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Assistance programs from DuPage County Community Services.

A number of needs can be met by the DuPage County Community Services organization, whether it is grants to help pay bills, housing, self-sufficiency (FSS) or something else. This is the local, non-profit community action agency that is focused on helping the poor, less fortunate, unemployed, and low income in the region. The focus is on emergency assistance such as food, rent help to prevention evictions, and funds to pay a utility bill to stop disconnections. Clients of Community Services will also generally be enrolled into local DuPage area job training programs.

Some of the main resources from the agency are listed below, but they will vary based on funding and other conditions. If funding is not available, then waiting lists may be used for disbursing financial assistance or case managers will help people apply for government aid, such as LIHEAP.

Financial resources for bills including rent and utilities

Clothing, furniture and others goods are part of the Basic Needs In-kind Goods Program. This is for struggling and working poor households. The free vouchers can be redeemed at Repeat Boutique and St. Vincent DePaul Society thrift stores. The program also offers screening for several area food banks and pantries for referrals.

In order to be eligible for the voucher program, total income of the household may not exceed 125% of poverty levels set in Illinois. Other conditions are in place too. Assistance is available once a year except for emergency cases. Please call 630-407-6500 or 1-800-942-9412 for more information.

The Community Services agency in DuPage County can also help people sign up for benefits, such as SNAP food stamps, cash assistance, LINK Cards, Medicaid or something else. As there are many public and government assistance programs that can help meet short term needs. Read more on Link Card Illinois.

Community Resource Information System, which is also known as CRIS, provides information on active services and programs for residents and people in need. Referrals, social services, and government benefits are offered throughout DuPage County. There are over 1000 social service agencies that provide free food, clothing, financial aid, elder care, short term loans for paying bills, child care and more. The main number is (630) 407-6500.




Short-term case management is available from social workers to eligible clients in order to conduct a comprehensive assessment of their needs. Duration of this service is up to six months or longer if needed. The Case Manager from DuPage County Community Services ensures that clients access the services and programs they need in the easiest way possible. Case management activities may include, but are not limited to goal setting and action plan development, follow-up, ongoing monitoring and final evaluation.

Applying for this service requires that head of household is 59 years of age or younger. There is an agreement that clients sign where they state they are willing to participate, set and work towards various goals.

Referrals for Housing resources are available from staff. Preventing homelessness in the region is the goal of the Housing Assistance program. This is achievable by linking low-income individuals and families to appropriate services that will assist them. The program provides financial help in some cases for rent or mortgage payments. In many instances, referrals are given to other appropriate sources of grants or loans for paying rent or maybe a first month security deposit.

In general, help is for only emergency, crisis and extenuating circumstances. Those who apply must have received an eviction notice, have a current valid lease, and also have homeless verification.
Showing ability to pay future rent and utility bills is also the final requirement in order to qualify. In addition to proving emergency and extenuating circumstances, clients must have received an eviction notice, homeless verification and have a current valid lease. Showing ability to pay future rent is the final requirement in order to qualify.

Scholarships may be part of Community Services Block Grant. This is done in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Community Affairs. Working together, DuPage County Community Services offers financial assistance to low-income and disadvantaged individuals through the Community Services Block Grant Scholarship.





Eligible persons and teenagers of high academic attainment or potential are welcome to apply for the Scholarship. The goal of the program is to enable participants to obtain formal education or occupational training in an accredited Illinois educational institution.

The program also emphasizes learning in high technology areas available in Illinois or other growth occupations. The scholarship is competitive and it focuses more on applicants’ abilities and skillsets rather than on their financial needs. The resource also offers education and training on general post-secondary education and other needs. Learn more on, and find scholarships for low income students.

York Center Community Resource Center is located at 1 S 071 Luther Avenue Lombard. Call  630-407-6525. Various social services provided from the site include referrals to local social services agencies and charities. They are offered for a variety of resources including but not limited to translating Spanish-English, health care assistance, rent assistance, free food, and child care.

DuPage County Community Services provides applications to LIHEAP. This will offer assistance to eligible low-income clients with paying their energy bills. Aid and cash grants is from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. In order to reduce the cost of home energy, it offers following services such as cash, credits, education, and outreach.

