Local non-profits joining forces to better care for community

The project partners are pursuing a heritage site in greater downtown as well as additional service providers. They expect to share progress updates in the fall. (Photo Courtesy of Lifelong Access/Facebook)

By Jake Fogal

BLOOMINGTON – Lifelong Access announced a partnership on Monday with Chestnut Health Systems and the Regional Office of Education.

The partnership would provide a coordinated, one-stop support service in a revitalized space in greater downtown Bloomington.

Brian Wipperman is the CEO of Lifelong Access, and he broke the news to WJBC’s Scott Miller.

“We will call it a one stop shop if you will. We are trying to provide as many services under one roof as possible to the community in one location. It’s just another location so then it makes it easier for people to get access to that service. That is the entire driving force behind it,” Wipperman said.

Health challenges are becoming more evident among children and teens in McLean County.

Wipperman says the goal is to provide urgently needed interventions in an accessible downtown location.

“Last year, 3,200 in that group lived at or below the poverty level, 3,300 faced a behavioral health crisis, 1,500 reported a substance abuse disorder, 5,500 were chronically absent from school, 1,400 experienced sexual violence, 13,400 lived with one or more adverse childhood experiences, 1,500 lived with a disability, 1,800 made suicide plans, 900 attempted suicide,” a news released stated from Lifelong Access.

Services offered will include adolescent substance use disorder treatment, alternative youth education, ABA therapy for children on the autism spectrum, behavioral health and psychiatric services, programming for adults with disabilities, pediatric and dental care, food security programs, housing support, and more.

The project partners are pursuing a heritage site in greater downtown as well as additional service providers. They expect to share progress updates in the fall.

“This partnership will allow us to meet a growing demand for our alternative programming in McLean County and provide greater access to food, medical, and counseling services for the students we serve and their families,” said Mark Jontry, Regional Office of Education Regional Superintendent.

Jake Fogal can be reached at [email protected].


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