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Featured Partner

Featured Partner Banner and Link to Their Web site

The CDC NPIN Featured Partner resource offers HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STD, and TB prevention-focused organizations a platform to showcase their services, programs, and materials. Our goal is to highlight the work of CDC's prevention partners and encourage partners to connect with each other to share information and strategies. Organizations are nominated by CDC or their peers, or are self-nominated. Those selected are featured on the NPIN Web site for the month.

South Side Help Center Overview

South Side Help Center (SSHC) was established in 1987 to provide education and information on a variety of health topics. The Center is one of Chicago’s longest standing African American independent social service organizations and is dedicated to identifying and addressing the health and social support needs of African American families who are at risk for negative health and life outcomes.

In keeping with its mission to “Provide comprehensive services to help people of all ages cope with mental, physical and social problems, by offering prevention and positive and healthy alternatives so that at-risk individuals may live productive lives in their community,” SSHC is guided by the values of health, education of the family, protection and support of children, community building, and resource development.

SSHC provides comprehensive HIV/AIDS programs, including

  • Prevention education and outreach.
  • HIV and Hepatitis C testing and counseling.
  • Case management.
  • Psychosocial counseling.
  • Related intervention services.

The agency prioritizes youth development service: after-school and school-based, summer-day-camp, mentoring, and peer leadership development. SSHC also provides capacity building and training assistance throughout the United States, through the Building and Nurturing Communities of Color (BANCC) project, targeting community and faith-based organizations. SSHC reaches thousands of viewers each month through a weekly, live, call-in talk show on CAN-TV Channel 21, where agency staff talk about their programs and the prevention services offered by the agency.

SSHC has been the recipient of multiple awards from federal, state, city, and private entities in recognition of excellence in comprehensive education and prevention, and effective program management. Honors include the “Excellence in Service Award,” presented by Richard M. Daley, Mayor of the City of Chicago; the State of Illinois’ “Exceptional Merit Award;” and the “Tree of Life Award” from the AIDS Pastoral Care Network.

Program Highlight

Two outreach workers on the street talking to a client
SSHS street outreach workers in action

SSHC has provided Safety Counts and Street Outreach since 2004, targeting substance users at risk for HIV/AIDS. SSHC’s unique approach to outreach includes employing and using individuals from the indigenous population. Culturally specific, informational storyboards allow onlookers to visually identify and assess their own specific risk behaviors. SSHC’s Outreach, Testing, Counseling, and Referral service reaches 1,200 people each year. Together, SSHC staff and clients develop risk reduction plans.

SSHC uses the Safety Counts Diffusion of Effective Behavioral Interventions (DEBI), a science-based intervention of CDC, which has proven effective as an intervention to assist clients in internalizing various concepts and elements that progressively guide them through core elements of change. The stages include: 1) Precontemplation, 2) Contemplation, 3) Preparation, 4) Action, and 5) Maintenance through behavior modification.

Group of people eating and playing games
SSHS social event

The goal is to assist clients in achieving positive change that reduces harm and negative health or life outcomes. The culturally appropriate, client-centered approach allows SSHC to deliver structured groups education, enrolling participants into a series of interactive group learning and intervention services.

Participants are guided in assessing their own present state or condition, and in setting short-term goals (30 to 60 days.) The staff offers referrals and continues to work with clients, tracking progress toward their goals, which include obtaining any required medical services, housing, and food and clothing services.

Two social events were planned with program participants, with incentives to motivate follow-through and to encourage change maintenance. The staff provided light, nutritious snacks or meals at each group event. Some participants invited family and/or friends to help celebrate their progress through the phases of change.

In 2010, the program served 105 participants aged 25 and over (including 7 individuals ranging in age from 40 to 60) who were substance users and asked to be a part of the program. Of those enrolled, 75% (79) completed 75% of the planned sessions.


South Side Help Center

10420 S. Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60628

Visit South Side Help Center’s listing in NPIN’s Organizations Database

Follow South Side Help Center on: SSHC Facebook SSHC YouTube

Contact the NPIN Outreach Team for more information on Featured Partner nominations—


Visit the Featured Partner Archive to learn about other Featured Partners.

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