U of L offering free counseling clinic to west Louisville neighbors

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - The University of Louisville is sending psychologists into the city's poorest community in the face of drugs, domestic abuse and some unimaginable trauma.

West Louisville, a community once known for being rich in family, is now plagued by poverty, broken homes and high crime.

"We're trying to bring the resources that the university has to all to create better opportunities for the residents," Dr. Eugene Foster said.

Dr. Foster runs the Cardinal Success program, a new counseling clinic open to anyone in west Louisville for free. 

Services include mental health therapy, counseling for grief and loss and post traumatic stress. 

With Foster overseas, a team of U of L graduate and doctoral students handle the day-to-day patient care. 

"We're preparing the next generation of counselors and psychologist," Eugene said. "It's a win-win situation. We don't have to charge residents of the community, and we can give a real, quality training experience."

The Academy at Shawnee piloted the Cardinal Success program last school year.

"A lot of times, it's a lot to carry as a teen when your dealing with things like knowing where your dinner is coming from," said Erica Young, a member of the Academy at Shawnee Response Team. 

"When "the kids" get that treatment, they're just physically lighter. You can see the weight lifted off of them, and they have the space and ability to be a kid again."

The university hopes to mirror this success at the new clinic near the corner of 29th and Broadway. 

It's housed in the Nia Center, surrounded by other social support services. 

"I think there is something deeply powerful in being able to connect with a human being and to help facilitate change," said Sarah Roane, a U of L doctoral student.

The challenges are real, and the need is evident.

The hope is that Cardinal Success can help a poor community get back to its rich roots  

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