Westside Holistic Family Services
"Strengthening the Family, Building the Community"
"Building the Community, One Family at A Time"
Westside Holistic Family Services (WHFS) is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization founded in 1978 following years of social unrest on Chicago’s west side. After the riots and devastation following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., businesses and middle income families gradually began to move out and the neighborhoods suffered. WHFS emerged from the vision of its founder, Dr. H. Millicent Lindo, and the leadership at Keystone Baptist Church to address the social and economic devastation in the community.
In 1990, following a series of hospital closings on the west side, Dr. Lindo sought to keep health and human services in the Austin community. Partnerships were formed with
clergy, business and legislative leaders, healthcare entities, community activists and service organizations to acquire the professional building vacated by St. Anne’s Hospital. They succeeded; and many of these supporters were convinced to stay and form a collaborative partnership as a Community Service Facility.
This resulted in the provision of multiple services, by qualified service providers from both the non-profit and private sectors, to address the complex and various issues of residents while complementing WHFS social service programs. It was named the WESTSIDE HOLISTIC FAMILY SERVICE CENTER - A "ONE-STOP SHOP".
Residents called it, “THE MIRACLE ON DIVISION STREET”.
The Austin Community remains the largest community population in Chicago and represents a significant link between the Downtown Area and the Western Suburbs; making the revitalization of this community essential. Facing a struggling economy and an uncertain future, the work continues today – as person by person, family by family; lives, relationships and communities are being rebuilt and sustained by a community of care.