Evanston RoundTable
The Evanston City Council at its March 28 meeting. (Image via City of Evanston livestream)

Good Tuesday morning, Evanston.

Calling 911 is currently the only option for Evanstonians suffering from a mental health crisis who need immediate care, but another option will available in the future. 

In an 8-0 vote, on March 28 the City Council approved spending up to $900,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds to establish a mental health “Living Room” in Evanston staffed by trauma-informed therapists and recovery support specialists.

“We hope the city will become a model for mitigating mental health crises, beginning with the Living Room,” said Christine Somerville, Program Director at National Alliance on Mental Illness Cook County North Suburban. 

Mario Borha, Emory Academy for Black Men program chair. (Photo by OCC)

Oakton Community College recently launched the Emory Academy for Black Men, open to all first-year Oakton students who self-identify as male and Black, offering an exclusive space for Black faculty and students.

Mario Borha, Program Chair of the academy, told the RoundTable that Oakton wasn’t present “where they needed to be” as it pertains to helping Black male students.

“We were waiting for our students to come to us,” Borha said. “We weren’t reaching out to the community in an active way to invite them to join us … and we weren’t expressing the value that we could offer them in a way that made sense to them.”

COVID-19 by the numbers: Three new cases were reported Sunday, March 27, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is eight cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

An Evanston lead service line replacement (City of Evanston photo)

City discusses workforce development program to replace lead pipes. Under a mandate in the Illinois Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act, Evanston must replace, not repair, lead water pipes. City staff members are developing a program to train residents to carry out this specialized work. 

At This Time: Monday at 3:50 p.m. Opening day of the landscaping season. Marcel Garcia arrives at the job on Judson Avenue near Greenleaf Street for a spring cleanup. He said he expects a busy season. Under an ordinance passed by the City Council last year, this will be the last year gas-powered leaf blowers will be allowed in the city. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

When is it OK to use a leaf blower? As a reminder, backpack-mounted or hand-held gas-powered leaf blowers are allowed for use between March 30 and May 15, with restrictions on specific days and hours.

Laura Soskin (Photo by Meike Zuiderweg)

Elegance returns to Central and Prairie. At 1925 Central St., a new business has moved in. Laura Soskin, an interior designer from Wilmette with 30 years in the field, has opened Gallery 1925 to show and share her collection of antique objets d’art and accessories.

The week in photos: March 21-28. Noah Eisfelder’s Lone Tree photo, pictured above, won the Friends of Lovelace Park photo contest. He received a framed print and a $50 gift certificate to Curt’s Café on Central Street. Check out more photos from the past week in Evanston.

A rainwater downspout garden (Submitted photo)

Green tip from EEA: Downspout water makes gardening easy. Imagine your downspout supplying all the water your garden needs spring-fall, drought or deluge. Voila, you have an easy-to-make rain garden. 

Picturing Evanston. “Lost and found” underneath the Metra viaduct on Davis Street. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

Sergeant Joseph Bush (EPD photo)

Police Department sergeant graduates from Northwestern police school. Sergeant Joseph Bush of the Evanston Police Department recently graduated from the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety’s School of Police Staff and Command Class No. 507.

The Levy Center presents Drive-in Movie Night on April 8. The Levy Senior Center will host a drive-in movie night at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 8 featuring Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway.

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Around the web

Chicago weather: Cold continues, but when will relief come? Spring began more than a week ago, but the Chicago area can’t seem to catch a break from winterlike conditions.

The FDA is expected to authorize 2nd boosters for people 50 and up. Anyone 50 years and older could soon be eligible for a second booster dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine.

In Illinois, pandemic funding is running out for community health workers. Illinois used federal pandemic money to hire community health workers who connect people with food banks and rental assistance programs. What will happen when the federal money runs out?

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Adina Keeling

Adina Keeling is a photojournalist and reporter, covering city news, sustainability, schools, and art. She also investigates mental health systems and environmental injustices in Evanston, and puts together...