Chicago Emergency Fund.

Low income families in Chicago who are experiencing a crisis may be able to get assistance from the Emergency Fund. Immediate financial help and grants may be offered to qualified low income residents for a wide variety of emergency needs and expenses, as indicated below.

Money from the fund can be provided to deal with the short term challenge or emergency that a resident may experience. Grants can also be provided to pay for expenses while someone improves their condition for long term success. For example, get help paying your bills while you attend a job training program. You can learn more about the Emergency Fund in Chicago by dialing 312.379.0301.

The main component of the program is known as the Flexible Financial Fund. Families who are on the brink of a crisis may be able to get help in Chicago from this service. It is available due to donations and money that is raised by dozens of non-profit agencies.

When applying, an assessment will occur, and based on the results of that financial assistance can be provided to pay for rent, security deposits, mortgages, heating bills, and utilities. One of the primary objectives of the Financial/Emergency fund is to prevent homelessness. So the fund will proactively pay for housing needs that can lead to evictions or foreclosures, such as rent, mortgage, or utilities.

Aid can be provided very rapidly to individuals and families in need. This can be done because they can provide assistance to people who need help without being held up or slowed down by any additional regulations or red-tape. This non-profit organization is also one of few organizations in the greater Chicago and Cook County Illinois area who provide this type of emergency assistance and funding to the low income, and who can get the money to people who need it in short order. There are two primary grants that are offered by the Flexible Financial Fund as indicated below.

Self-Sufficiency Grants – These grants are provided with the goal of helping families move to a more sustainable income and get back on track financially. Grants can help pay for housing, including rent, utilities, and other basic necessities and resources while the head of household completes an employment program, attends classes or acquires new skills.





Grants from the Self-Sufficiency program have been used to support families while a parent or family member enters a job training program, to support singles while they complete a degree, and similar situations. Overall they provide short term financial assistance while someone improves their overall personal and financial situation.

Crisis Solution Grants – Low income people across Chicago who are experiencing an emergency may be able to benefit from this program. They were created to help provide immediate financial help and relief to people experiencing a crisis that was unexpected and not of their own doing. Crisis Solution Grants can be used for expenses and bills such as food vouchers, prescription medicine, transportation passes, eye glasses, and school or work clothing. Payments from the crisis program are made directly to utility companies, landlords, lenders, or other service providers or creditors on behalf of the client. Payments are not given to the applicant.

The Emergency Fund also is the main point of contact for and administers the State of Illinois’ Homeless Prevention Funds for low income and struggling residents of Chicago. Money from the homeless prevention program can be used to pay for rent, mortgages, security deposits, electric bills and utilities for qualified families. In other words, the funds are used to prevent homelessness across Chicago.

The reason people can apply for help from this service has to be from an issue that was created from a crisis that was beyond their control. This can include emergencies such as sudden loss of employment, loss or delay of a public government benefit, Illegal action by a landlord, or Medical emergency or disability. Examples of the other qualifying conditions can include financial aid for residents faced with a natural disaster, Substantial change in household composition, Displacement by government or private action, or Victimization by criminal activity. Some other scenarios may be provided for too.



By Jon McNamara

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