Rep. Keicher, community partners thank public for input at Oct. 28 listening session on eliminating poverty in DeKalb County region

The Illinois Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security thanks members of the community for participating in the October 28 listening session either in-person or virtually on the need to address inequity and poverty in DeKalb County. The event was held at Christ Community Church and co-hosted by State Representative Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, the Family Service Agency, DeKalb County Regional Office of Education, DeKalb County Community Gardens, Hope Haven, DeKalb County Coordinated Child Care, DeKalb County Mental Health Board, DeKalb County Health Department, DeKalb County Housing Authority, Safe Passage, Sir Donald Foundation, Kishwaukee College and Northern Illinois University.

The listening session was held to discuss the unique experiences of those living in the DeKalb County region and how poverty has impacted local communities. The Illinois Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security will utilize the public feedback obtained from the listening session to inform state policymakers and community leaders on effective strategies to address systemic poverty as part of the Commission’s plan to eliminate poverty in Illinois over the next 15 years.

“I never cease to be amazed by how much our community cares about each other, as evidenced by all the local organizations and advocates who participated in last week’s listening session on our shared goal of eliminating the scourge of poverty,” Representative Keicher said. “Thank you to each and every individual who contributed their time, their input and their concern for their neighbors on this issue critical to the health and future of local families. I assure you that all the feedback we received will be integral to shaping our approach to tackling poverty moving forward.”

The Commission will be hosting an additional listening session for rural leaders in the coming weeks to be followed by four quarterly conversations in 2022 in partnership with Family Service Agency to confirm and follow-up on issues raised.

Commission member and Northern Illinois University’s Director of Community Promotion Jennifer Groce coordinated the October 28 listening session and shared her appreciation for the stakeholders whose collaborative effort made the event a success: “Each and every one of our community partners and local nonprofit organizations contributed immeasurably to getting the word out to individuals and families they serve on how very much we want and value their feedback,” Groce said. “Each person can make a difference in the battle against poverty. We have collectively taken a significant step forward as a result of last week’s listening session.”

To learn more about the Illinois Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security, please visit