Resources offered in Illinois by community action agencies are extensive. Services range from helping low income families find a job to assisting with paying a bill in an emergency. Other programs can provide employment services, educational opportunities, and assistance to children. Case managers from the community action agencies are committed to helping people improve their overall financial condition and achieve long term success.
Dozens of centers are located across Illinois, and the main offices are listed below. The resources and programs available at each center will vary, so you need to call in advance to learn how an agency may be able to help you or your family.
Homebuyer Programs can provide financial assistance for paying closing costs and down payments. Aid is offered for people who are looking to buy their first home. Grants from your community action agency can also provide funds to repair and rehabilitate the property to bring it to proper living standards. Please note that the actual mortgage for the home still needs to be approved and financed through a bank or some type of financial institution.
The cash assistance/grant that is provided for the down payment, rehabilitation, and closing costs is paid out in the form of a zero-interest, forgivable loan. So this means it may be forgiven over time. In addition to providing help with buying the home, housing counselors from the community action agency will provide applicants a mandatory workshop on the home selection, mortgage application, closing process, maintenance, budgets, and other related subjects.
The Assist program is another home buying program. It will reduce the amount of money that someone needs in order to buy a home in Illinois. Many low to moderate income families who qualify for conventional financing can’t buy a home because of the closing costs and down payment, so this Assist program can help by offering a grant to pay for these costs.
Housing Rehabilitation is offered across the state in partnership with the Illinois Housing Development Authority. Grants and funds from the state are used to pay for major rehabilitation work on owner-occupied homes and properties. All people who apply need to live in a home that is in need of general repairs or some other type of work that is necessary to bring the home up to local building code standards.
A similar resource is the Home Modification Program, which provides necessary minor modifications of homes for disabled or older individuals. It can help them remain living in their current location. Services and repairs are directed towards Illinois individuals 62 years of age and over.
Community action agencies also administer the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program (IHWAP). It can assist low-income residents with saving fuel and money on their heating and energy bills. The program is paid for by the federal government Department of Energy but is administered by the Illinois Department of Public Aid Office.
The primary purpose is to help lower income residents save money while a side benefit is increasing the comfort of your home. Weatherization can also provide year-round comfort and savings to low-income families, the elderly, and people with disabilities. It pays for energy conservation measures to reduce the heating and cooling bills of homeowners. It can help people lessen the consumption of fuel, create greater comfort in the home, and provide safer heating systems.
Illinois Foreclosure Prevention and Mediation Programs can help homeowners that are delinquent on their home loan, who are in default, or who are in danger of losing their homes. The goal is to help the homeowners modify their mortgage and/or reach a dignified exit. A housing counselor from a non-profit agency will work closely with the legal department and/or bank. They will try to set up a payment plan to help people remain in the house. Or if that can’t be done, get help in finding a new home.
Educational assistance is offered by the Head Start program. It is run in partnership between local schools and your Illinois community action agency. It is a free federally-funded social services and education program that provides help to low income families with children. Head Start offers comprehensive educational services to children ages 0-5 as well as pregnant women that meet the Federal Income Guidelines.
Children who enroll in the Head Start program participate in a variety of educational activities that help them grow intellectually, physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. Head Start is operated by local non-profit organizations in almost every county in Illinois. Workshops, classes and materials provide families with information to promote family wellness. Children who enroll and participate in the Head Start program will leave better prepared for kindergarten, ready to succeed, and they tend to be excited about learning.
Health care screening assessments are offered as part of the program as well, and are done for medical, dental, vision, speech, and hearing. All medical information is reviewed by professionals. In addition, free nutritious meals are served daily at your local Head Start classroom. A focus is on preparing the child as well, so educational assessments are conducted to develop individualized development programs for the enrolled children.
Mental Wellness Services is offered as well for children, and your county will offer free counseling services to all enrolled children and families including parents and siblings. Some of these services include individual and family counseling, social/emotional screenings for children, and other services.
