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Immediate Financial Assistance

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Assistance programs Peoria County.

Low income families, senior citizens, and the disabled in Peoria County can get financial aid as well as grants. Find how to get help with housing or rental expenses, money to pay for utility bills, free food from pantries and other support. Regional charities, non-profits, churches, and the government offer emergency financial help as well as case management or employment programs.

The goal is to offer short term help with paying bills while longer term support. Some families may be given free items, including everything from school supplies for kids or adults to winter clothes, heating or cooling units for a home, or Christmas gifts. Whether financial assistance in Peoria County, free stuff, or job placement or free training, help is offered.

Housing assistance and financial help with utility bills

The city of Peoria will often provide hundreds of thousands of dollars of financial aid to help residents pay utility bills or housing costs, and therefore be able to stay in their homes. The city will often get grants from the federal government as homeless prevention funds. The money comes from the US Department of Housing as part of the larger federal government budget.

The city will be using the money to provide utility bill assistance or pay other housing expenses. For example, say a family received an electric service shutoff notice from Ameren, then Peoria would use these energy funds of up to $1,500 per household to pay that utility bill. The reason they can justify this from the federal program is because if your utilities are turned off for non payment,  then in effect, you become homeless and can’t live in the home.

The city says that there are two large financial liabilities struggling families have, those being rent and electric bills. Since the aid can’t be used to help with rent payments, they decided to focus on providing help for utility bills and maybe even perhaps if they can help someone pay their outstanding utility bill, then they can use other money to pay their rent.

Many organizations will disburse the grants. The city is contacting and reaching out to charities and organizations that help with paying utility bills, such as the the Center for Prevention of Abuse ((309) 637-3905) or Friendship House (phone (309) 671-5200), and the city and these groups will help people who are in need.




Medical services and health care

Children can receive health care from the Children's Hospital of Illinois at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. Phone number (309) 655-7171. Call them to learn more, or to make an appointment.

Another clinic in Peoria is the Heartland Community Health Clinic. The facility is a Federal Government Qualified Health Care Clinic, and doctors, nurses, and other volunteers provide access to high-quality, low cost and affordable comprehensive primary health care. The clinic focuses its services on the low income and the area's medically underserved population. Call (309) 680-7600 to make an appointment.

Legal help, including foreclosures

Attorneys from Prairie State Legal Services, Inc. ((309) 674-983) provide free legal services (civil law cases) for low to moderate income families, individuals, and senior citizens in Illinois. They can provide information on Illinois free foreclosure assistance, address housing discrimination, or offer other legal aid. For example, get help with evictions, utility service disconnections, and other free legal aid.

Many other attorneys in Peoria as well as statewide offer support. Generally, families living in poverty or the elderly get help. Call them at (309) 674-9831, or click here to learn more on free lawyers in Illinois.

Foreclosure mediation - The county created a mediation program that will ensure that homeowners meet with their lender and a neutral third party before their home is foreclosed on. The local court system will send details on how the program works when someone is faced with a foreclosure. Most of the mediation sessions will be held by a HUD approved housing counselor, an attorney, or maybe even a former judge. The goal is to try to find a solution that satisfies the lender, and that also allows the borrower to keep their home. Read more Peoria County foreclosure mediation.

Debt reduction can be arranged by lawyers as well. Whether it is an aggressive debt collector, credit card company, bankruptcy filing, or a “predatory” lender, this is yet another free service for the low income. Or learn about assistance with debt collectors.





Find help for bills and emergency programs in Peoria

If you are facing a crisis or short term hardship, call the Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service. They offer several different youth and adult programs. Access emergency services for bills and expenses. They also partner with the Dress for Success program, which offers free work attire. Or look into warm clothes for low income families. Call The Christian Charity at (309) 671-5200.

The Salvation Army, also based in Peoria, administers several social services and resources for people in need. Gain access to free child and day care; youth and senior programs; emergency shelter, rent assistance, and other housing support along with disaster services. While the center does have limited amounts of funding available, when possible some grants and cash may be offered for paying heating and utility bills in Peoria.

 Another focus is on holiday aid, including Eater, Thanksgiving and Christmas programs. Kids may be given free Christmas toys or parents meals. There are also back to school supply giveaway events. Dial (309) 655-7220, or read more Peoria Salvation assistance programs.

Also contact the local community action agency, the Peoria Citizens Committee For Economic Opportunity, Inc. Phone number (309) 671-3900. They offer, among other services and resources, The Friendship House. This programs offers emergency financial assistance, grants for bills and expenses, and other aid. The funds will help families and individuals with paying their rent and utility bill payments to help deter homelessness.

They also offer prescription drug assistance. Other services offered include free food, providing diapers, household products, infant formula and layettes. The Economic Opportunity Community action agency also focuses on employment - whether for people that need new skills (from job training) or the under or unemployed that need a job. More on job placement or training.

