in providing healthcare to our most vulnerable populations – those who are homeless, suffer from mental illness or addictions or have multiple chronic illnesses. Today, HHO is a $24 million organization with a dedicated staff of more than 230 professionals, who provide care to more than 12,000 individuals in the Chicago metropolitan area each year.

The timeline of HHO’s development:

  • 1985: Heartland Health Outreach founded as a national Healthcare for the Homeless demonstration project with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trust.
  • 1988: Chicago’s first food program for people living with HIV/AIDS was started as Open Hand Chicago with city-wide services achieved by 1996.
  • 1991: HHO received Ryan White funding to provide medical services to people with HIV/AIDS.
  • 1993: The Health Center opened in Uptown at Lawrence and Sheridan.
    The Spang Center opened to provide dental services.
  • 1992 – 2014: Community housing was created to provide shelter and care to homeless individuals, including creating Community Support Teams to deliver services to participants in their homes.
  • 1994: The Resource Center was established as a drop-in center to offer homeless individuals services to meet their basic needs – food, laundry, telephone, etc. and further engage them in care.
  • 1994 – 2000: The Antonia Permanent Housing and Safe Haven programs and Pathways Homes residential programs are established to provide care to homeless adults with serious mental illness and/or mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse issues.
  • 2000: International FACES was created to provide mental health services to refugees and asylees, building on former groundbreaking services delivered to individuals who had experienced trauma and torture in their native lands.
  • 2004: The Midwest Harm Reduction Institute is founded to provide training and consultation to other service providers on the harm reduction philosophy and its practice.
  • 2005: Opened the west side program center in West Garfield Park with dedicated nutrition, housing and mental health services for people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • 2011: Vital Bridges, a leader in services for people living with HIV/AIDS, merged into HHO.
  • 2014: Achieved the highest level of recognition as a Patient Centered Medical Home from The National Committee for Quality Assurance.