The Workforce Investment Act Program (WIA) is offered in Illinois, and it can help people find a job or gain new skills. Partner with your community action agency to participate in activities that increase employment, job retention, earnings, and skills in the American workforce. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity as well as the US Department of Labor partner together to offer this service across the state. Counselors and case managers provide guidance with job readiness, classroom training needed to secure employment, job search, and other skills to help people become self-sufficient. Many of these programs, and more, are administered from workNet Centers. Click here more information.
The Scholarship Program provides educational assistance in the form of scholarships for individuals desiring to further their educational training through an Illinois vocational school, community college, or university. Scholarships are given to applicants who are pursuing employment in a high need field. Money can be paid for tuition and fees, supplies, textbooks, or campus room and board.
A subsidized rent program is known as the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program. This federal government funded program pays a portion of an applicants rent for up to two years. This is available for tenants who sign up for ongoing case management at their local community action agency People need to have a written self-sufficiency plan that shows they will be able to pay full rent and other housing costs on their own, without assistance, when they exit the TBRA program.
The Community Services Block Grant Program is a core community action agency service. It helps low-income people attain knowledge, skills and motivation necessary to achieve long term self-sufficiency. The program provides low-income families with immediate life necessities such as shelter, food, transportation, prescription medicine, utilities, etc. There are non-profit agency Outreach Offices in every Illinois County.
Qualified professional staff are highly trained and knowledgeable. They provide referral, direct assistance, and information on opportunities for the low-income to overcome obstacles in achieving as well as maintaining self-sufficiency. Any type of funding from the community action agencies in Illinois is limited. If a family is not qualified, they can get referrals to other grant programs to help pay bills.
The funds that are part of CSBG allow non-profit agencies to mobilize resources and to develop a multi-faceted approach to self-sufficiency. Some other examples of CSBG grants and funding can pay for include education, housing, educational scholarships, and work clothes or supplies. Receive referrals or direct assistance with emergency food and shelter, case management, housing, emergency assistance, homeless assistance, help with rent, budget and housing counseling, and more.
Emergency financial assistance may be provided as part of those grants. This can include basic needs such as free gasoline (for work or job training), bus passes, prescription medications, Food Gift Cards, and money for housing or rent. If a community action agency can’t help you, they will refer you to local non-profits or public aid.
Prescription Drug Assistance Vouchers are available at some centers. Or a location may offer people a discount card to use when buying their medications.
Clothing centers and food pantries can offer at no charge, new and used clothing. Most of it is for work or school. Some of the items are sold at a low price, but charities may give items for free. A case manager can refer clients to clothing centers for low income families or even thrift stores.
Food pantries are run in partnership with local charities and churches. They will be stocked with federal food commodities, community donations, and canned goods that are donated by generous Illinois families. The community action agencies have information on food programs in Illinois and regional pantries.
Community Services Crisis Assistance is another option that is available from government grants or community funding. Mush of the aid is for housing or employment related needs. For example, get help with the payment on a security deposit. Ongoing rental or mortgage assistance may be paid out for someone with a documented crisis and who demonstrates future financial security. Car repairs may be provided for employed individuals who have a car title that shows payments are current. Any emergency funding will also be offered along with case management services. Work with a specialist in assessing needs, goal setting. Learn about budgeting, money management and other life skills.
Community action agencies accept applications for LIHEAP. This government program can help eligible low-income households pay for heating bills. Occasionally funding may be offered for paying air conditioning costs during the summer. The program will provide families with a one time benefit to use for paying their energy bills.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program can offer many types of aid. This includes direct financial assistance, outreach, energy counseling, and education. Emphasis is placed on serving the low income elderly, people with disabilities, and families with young children or infants. The LIHEAP program also includes an emergency furnace repair or replacement component for qualified homeowners in Illinois.
The Transitional Housing for Homeless Individuals and Families will allow currently homeless persons or those on the verge of eviction to live as independently as possible. The assistance provided by a social worker from a community action agency can offer supportive services to help people achieve residential stability, obtain greater self-determination, and increase their skill and/or incomes. Target areas include employment, income, education, transportation, child care, housing, and health. The ultimate goal of the transition housing program is for families to be able to obtain, pay for and remain in affordable permanent housing.
