Homeless crisis program in McHenry County.

With the still too high number of homeless families in the region, the McHenry County Crisis Program is one of the leading places to turn to for referrals and advice. Partnering with charities, non-profits, and government affiliates, including the Continuum of Care organizations, the county does its best to rehouse those that need help.

Federal government funding that is part of the Continuum of Care to End Homelessness is a key service available. Partnering with the agencies that participate in CoC, the county is working to assist homeless families and individuals in securing permanent, low income housing. It ranges widely from financial support to referrals and general support services.

Information is provided by the McHenry County Crisis Program. They are working closely with the Continuum of Care agencies to assist low income and struggling residents in locating the appropriate resources. It may range from a shelter to grants for paying a security deposit or first month's rent. This, and more, is available when an individual is experiencing homelessness.

Grants and agencies from the Continuum of Care are working closely with the Crisis Program to create a coordinated assessment for individuals facing eviction or experiencing homelessness in McHenry County. As noted, the key service of the Crisis Line will be to give appropriate referrals or direct people to emergency resources, such as a shelter or soup kitchen. There are also crisis programs for money to help with housing needs, such as emergency funds for rent arrears.

The Crisis Program also assists the unemployed or persons who are struggling with mental health or substance abuse. This could be caused by a wide variety of reasons, such as domestic violence, a poor social support system, experiencing previous traumatic events, unexpected job loss, or serious legal issues.

Many homeless and very low income people have barriers to stable housing. This may include lack of reliable transportation to their job, lack of financial resources, no funds for paying rent, or maybe they can’t afford basic needs such as food or clothing. These obstacles, and a host of others, could prevent the person from being able to access the programs and support services they need.





The number one objective of the program is for homeless individuals to be able to get the appropriate financial assistance or social support they need as quickly as possible. So if they are facing any other those barriers noted above, those can be addressed as well.

Callers can learn about job training, credit counseling, and general case management services in McHenry County. Hopefully, the end result will be the individual moving into affordable, safe permanent housing.

Other aid from the center includes 24-hour crisis intervention, Linkages to ongoing services, Problem solving/support, Referral to available housing resources, and much more. The crisis program in McHenry County offers a number of solutions.

Crisis workers that are experienced and trained may be able to offer appropriate resources and access to assistance programs to individuals or qualified families based on their needs. If a worker assesses a homeless individual who may also need of substance abuse treatment, they can give referrals to a shelter in McHenry County. Or they can learn about disability programs or resources that are available to them.

The number and referral service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If and when needed, social workers from the county also are able to see that individual for a face-to-face risk assessment if that person has a disability or that may be experiencing a mental health crisis.




In order to get this information on programs available, the Crisis Line can be reached at 800-892-8900. Staff can be reached and can refer people to the appropriate community agency, whether that is a charity or non-profit. The referral offered will be based on that individual’s specific needs.


By Jon McNamara

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