History

United Stand, a Catholic not-for-profit agency in Chicago, affiliated with the Felician Sisters of North America, was created in 1987 in response to a need for counseling services at the former St. Joseph High School in the Back of the Yards area. Felician Sister Kim Mis, who was pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology, was enrolled in a Community Counseling course that required the writing of a grant proposal. Never content with doing things that do not benefit someone, she and Mary Lou Cragg, St. Joseph High School’s development director, decided to use the course requirement to found an agency that would stand with Chicago youth, whose everyday journeys included unpredictable encounters with stress, conflict, and violence.   The proposal was submitted to Reverend James Close, who was then the superintendent of Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, which helped support preventative outreach to youth in Chicago Communities. Father Close’s awarding of this grant for counseling at St. Joseph High School gave United Stand its beginning.