Transitional Housing is also offered for Honorably Discharged Veterans. Programs can offer supportive housing and services to honorably discharged, homeless veterans. This state of Illinois housing program is designed to improve the lives of men and women that have served our country. The program can also assist veterans in meeting the need of direct housing, it can help them pay rent and offer services that can assist them in transitioning back into self-sufficiency.
Homeless Prevention Program can provide financial aid, counseling and related supportive services. The goal is to prevent evictions and to keep families and individuals from becoming homeless. The program is administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services in partnership with many regional community action agencies.
The Individual Development Account Program is sponsored by many Illinois community action agencies. The goal is to help clients save money to attend school or for the purchase of a home. So receive matching savings and counseling. Learn how to repair credit, become familiar with banks and savings accounts, build savings, and sign up for home buyer’s education.
Referral and information is always available. Your local agency can provide individuals and agencies with resources. Professionally trained staff give a comprehensive assessment and help identify a client's need. Specialists will access and utilize a vast information system of Illinois and federal government programs. Get free information on local churches, government bodies, social service agencies, civic groups, legal and medical organizations and more.
Family Self-Sufficiency will help people take control of their lives so they may become productive members of their community and independent. Case managers provide educational and employment planning, comprehensive case management, counseling, and more. Each staff member is willing to help income eligible clients reach their professional and personal goals.
Summer, Food, and Recreation Program can help students, teenagers, and students get food and emails during the summer. Children are served lunch and nutritious breakfast free of charge. The Summer Feeding Program is designed to fill the nutrition gap that occurs during the summer and holiday break months, making sure children and students can get the nutritious meals they need. The U.S. Department of Agriculture funds the program in Illinois.
The Senior Transportation Program is available for anyone 60 years or older. Volunteers and staff can coordinate transportation from a home to a doctor appointment or senior nutrition site. Transportation is also provided to area grocery stores, to personal and medical appointments There is a suggested donation for this transportation service.
The WIC, or Women, Infants and Children Program, is paid for by the United States Department of Agriculture. It is a supplemental nutrition program focused on eating healthy for newborns, moms and kids. WIC can provide education, nutritious foods and formula, nutrition counseling, breastfeeding support, and referrals as needed.
The Senior Nutrition Program is offered at many community action agencies as well as Agency on Aging offices. It helps the elderly and older adults remain independent and active. Free meals are offered, but a small donation is always appreciated. To qualify, an applicant needs to be 60 years of age or older.
Home delivered, or Meals on Wheels, are offered as well. Staff and volunteers deliver hot, nutritious lunch or dinner meals to seniors and the elderly. Many individuals who sign up for this meal service are homebound because of physical limitations, illness, or mental impairment.
Golden Circle Nutrition Program is a congregate meal service for seniors. Another similar service in some part of Illinois is Project Bread. They are group dining programs which provide a free hot meal as well as a socially interactive network which promotes mentally healthy activity. A free hot nutritious meal and a few moments of companionship can often be enough to prevent early institutionalization for elderly residents.
Emergency Food & Shelter Program for the Homeless is offered by Illinois Department of Human Services and your local community action agency. The goal of this housing program is to prevent injury, illness and loss of life by providing decent and secure shelter. Your agency provides services in the form of first month's rent, temporary shelter in a local motel, meals, utility deposits, transportation, personal counseling, supplies/shelter. For more details, find homeless prevention in Illinois.
B.C.M.W. Community Services, Inc.
Address is 909 East Rexford
Centralia, Illinois 62801-0729
Telephone number - (618) 532-7380
The name of this agency stands for Bond, Clinton, Marion, and Washington County. Low income and unemployed residents of those counties can turn to this community action organization for help. More.
C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation
Address is 1805 South Banker Street
Effingham, IL 62401-0928
Services are offered by this community action agency for low income residents in Christian, Clay, Effingham, Fayette, Montgomery, Moultrie, and Shelby. Resources range from rent to heating bill help and general case management. More on CEFS Economic Opportunity Corporation.
