Center of Concern programs in Cook County.

Short term crisis help is provided by the Center of Concern. The agency and its staff work to help those in an emergency, and then they will even offer ongoing supportive services. In addition, a major focus is on supporting the homebound elderly and disabled to help them retain their independence.

Most of the financial aid is the result of donations. They receive financial support from a number of sources, including Park Ridge Community Fund, Businesses, Maine Township, Illinois Department of Human Services, and even private foundations, among other sources. As resources allow, the non-profit tries to help.

Center of Concern operates a number of programs that offer short and long term assistance to Cook County residents who are experiencing difficulty. There is support with housing-related issues that include eviction prevention, landlord-tenant issues, foreclosure, utility shut-off, and the like.

Housing assistance programs from Center of Concern

Low cost rent is available in partnership with homeowners that have extra space in their residence. They will be brought together with individuals who are looking for affordable housing. The name of this service is the Center of Concern's Home Sharing Program.

This exchange is beneficial to both parties. What happens is the homeowner remains living in the home, with their extra space occupied by a paying tenant, while the renter has housing at a reasonable monthly cost. Also, a great many of the tenant/homeowner relationships develop into friendships, in which they work together to maintain the home. People of all ages participate. There may be retirees, single parents, students and others. It is also fully recognized by the state of Illinois and HUD.





Grants are part of the Homelessness Prevention Program. This is a solution that offers assistance for households who are at risk of losing their homes due to foreclosure, eviction, and/or utility bill disconnection. For all calls regarding financial assistance, dial 877-426-6515. There may be funds for back rent, security deposits, paying utilities, or even mortgage payments. This service is also run in partnership with the Suburban Cook County Call Center.

Homeless Transitional Housing operates a number of scattered-site apartment complexes. The goal is to help those who are homeless, with a focus on children and single moms. It provides accommodations as they work to obtain permanent housing and achieve the goal of self-sufficiency. The program offers apartments where participants can live for up to 24 months, as long as they comply with rules.

Clients are required to meet with a social worker and participate in counseling in regard to employment, personal, legal, and financial concerns. They also help single moms and minorities locate a job. Also, each tenants develops a plan for achieving personal goals, which includes saving some of their income in a bank account in order to address the issues that led to their circumstances.

Partners, such as Maine Center, a community mental health agency, provides a mental health evaluation, therapy, medication management, and drug screening, as needed. After successful completion of the Center of Concern transitional housing program, clients are provided with assistance in finding and obtaining a permanent home. Find more details on transitional housing in Chicago.





Social services and counseling, including employment

Center of Concern has numerous counseling resources and related services available to help residents of Cook County understand and manage a wide variety of issues. Some of these are listed here.

Employment is a form of assistance and support for job seekers in all age groups with creating resumes, improving interviewing skills and gaining other experience that is necessary for attracting the interest of employers. Whether a second side gig or full-part time position, there are Center of Concern employment resources for people of all backgrounds. This also often involves Personal Counseling:, which is additional one-on-one interaction with a licensed social worker.

Chicago has a number of single mothers or fathers that are struggling. They try to balance a job with childcare, transportation and paying the bills. It is a challenge. There are programs out there, including high paying jobs for single moms.

Seniors can benefit from the Alzheimer's Support Group, which is a monthly group for caregivers, for the purpose of learning effective strategies for managing difficult behavior, along with ways of coping with the stress of their responsibilities. Or they can learn about, and enroll into, Medicare, Supplemental, and Long-Term Care Insurance Counseling which is assistance with completing Medicare applications or they can get help in resolving issues and disputes with insurance companies, HMOs, and providers.

Financial and Legal Counseling is for clients who are current participants in the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Programs. They receive free advice on budget preparation, responsible credit card use, and completing form to apply for property tax exemptions. This often involves guidance from volunteer attorneys.

Center of Concern offers a wide array of support to seniors and their families. The goal of this division is to ensure that the needs of the elderly in the Cook County service area are met. Specific services include the following listed below.

Social workers from the center act as case managers, performing in-home assessments to determine the needs of seniors or the disabled. They will decide which services are most appropriate to meet those needs. Also, friendly visitors from volunteers are arranged. This is for the homebound who need to see someone who is supportive and caring.





Other resources include Telephone Reassurance, which is for seniors who live alone, and it will assure that individuals are safe and well. There is also a volunteer shopping service for trips to the pharmacy, blood pressure testing, and help in applying for benefits.

Referrals and much more are offered by the Center of Concern. Staff will respond to inquiries about available community resources, help applicants apply for aid, and more. The address is 1580 N. Northwest Hwy., Park Ridge, IL 60068. Call 847-823-0453.

By Jon McNamara

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