The Lake County Coalition for the Homeless, or LCCH, is one of the key organizations in the county that is focused on stopping evictions as well as overall hopelessness. The organization helps coordinate assistance programs in the region, whether it is free legal aid, applications for federal grants, supportive services or even foreclosure counseling.
LCCH is often a recipient of state of Illinois as well as federal government grant funding. Case managers from the Lake County Coalition for the Homeless allocate this money to regional non-profits and/or government organizations. Those local groups then work directly with struggling renters or homeowners. These government funds can pay for the following services.
In addition to the homeless prevention programs above, there are also eviction prevention and rehousing services for veterans, the disabled, and single mothers in Lake County Illinois. These are more specialized resources, and range from HUD programs such as SSVF to supportive housing for the disabled. The staff at Coalition for the Homeless affiliated agencies can go over these programs too. One focus will always be on offering veterans rental assistance, as the coalition wants to end homelessness of people that have served our country.
All of the the information in the county goes through the regional Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). This system not only counts the number of people who need a place to live (so that are homeless), but it also contains details on the assistance programs available to them. It is a source of information on Lake County on how the community can continue to reduce the number of evictions that occur.
First of all, the money to fund these resources comes from either Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) or Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The main recipient is generally the Lake County Coalition for the Homeless (LCCH), and they allocate the money for the following causes. Anything noted here is in addition to the funding available above, such as the motel programs or legal services listed.
Legal aid can be used to prevention an eviction. Anyone that may benefit from this approach will be referred to Prairie State Legal Services. That non-profit has attorneys that can give the family advice on any vacate notice they have. In some cases the staff from Prairie Legal represent them in housing court to fight the eviction.
Lake County property owners can apply for free Foreclosure Prevention through counseling services. There are two local non-profits that are involved in helping deal with mortgage payment issues. They are the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Northern Illinois as well as the Affordable Housing Corporation of Lake County, and both provide their own forms of support to homeowners (no matter their income).
There are a few shelters and transitional housing programs for the homeless in the community. LCCH helps pay for centers run by A Safe Place, Lake County Haven (for homeless women), PADS, and Most Blessed Trinity. While these charities will not prevent an eviction, they can get a roof over a homeless family. Or when all of the shelters are full, other accommodations such as motels will be assessed.
Direct financial aid from the Lake County Coalition for the Homeless is very limited. The organization that oversees this aspect of homeless prevention is usually Catholic Charities. The organization may have some money for paying rental arrears or a security deposit. If the landlord is evicting a tenant for issues around their utility bills, then Catholic Charities will either provide a few dollars for energy bills or they will refer the family to programs such as LIHEAP.
The main phone number for information in Lake County Illinois is 211. Anyone that is threatened with a foreclosure or eviction should call for help. Then, based on need and the applicant's financial situation, some form of grant based aid or non-monetary support will be given to them in order to prevent the homeless event from occurring.
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