Carver Community Action Agency of Knox County
311 East Main Street
Galesburg, IL 61402-0028
Telephone: (309) 342-0158
Champaign County Regional Planning Commission
Main address is 1776 East Washington Street
Urbana, Illinois 61802
Dial (217) 328-3313
Covers the counties of Champaign as well as Ford and Iroquois. Receive referrals to public benefits such as SNAP from the Illinois Department of Human Services, housing and rental assistance (including security deposits), loans for home repairs as well as job training as part of the RPC Workforce Development. Read more Regional Planning Commission financial aid.
Chicago Department of Human Services
1615 W. Chicago Avenue, Suite 350
Chicago, IL 60622-5127
Supports just the City of Chicago. It offers numerous government assistance programs, such as LIHEAP, job training, and food stamps. Also apply for weatherization and emergency financial aid. Continue with Chicago Human Services assistance.
Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County (CEDA)
Address is 208 South LaSalle Street, Suite 1900
Chicago, IL 60604-1001
Telephone number is (312) 795-8844
Supports the greater Cook County region. Case managers can help people find a job, coordinate employment services, help people apply for heating bill assistance and more. Homeless prevention and emergency rental assistance is offered too. Some resources may be offered for income qualified Chicago residents too. Click here.
City of Rockford Human Services Department
612 North Church Street
Rockford, Illinois 61103
Counties - Boone, Winnebago
Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois
1800 West Fifth Street
Lincoln, IL 62656-9117
Dial (217) 732-2159
Assistance programs are offered for the middle part of the state, including DeWitt, Fulton, Logan, Mason, Menard, and Piatt County. Some of the resources available include heating bill assistance, food stamp applications, and information on low income housing. Read Community Action Partnership of Central Illinois.
Community Action Partnership of Lake County
Mailing address is P O Box 9059
Waukegan, IL 60085
Telephone number - (847) 249-4330
Some of the resources available include free groceries and food from a pantry and clothing closet, LIHEAP applications, and emergency financial aid or loans for bills such as utilities or rental deposits. More.
Crosswalk Community Action Agency
410 W. Main Street
West Frankfort, Illinois 62896-2259
Counties covered - Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Williamson. Emergency Services can help with housing issues and eviction prevention. Other services include free food from a pantry, grants to pay back rent to stop homelessness, and referrals to agencies in Illinois. Click here Crosswalk Community Action.
Decatur-Macon County Opportunities Corp.
Location is 1122 East Marietta Street
Decatur, IL 62521-1324
Telephone is (217) 428-0155
DeKalb County Community Services Department
Main office - 2550 N. Annie Glidden Road
DeKalb, Illinois 60115-1297
Phone number is (815) 758-3910
Dupage County Community Services
421 North County Farm Road
Wheaton, Illinois 60187
Dial (630) 407-6500 for intake
The community action agency coordinates emergency financial support for preventing homelessness and provides food as well as heating bill assistance. Grants, or maybe a loan, can be issued to low income families for paying their rent or security deposits. Many other resources are offered too. Find more information.
East Central Illinois Community Action Agency
56 N. Vermilion Street
Danville, IL 61834-1335
Telephone: (217) 443-2705
Residents of Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion can call this non-profit. Continue reading.
Embarras River Basin Agency, Inc.
Primary address - 400 West Pleasant Street
Greenup, IL 62428
Phone number is (217) 923-3113
Resources are offered for low income families, children, and seniors in Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Jasper, Clark, Lawrence, Richland and Edgar County. Read Embarras River community action.
Illinois Valley Economic Development Corporation
223 South Macoupin Street
Gillespie, IL 62033-0088
Phone - (217) 839-4431
Counties include Calhoun, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin
Kankakee County Community Services, Inc.
Location is 657 East Court Street, Suite 207
Kankakee, IL 60901
Phone number is (815) 933-7883
The community action agency offers job placement as well as computer classes, applications to grants, furnace repair, and other financial aid programs. More information.
Kendall-Grundy Community Action
811 W. John Street
Yorkville, Illinois 60560
Main telephone: (630) 553-9100
Programs offered include energy and heating assistance, Head Start, and summer meals. Also job training and family self-sufficiency are available. The community action agency also provides free car repairs for employment reasons as well as scholarships, and find more details on resources from community action of Kendall and Grundy.
