The Department of Human Services (IDHS) will provide $32.5 million in an effort to immediately mitigate poverty in Illinois and respond to the needs of hard-hit communities by COVID-19 and by the civil unrest. The program will support more than 73,000 people across the state by building upon contracts and services to target communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The actions will begin in June and extend through the summer.
Specifically, the IDHS strategies will provide:
- Unemployed Adults – Stipends of up to $4 million to help rebuild businesses
- Summer Youth Providers – More than $6 million to empower and engage youth and help rebuild communities
- Foods Banks – $2 million to expand the capacity to feed hungry families in the hardest hit areas
- Illinois Black and Brown Farmers – $1 million to increase the availability of fresh food and produce
- Mental Health Services – $2 million to help meet the increased demand for crisis services and better serve diverse communities
- Community-Based Organizations – $5 million to provide small grants for healing circles, restorative justice circles, and other healing activities
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) – One-time $500 payment to help ensure food security, totaling $11.5 million
Additionally, the Department on Aging will expand the Emergency Senior Services Funds by providing up to $5 million to support senior residents in need of meals, groceries, medicine, and medical care. The funding will assist seniors who may not have been able to access necessary supplies due to damages to physical locations in their communities. The department will utilize the statewide case coordinator units (CCUs) throughout the Aging network to take referrals from all Aging providers for services.