Chicago public assistance.

The city of Chicago and the greater Cook County region know that people may from time to time face a hardship. Individuals may lose their job, have a reduction in hours and income at work, or face a medical emergency. So several public assistance programs can provide cash as well as longer term self-sufficiency and services to qualified individuals.

Access job training and help in finding employment from Community Affiliate WIA Workforce Centers and the federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA).

Several Chicago Workforce Centers are spread across the city. Programs and services focus on helping job seekers find employment and increase income, and resources are also available for employers to help them find the best candidate for an open position.

A number of free public services and resources are offered for job seekers and people who are over 18 years of age. They include free internet access, workshops to develop job searching and resume writing skills, online workforce development resources including Illinois workNet, and office supplies. For example, the public can get free access to telephone, faxing, copying, and the Internet.

Some Chicago individuals may be determined to be WIA-eligible job seekers, and these clients can access job training services which are also available to WIA-eligible participants through Individual Training Accounts. Also get job placement counseling and support services, career development planning, and skills assessment.




The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) offers several public assistance programs. Some of the Emergency Services offered can help low income families faced with eviction, utility disconnection, or help is also offered for those who are currently homeless. Learn how to get help for paying energy bills and rent in a crisis.

Some of the Chicago DFSS financial assistance programs offered include eviction prevention, outreach, shelter, rent and housing assistance programs and supportive services. Low income families can also get help during times of extreme hot or cold weather. DFSS staff manage the City’s main warming and cooling centers, give referrals to utility bill assistance programs, provide transportation to shelter, and conduct well-being checks on at-risk residents.





Financial assistance programs and case management is offered from Chicago Community Service Centers. Clients can get information and help applying for rental, utility bill and other financial assistance programs. Learn about all of the public aid offered by Illinois and the federal government. The community centers also serve as warming and cooling centers during periods of bad weather events.

Some of the other resources offered from the Community Service Centers include shelter, free food and clothing to domestic violence assistance, drug rehab, prisoner re-entry services, and job training. Visitors of the centers participate in an initial assessment with a case manager to identify their needs. Some basic services and cash assistance can be provided immediately. However visitors with multiple or complex issues are assigned a case worker who will refer them to other public resources, and work with them so they can become self-sufficient.

Chicago Family services offers programs for children and teenagers. Low income families can get the resources they need to create a strong educational and developmental foundation for young children. Through such government services as Early Head Start, Child Care assistance and Head Start, Chicago’s children are afforded the opportunity to develop critical early literacy, socialization skills and school-readiness skills.

Domestic Violence Victims can get assistance from the Chicago Division on Domestic Violence. They also partner with local non-profits and government agencies to provide support to victims.




Veterans Assistance – U.S. veterans and family members who live in Chicago can call or stop by the Chicago Veterans Resource Office. Specialists will work with veterans to help them learn about and apply for various government and public assistance programs. The center provides current information on services and financial assistance programs offered at all levels of government and non-profit community organizations. Well trained staff can help veterans access earned benefits and connect with important resources for rent and housing, employment, daily living, education, health care, and more. The Veterans Resource Office address is Garfield Community Service Center, 10 S. Kedzie, Chicago Illinois.

Senior Services-Area Agency on Aging is an umbrella of a variety assistance and public programs designed to address the diverse needs and interests of elderly and senior citizens who live in Chicago. Programs support the homebound, as well as those who are healthy and active. There are a total of six Senior Centers across Chicago Illinois that act as community focal points for information, referrals and assessment. The centers provide senior services in health care and fitness, education and recreation. The city also partners closely with non-profit groups and agencies to operate other smaller senior centers that offer information and assessments as well as opportunities for education, public financial aid, cultural enrichment, and medical care.

To reach the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services dial 312.744.5000.




By Jon McNamara

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