MCS Community Services
345 W. State Street
Jacksonville, IL 62650-2093
Telephone: (217) 243-9404
Cass, Morgan, Scott and County supported.
Emergency Services can provide grants for paying bills, and the non-profit also runs a scholarship service and reconnection programs for a disconnected heating or utility service. Click MCS Community action assistance.
Madison County Community Development
Office is at 130 Hillsboro Ave.
Edwardsville, Illinois 62025-1636
McHenry County Housing Authority
1108 North Seminary Road
P.O. Box 1109
Woodstock, IL 60098-1109
Call (815) 338-7752 for hours.
Programs include section 8 housing vouchers and emergency grants for paying rent, heating bills, or a security deposit. The agency also provides dental care and Public Housing / low income apartments. Click more.
Mid Central Community Action, Inc.
1301 W. Washington Street
Bloomington, Illinois 61701
Telephone is (309) 829-0691
For residents of Livingston and McLean. The community action agency can help in a crisis, and find details on Mid Central Community Action financial support.
Northwestern Illinois Community Action Agency
Location is 103-109 N. Chicago Avenue
Freeport, IL 61032-4100
Telephone number is (815) 232-3141
Counties supported are JoDaviess, Whiteside, and Stephenson
Peoria Citizens Committee For Economic Opportunity, Inc.
711 W. McBean Street
Peoria, IL 61605-2254
Telephone: (309) 671-3900
Emergency rent, homeless prevention, and food resources may be offered by referrals. Also use the job training and employment services.
Project NOW, Inc. -Counties covered are Henry, Mercer, and Rock Island
Address - 418 19th Street
P.O. Box 3970
Rock Island, IL 61201-3971
Call (309) 793-6391 for intake.
Sangamon County Department of Community Resources
2833 South Grand Avenue East, Suite C100
Springfield, IL 62703
Shawnee Development Council, Inc.
Address is 530 West Washington
Karnak, IL 62956-0298
Telephone : (618) 634-2201
If you live in counties of Alexander, Union, Hardin, Johnson, Pope, Massac, or Pulaski call this center.
St. Clair County Community Action Agency
Address - 19 Public Square, Suite 200
Belleville, Illinois 62220-1624
Call (618) 277-6790
Tazwood Community Services, Inc.
2005 South Main Street-Field Shopping Center
Morton, IL 61550-2915
Tazewell, Woodford County. Find how the community action agency can help. Read more.
Tri-County Opportunities Council is now the Community Action Organization of Delaware Madison
405 Emmons Avenue
Rock Falls, IL 61071-0610
Telephone: (815) 625-7830
If you live in Bureau, Carroll, LaSalle, Lee, Marshall, Ogle, Putnam, Stark, or Whiteside, call this non-profit community action agency.
Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials
Quincy, IL 62306-0827
Main phone - (217) 224-8171
Provides emergency aid, Head Start, and referrals in Adams, Brown, Pike, and Schuyler County. Other programs include free meals for seniors, free School Supplies from CSBG, as well as the emergency shelter program, which may have grants for paying back rent or other bills. Click here.
Wabash Area Development, Inc.
110 Latham Street
Enfield, IL 62835-0070
Phone - (618) 963-2387
Counties supported are Edwards, Gallatin, Saline, Wabash, Hamilton, Wayne, and White Illinois. Call for referrals, case management, housing assistance, and grant programs.
Western Egyptian Economic Opportunity Council
Mailing center is P.O. Box 7
Steeleville, Illinois 62288-0007
Call (618) 965-3458
For families in Monroe, Perry, and Randolph
Western Illinois Regional Council Community Action Agency
Main location is 223 South Randolph
Macomb, IL 61455-2209
Telephone number - (309) 837-2997
The western part of the state including counties of Warren, Hancock, Henderson, and McDonough.
Will County Center for Community Concerns
Address is 304 N. Scott Street
Joliet, Illinois 60432-4035
Housing assistance, funds for paying rent, heating bills, or security deposits may be available from the community action agency. Or inquire into SNAP food stamps or weatherization. More Will County community action.
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