A non-profit focused on the working poor and low income in Will County Illinois is the Center for Community Concerns they are the regional non-profit community action agency and administer a number of local, state, and federal government benefits and assistance program. Resources range from energy savings to grants for paying heating bills, rent, food, and other basic needs.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program can help with heating and utility bills. Paying for winter energy services in Illinois can be difficult for in particular needy or elderly households. For this reason, Will County Center for Community Concerns offers solution in the form of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) or other grants. The program offers assistance in two forms:
Direct Vendor payment is a One-time credit that is provided to qualified households for energy bills. The amount of the payment is based upon household’s income and size. In order to qualify for the program, applicant does not have to own the home or pay energy bills directly. Also the source of fuel does not have to be natural gas or electricity.
The second option is Direct Vendor assistance. This may be either a one-time payment made directly to supplier or a credit. This may even be an option when heat is included in the rent.
Similar to LIHEAP is the state of Illinois PIPP (Percentage of Income Payment Program). This allows the eligible lower income clients to pay a percentage of their ousehold income and receive a monthly benefit towards their utility bill. Another benefit is that they will lower their overdue bills for every on-time payment they make by the due date, so it cancels out any arrearage. Eligibility requires that applicants are customers of Commonwealth Edison (also called ComEd) or Nicor.
Low-income homeowner-occupied residents can apply for help with their heating system. This is an Emergency Furnace Component, which is a part of the government’s LIHEAP program. The services include repairing or replacement of non-operational heating systems. For eligible seniors and disabled clients, the program starts in October. For everyone else, the program starts in November. Eligible applicants must be at or below 150% of the federal government established poverty level.
Continuum of Care (CoC) is a housing assistance program. It works on enhancing and strengthening the current service delivery system. This is delivered through improved collaborative planning, partnership and program execution. The CoC membership is made up of non-profit organizations, Government entities, financial institutions, banks, local businesses, churches, health care providers, neighborhood associations, and the currently homeless .
The goal of the Continuum of Care is to provide services that will end homelessness and help people pay the rent. This will provide the tools necessary to sustain needs of the homeless and support emergency and ongoing needs of the community. It will also help them achieve permanent self-sufficiency. All these services are not only available to homeless but also to at-risk population, such as people behind on their rent.
Established in the mid 2000s, the Homeless Services Program offers various social services to the homeless population. It ideally works to fill the “gaps” in this services. Individuals and families are only eligible for assistance if they are directly referred from another agency within the Continuum of Care and geographical area that provides direct client services.
In this way, the duplication of services provided to the homeless population in Will County is prevented. The types of assistance programs and resources provided are based upon referral and the Leadership Committee of the Continuum of Care direction. However, following types of assistance are free from referral. This may be money or loans for rent help, funds for security deposits, utility bills, and even medical expenses. The primary objective of this program is eliminating barriers to overcoming and exiting homelessness.
If a representative or case manager from certain agency is assisting a homeless applicant to achieve self-sufficiency and there is a service that this agency cannot provide, referral is made to an agency somewhere in the region that is able to provide that resource. If a program is not offered anywhere within the Continuum, or it is temporarily unavailable, then referral is made to another group.
CSBG Scholarship Program is for well performing student. The Will County Center for Community Concerns (WCCCC) created it to assist disadvantaged students of high academic achievement or potential, by awarding scholarships to pay for tuition each year. This program is known as the CSBG Scholarship Program. Students must be enrolled or enrolling in an accredited institute of higher education in the state of Illinois.
Employment Support and assistance is for expenses such as daycare cost, transportation and work supplies. These and other services offered to low-income clients in order to help them obtain/maintain employment. The resources are available through the Employment Support Program.
The community action agency Prescription Drug Assistance service provides residents with limited income or no insurance help on their health care needs. It is for Will County Illinois families and will give them free vouchers. They may get these for paying for prescribed medications for use at participating pharmacies.
The Emergency Services Financial Aid provides assistance to eligible individuals or families who are behind on their rent and facing eviction. Financial aid is also for those that are threatened to have their water service disconnected.
Housing Counseling is for current homeowners and/or potential first time homeowners. This is available as well in the county. The following services are provided to eligible low-income applicants. Examples may be Pre-Foreclosure Sale Options, Pre-purchase / Homebuyers Education, Mortgage Default / Free Foreclosure Prevention Services, and also information on Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, or HECM.
Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program is one resource from the Will County Center for Community Concerns. The agency is heaving involved in this process. They offer the federal government and state of Illinois weatherization program. It is for low-income and senior homeowners and renters that will help them save fuel and energy. It does this adding free conservation measures and increasing the comfort of their homes at the same time. Assistance can be applied to a number of units, including single-family residents, mobile homes, condos, and townhouses.
An assessment is conducted to determine eligibility and what measures will make the home more comfortable and energy-efficient. A contractor from the WCCCC community action agency will be assigned to apply the appropriate measures once the assessment is conducted. The work done will be monitored by the program’s staff.
All types of homes can apply for following services, which may be free heating system updates and other enhancements. This will be the furnace will be repaired or replaced for free if necessary. Or apply for insulation of exterior walls and attic areas. Will County families may receive weather-stripping of doors, Caulking of windows; repair or replace if needed or even the replacement of old refrigerators or freezers.
Will County Center for Community Concerns has several offices in the region. The main phone number is (815) 722-0722.
Dupage Township, Address: 241 Canterbury Lane, Bolingbrook
Greenleaf Apartments (residents only), Address: 402 Kildeer Drive, Bolingbrook
Crete Township, Address: 1367 Wood Street, Crete
Frankfort Township, Address: 11000 W. Lincoln Highway, Frankfort
Marycrest Apartments (residents only), Address: 2115 Marmion Ave, Joliet
John O. Holmes Complex (residents only), Address: 419 Bluff Street, Joliet
Senior Service Center, Address: 251 N Center Street, Joliet
Stevenson Building (residents only), Address: 102 Stryker Avenue, Joliet
Lockport Township, Address: 222 E Ninth Street #318,Lockport
Monee Township Office, Address: 26121 Egyptian Trail, Monee
Wheatland Township, Address: 4232 Tower Court, Naperville
New Lenox Township, Address: 1100 S Cedar Road, New Lenox
Carillon Adult Masters Association, Address: 21146w S Carillon Drive, Plainfield
Plainfield Township, Address: 22525 W Lockport Rd, Plainfield
University Park Town Center Plaza, Address: 90 Or 70 Town Center (please Check Both), University Park
Thornwood House, Address: 1 Thornwood Drive, University Pk
Wilmington Library, Address: 201 S. Kankakee Street, Wilmington
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