30 homeless service providers throughout Illinois receive funds to support people who are homeless or unstably housed

CONTACT: Kristin Ginger, Manager of Communications & Development, Housing Action Illinois, kristin@housingactionil.org or 312-854-3333

CHICAGO – Housing Action Illinois has regranted $340,000 to partner organizations throughout the state working to meet the immediate COVID-19-related needs of people who are homeless or who may become homeless.

People experiencing homelessness are at extreme risk for COVID-19, living in crowded conditions or other unsheltered congregate settings where they are unable to isolate, quarantine or recover. During this crisis, homeless service providers have had to balance providing much-needed shelter and services to even more people in need while also ensuring that public health guidelines are being met, which requires more resources to do.

“Homeless service providers throughout Illinois have been critically active during the COVID-19 crisis, introducing social distancing measures in shelters, working to move people off the streets and into hotels or motels, and screening individuals with symptoms,” stated Sharon Legenza, Housing Action Illinois’ Executive Director. “With these relief funds, housing agencies across the state will be able to help more Illinoisans obtain or stay in stable homes—which protects the health and safety of our entire state.”

One of the subgrant recipients is the Carbondale Warming Center in southern Illinois, which decided in late March to extend its hours and offer shelter 24/7 in response to the pandemic and the stay-at-home order. This greatly increased the center’s costs, as well as the need to introduce new health and safety measures such as checking temperatures, creating a new layout, and introducing an isolation safe space. “The funding from this grant allows us to continue the services to support our guests, who are often overlooked in our communities,” said Carmalita Cahill, Carbondale Warming Center Coordinator. “Our mission is to provide a safe, warm place to sleep at night while serving with humanity, dignity and empathy at the forefront. We are grateful for the funding that allows us to continue.”

Another recipient, Helping Hands of Springfield, has closed its daytime lobby and shifted into a 24-hour shelter-in-place approach to operations. The organization has been innovative in supporting clients—for example, thanks to a recent donation of four iPads, clients can now have tele-health “virtual visits” with their usual healthcare providers—but has also faced many challenges and is eager to connect clients with longer term housing. “With this grant money, Helping Hands of Springfield will permanently house several members of our community who are currently in emergency shelter and unsheltered,” stated Erica Smith, Executive Director at Helping Hands. “This will be an invaluable resource for keeping people safe and healthy, particularly during a time of pandemic.”

The majority of the funds that Housing Action Illinois will regrant come from the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, which was established by the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations in collaboration with the Office of the Governor. Additional funds come from the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which received one-time funding from foundations that it swiftly regranted to help housing organizations fill the perilous gap in time before federal funding from the CARES Act begins to flow. 

Housing Action Illinois is regranting funds to 30 organizations throughout the state, with a focus on Central, Southern, and Western Illinois. Awards range from $10,000 to $15,000.

Relief Funding Recipients:


  • BCMW Community Services, Centralia
  • BEDS Plus, La Grange
  • Call for Help, East St. Louis
  • Carbondale Warming Center, Carbondale
  • Catholic Urban Programs, East St. Louis
  • Courage Connection, Champaign
  • Decatur Macon Opportunities Corporation, Decatur
  • Dove, Inc., Decatur
  • DuPagePADS, Wheaton
  • Embarras River Basin Agency (ERBA), Greenup
  • Freeport Area Church Cooperative, Freeport
  • Helping Hands of Springfield, Springfield
  • Home Sweet Home Ministries, Bloomington
  • Hope Haven, DeKalb
  • Housing Forward, Maywood
  • JOURNEYS | The Road Home, Palatine
  • Lazarus House, St. Charles
  • Madison County Urban League, Alton
  • MorningStar Mission, Joliet
  • PADS Lake County, Waukegan
  • PADS of Elgin, Elgin
  • Phoenix Community Development Services (formerly South Side Office of Concern), Peoria
  • Pioneer Center for Human Services, McHenry
  • Project NOW, Rock Island
  • Shawnee Development Council, Karnak
  • Shelter Care Ministries, Rockford
  • South Suburban PADS, Chicago Heights
  • The Haven (formerly Mattoon Area P.A.D.S.), Mattoon
  • Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials, Quincy
  • Western Egyptian E.O.C., Steeleville


About Housing Action Illinois

Housing Action Illinois is a statewide coalition that has been leading the movement to protect and expand the availability of quality, affordable housing in Illinois for more than 30 years. Our 160+ member organizations include homeless service providers, housing counseling agencies, developers of affordable housing and policymakers. We bring everyone together to work toward our vision of an Illinois where everyone has a stable, good home.