In the hopes of shedding light on the challenges currently being faced by Illinoisans experiencing homelessness or housing instability, as well as the organizations serving them, Housing Action Illinois issued a press release announcing thirty subgrant recipients (twenty-five supported by the Illinois COVID-19 Relief Fund and five through the National Low Income Housing Coalition) and reached out to local papers covering the recipients’ communities. Four media outlets picked up the story and ran coverage that spotlighted the work of local organizations: ERBA, Helping Hands of Springfield, Carbondale Warming Center, and Shelter Care Ministries.

Illinois Newsroom ran a longer article on the challenges that homeless service providers are facing. Reporter Lee Gaines interviewed Housing Action Illinois Policy Director Bob Palmer, who discussed the critical need for emergency relief funding for people facing housing instability, as well as the important of policies that support low-income renters and people experiencing homelessness.

Gaines also spoke with Erica Smith, Executive Director of Helping Hands of Springfield, who said, “So what I would hope there would be is a new realization… that any of us with the perfect storm of problems, particularly when you lay a COVID-19 on top of it, could end up homeless. Sometimes I think when we talk about changing major systems, it feels impossible. Oh, we’ll never change that. But this shows us that those systems can change in a day, and that sometimes they have to change.”