Several non-profit organizations and government agencies in Illinois offer grants for a variety of needs. Each program will have a formal application process in place, and conditions need to met by applicants. Some of the resources are offered in partnership with the federal government. The exact type and number of grants may change from year to year, as they depend heavily on government funding and allocations.
Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG) - The CSBG grant program was created to provide a range of services which will help low-income people attain knowledge, skills, and the motivation necessary to achieve self-sufficiency. The program also may provide low-income families with immediate life necessities such as food, help with bills, shelter, medicine, etc. if needed. Call your local human service agency to apply.
Emergency Shelter Grant Program (ESGP) - The federal government grant program is intended to restrict the increase of homelessness through the funding of preventive activities. So it may pay for rent, energy bills and other housing costs. The United Way in Illinois often disburses these funds to local charities, who then process applications.
Monetary Assistance Program awards, (MAP) grants - This education program contributes almost $400 million annually to help thousands of Illinois students pay for school each and every year. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission disburses the grants and financial aid to people in need of help. As just one example of the assistance provided by this educational grant, Illinois State University relies on about $12 million in MAP funds every year, and the money helps about 2,000 students pay for college.
College students can look into the Monetary Award Program. This program provides financial assistance, including public and private grants, to students and Illinois residents. The program is for those individuals who attend approved public or private Illinois colleges. All recipients need to of course have a financial need for help. This needs to be proven and documented, and it will be based on the information provided by the student on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Call 800.899.4722 for additional information on this educational program.
Homeowners can receive help from the Illinois Hardest Hit Program. This federal government program is available in Illinois, and it offers grants that will be applied for temporary mortgage payment assistance. Funds are intended for those households that are struggling with unemployment. Or it can even assist those with income loss, or a reduction in their household income, due to underemployment. While money can be provided in the form of a forgivable loan, the Illinois homeowner needs to work to regain sufficient income to keep their home. Call a local HUD approved housing counseling agency. Call 1-855-533-7411
Housing Repair Grants are offered as part of various Private and Government Home Modification Resources. These types of programs will make it easier and safer for people with disabilities to live independently. Another focus is on seniors, and modifications or improvements can be made to their homes as well, if they meet low income levels.
Federal Government Public Housing Assistance customers may qualify for financial assistance to help pay their phone bills. Government grants as part of Lifeline can pay for the installation of your telephone service and also monthly charges. Both cellular and landlines can be paid for as part of the Lifeline and Link-Up Telephone Assistance Programs. Call your phone company and ask to enroll in this.
The Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program is for residents who have served at least one year of federal government active duty service in the Armed Forces. Resources are also available for people who served on federal government active duty service in a foreign country during a time of hostilities. Aid is offered for residents of Illinois who are still honorably serving the country, or grants can also be paid out to those people were honorably discharged after a period of duty.
A fairly innovate program is the Student to Student Program of Matching Grants. This is available to undergraduate college students at participating state of Illinois supported colleges. It is created from voluntary contributions from students and also matching grants from the State government. There is some flexibility to this, as each participating college determines its own application process and eligibility criteria. 800.899.4722
Homeless Prevention services – Grants may be offered by the state of Illinois in order to stabilize families and individuals and help them to remain living in their current home. Or if someone is homeless, or is in the process of being evicted, then the state will work to reduce the amount of time that families or individuals need to stay in shelters or transitional housing. Workers from the state will assist qualified low income and/or homeless individuals and families with securing more affordable housing. Grants can be provided for the payment of rent arrears to prevent eviction. Or if you are behind on energy bills, and if that is what could cause homeless, then funds may be available for that as well. Lastly, grants can be used to pay security deposits if you are currently homeless. Dial 1-800-843-6154 for details.