MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — A mental health clinic in the heart of south Minneapolis is looking to rebuild.
On May 28, Healing Path Wellness Services PA suffered extensive fire and water damage due to looting and arson. They're located across the street from the Kmart on Lake Street on the second floor of a building that also houses Nail & Beauty Skin Care.
"Everything was destroyed. Computers, files, everything," Founder Sulekha Ibrahim said.
Social worker Shirley Carter said because of COVID-19, they had just started in-person visits again on May 26.
"They were so excited that we were coming back and that they could come back and then this happened. We got burned out," Carter said.
The Black-owned business opened less than two years ago. Their mission is to focus on providing culturally appropriate and accessible mental health and social services.
"Many of them come from marginalized communities whether it's the African American community, immigrant populations or other communities of color," Ibrahim said. "Mental health is underutilized with marginalized communities so we wanted to create this space so that they can get, be linked to the community services that they deserve."
They serve about 70 clients and 80% of them live in south Minneapolis.
Carter serves mostly women over the age of 50 who came to Minnesota from Somalia.
"They're older women who have been through a lot. They've lost a lot of family through the war," Carter said.
"A lot of our clients have said that they're scared but a lot of them have felt empowered," Ibrahim said. "They come from marginalized communities and communities that have been oppressed for so long... they feel that it is something that has been needed. Justice has been needed."
But it also comes at a time when their clients need them the most which is why Ibrahim hopes to rebuild. She's unsure if they will be able to salvage the current building.
"After all these traumatic events that have occurred, we're trying to create a safe space for our clients to be able to seek therapy as well as to heal from all that's been happening," Ibrahim said.
If you'd like to help, Healing Path Wellness Services PA has set up a GoFundMe page.