Chance the Rapper is committed to helping his hometown. On Thursday, he promised the city of Chicago $1 million for mental health services for its citizens, ABC7 reports.
“I’m proud to announce I am pledging $1 million to mental health services in Chicago,” Chance said on stage to a group of educators, principals and health care experts.
As part of the “My State of Mind” initiative, Chicagoans will have access to resources needed to receive vital mental health services.
“We need a new space to get information on how they feel and where they can go,” Chance said.
Chance, born Chancelor Jonathan Bennett, also pledged a gift of $100,000 to 20 Chicago Public Schools, through his non-profit SocialWorks.
“This year, 20 more schools will get $100K…” Chance said to cheers.
“We will be upping the game in terms of equity, in terms of what is rightfully yours. Principals, teachers, we got your back,” the Grammy-winning rapper said.
Chance not only received the support of the city, but officials from the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Chicago Department of Public Health are backing his efforts.
Starting in January, mental health grants will become available.
Chicago Under Fire
Chicagoans have been hit hard by bloody weekend after bloody weekend and surely it’s taking a mental toll as tensions rise and residents march for change.
In August, Chicago saw one of the deadliest weekends ever, and Chicago police have made their first arrest after 12 died and 66 were injured in a spasm of gun violence, according to CBS News.
During the first weekend in August, police attributed the bloody weekend mostly to gangs as officers charged Rick Franklin, 27, of the 2900 block of West Warren Boulevard, Chicago, with three felony weapons charges in connection to the shootings, the report says.
The violence peaked early Sunday, including one incident on the city’s South Side when eight people were shot and wounded. Police say that 14 of the shooting victims were juveniles, including two who died.
By comparison, at least seven people were killed and 32 were wounded during the long Memorial Day weekend—usually one of the most violent of the year, according to the Chicago Tribune.