Tri-County (Peoria) Urban League – The following services are administered. Job finding and education, youth and family services as well as employment resources. 317 S. MacArthur Highway, Peoria, Illinois 61605, phone number is (309) 673-7474. Click here for more on the Urban League.

Short term housing can assist the homeless and evicted families. Qualified clients can receive a place to stay (in a shelter or transitional housing unit), free food, job training and also receive case management and self-sufficiency. Also get information on rent and deposit assistance programs. More on Peoria County transitional housing programs.





Neighborhood House provides assistance in the form of home delivered meals, child care and after school programs, as well as resources for youth and seniors in Peoria. Dial (309) 674-1131

Peoria Housing Authority is located at 100 S Richard Pryor Place. They may be able to address housing issues. For example, the government agency administered section 8 housing vouchers as well as Low Income Housing Programs. Some federal programs are administered too. The agency is HUD approved to provide support to lower income families in the county. The main number is (309) 676-8736, or read more Peoria Housing Authority.

Peoria Township Relief Office offers qualified residents Emergency and General Assistance. Financial help, programs as well as government resources are offered to qualified people. The address is 427 W. Main St. Peoria IL 61606, dial (309) 674-8237 for information.

Resources and grants for paying water bills - Low income families facing a crisis may qualify for help from the Peoria Water Payment Assistance Program. Government funding may be available to assist with water bills. Several other non-profits and charities also operate in the county and may have resources. More information on water bill help in Peoria.

Catholic Charities has multiple services in Peoria County. There is a “conference” of SVDP set up that offers a helpline for referrals. Call 309-677-7696, or find more details on assistance from Peoria County Catholic Charities.

Money and grants for rental expenses may be provided by non-profits as well as government agencies. The programs available in Peoria can be used to stop evictions from occurring. Struggling as well as low income renters can apply for grants for a security deposit or rent. In addition, low income housing is available to residents. Click Peoria County rent help.

The Peoria Area Food Bank serves the county and other nearby towns and regions too. It can help supplement the nutritional and dietary needs of low-income families and senior citizens. The non-profit center is part of the nationwide Feeding America. The center works with local pantries, charities, and non-profits to provide brand name manufacturers and USDA commodities on a daily basis to the less fortunate. They also have a Mobile Food Pantry, a SNAP Outreach Program and works with several local school Back Pack programs. Phone (309) 671-3906.

Church based aid - Several services are administered by local faith based groups in Peoria County. The assistance ranges by time of year and location. Depending on location, they offer a Baby and Food Pantry or offer help to seniors. Single moms and the elderly are a priority.







While very limited, there may be financial aid provided in an emergency, often in the form of a loan. Those funds may help with everything from rent to food or heating oil. Other resources include referrals, case management, and services such as a thrift / furniture store are operated. More on churches in Peoria County.

Low income and working poor families can turn to the local non-profit Peoria community action agency, which is the Citizens Committee For Economic Opportunity, Inc. They are the local non-profit, community action agency for the region. Numerous assistance programs, including financial, job training, and counseling are offered.

Emergency Services are offered to eligible residents. This includes free food and grocery vouchers which are given to individuals and families who do not receive regular allotment of food stamps from the Illinois Department of Human Services. Funds for paying rent are offered for people facing eviction and the currently homeless. Shelter, or vouchers for a motel room, though rare, may be available for lodging purposes. Transportation may be provided for emergency appointments such as an interview, employment, medical crisis, and some other reasons.

A key resource offered by the Peoria Citizens Committee is referrals to other social services, non-profits, and charities. For example, get help in applying for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which can help with paying for winter energy services or heating bills. The application period runs from September to April, and grants are offered first come and served.

Some other utility assistance programs in Peoria Illinois include the Emergency Furnace Program. This can provide for the repair or replacement if needed. The LIHEAP Reconnect Assistance Program is service provided to households whose utilities have been disconnected. PIPP (Percentage of Income Payment Plan) will allow customers to pay a small portion of their income towards utility bills. Or find more details on government LIHEAP utility assistance in Illinois.

Another federal and Illinois resource is Home Weatherization. This helps low-income individuals and families save fuel and money. It can seal cracks, provide insulation, repair furnaces, and much more.

Head Start applications are processed at the Peoria Citizens Committee For Economic Opportunity, Inc. This is for children from low income families. The program provides for Education & Early Childhood Development. Assistance includes literacy, physical development, food and meals, cognitive development, and health care. Head Start will help prepare your child for success.

Home Rehabilitation can bring your home to code. Minors repairs that can be done include plumbing, roofing, siding, repairs to walls and porches, installation of windows, roof repair, electrical work, and even lead paint mitigation. This program is run in partnership with the Illinois Housing Development Authority.





Community Action Agency Scholarships may be offered by PCCEO. They may offer financial assistance to eligible individuals and students for education or occupational training.

The community action agency can be contacted at 711 W. McBean Street, Peoria, IL 61605-2254. Call (309) 671-3900.

By Jon McNamara













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