LIHEAP services are not limited to clients who have an overdue heating bill or disconnect notice. It also offers emergency assistance to low-income clients whose utility service has been disconnected and for homeowners whose furnace (or other heating system) is non-operational.

Eligibility for the community action program requires that total household income does not exceed 150% of poverty levels. They also need a document proofing this is submitted, along with proof of Social Security Number, utility bills and lease. The township phone numbers to call to apply for LIHEAP ar below.
Addison, 630-530-8161
 Bloomingdale, 630-529-9993
Bloomingdale Seniors dial 630-529-7794
Downers Grove residents call 630-719-6610
Lisle – Phone 630-968-2087
Milton , 630-668-1616
Naperville, 630-355-2786
Wayne, 630-231-7173
Winfield , telephone number is 630-231-3591
York Township, 630-620-2400
York Seniors phone number is 630-620-2424

Other agencies, including social services, can help with Illinois LIHEAP applications. This is a free, annual grant for low-income families to help them keep their utilities and heat on, especially during the winter. Thousands of DuPage County households benefit from it each year, including many disabled and elderly people. More on Illinois LIHEAP applications.

FSS, or the Family Self-Sufficiency, can help eligible low-income individuals achieve self-sufficiency and become productive members of their community. Clients are encouraged to take control of their lives by using numerous services that will help them achieve their personal and professional goals. Those services include comprehensive case management, educational, and employment planning. Contact Client Services at 630-407-6500 or 1-800-942-9412.





Assistance is also from DuPage County Food Pantries. In order to make things easier for clients, including the unemployed, in need of food assistance, DuPage County Community Services offers a free map, which provides basic information on every pantry in DuPage and even other regions. Call 630-407-6500.

Medical bill assistance from the DuPage County community action agency is available. The not for profit center will offer Community Services that provide financial assistance for medical fees, hearing tests, eyeglasses, dental fees, prescriptions and more. This is for eligible low-income or uninsured residents of DuPage County. Applicants need to meet eligibility requirements such as meet income and insurance status, but faced with poverty, or other conditions.

The local Shared Housing Program is designed to provide assistance to individuals who are seeking an affordable housing arrangement. The DuPage County Community Services links such individuals to residents wanting to share their homes and therefore share rent and housing expenses. Client Agreement and one from a home provider must be signed. Background checks are done and other safety measures are in place. Please call 630-407-6500 or 1-800-942-9412 for more details.

Conserve money on heating and electric bills from the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program, or IHWAP. The goal of this federal program is to help eligible clients save fuel and money on their monthly bills. This can be achievable by performing improvements of the individual's home or furnace, which will result in energy conservation. The program’s contractor conducts an energy audit on the home in order to determine which measure to perform.

The weatherization Energy Savings Measures include weather-stripping and caulking, furnace cleaning, safety checking, repair, or replacement, insulating walls and attics, repairing windows and doors, and other updates.

Extensive Information - Referral is available. Individuals aged 59 and under are provided with resources through the DuPage County's central clearinghouse for social service information. Priority is focused on identifying clients’ critical needs and referring them to the appropriate services, whether government or non-profit. Referrals are also for seniors as well to programs more specific to their needs.

Any client who needs information on social service agencies, churches, government bodies, civic groups, legal and medical organizations is welcome to call as there no eligibility requirements. Please call 630-407-6500 or 1-800-942-9412 for more information.

Home safety and modifications offers up to $24,000, low cost loan to eligible clients. The loan program allows a homeowner to borrow with no monthly payments or interest charges until a transfer of title. The money can be used to address safety needs for seniors, the disabled, and struggling residents.







DuPage County Community Services staff can also refer residents to other short term and/or emergency loan programs for other financial needs, including payday or salary type programs. Whether it is a car repair, to consolidate or rebuild credit, pay for college, or something else, a hardship loan can sometimes benefit some low-income borrowers. More on payday loan organizations.

How to apply for DuPage County Community Services assistance programs

There may be other services offered by DuPage County Community Services as well. The main center is at  421 North County Farm Road, Wheaton, IL 60187. Call (630) 407-6500 for more information.

By Jon McNamara

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