Chicago coffee shop sets out to support mental health

CHICAGO — Putting more resources into mental health is the driving force behind a new coffee shop in Lakeview.

“The goal is to serve a cup of coffee to anyone who walks through the door,” said Christopher LeMark, founder of Coffee, Hip-Hop and Mental Health Coffee Shop.

Found on Belmont between Seminary and Kenmore, the coffee shop’s brick-and-mortar store front serves as a homebase for their mission to provide free therapy across Chicago.

“When you support this … you support the many people who sign up,” LeMark said. “To be able to say, lets fundraise daily so we can pay for 250 people per year to go to therapy on us. That’s families, that’s couples and individuals.”

A unique detail about the coffee shop — besides their mission to normalize mental health therapy — there’s no set price on the coffee made for customers. It’s a pay-what-you-want model that was established with their mission in mind.

“So, the person who can afford to pay or give more — but for those who can only give a dollar or two — we still give them the same service and the same good energy,” LeMark said. “Because the goal is to make this a safe space for people, not just a coffee shop.”

To learn more about Coffee, Hip-Hop and Mental Health, you can visit their website at Coffee, Hip-Hop & Mental Health (chhamh.org).

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