Thanks to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, Housing Action Illinois subgranted $15,000 to Call for Help. These funds support the agency’s work providing interim housing and emergency shelter, as well as rental, mortgage, and utility assistance.
Call for Help’s standard programming went out the window when COVID-19 struck. The agency’s East St. Louis Campus is home to almost sixty men and women, as well as children under the age of five. In-person information and referral services for housing and utility assistance were impacted by the campus-wide restriction to residents and essential staff only.
It quickly became apparent that there was a county-wide need for housing at-risk individuals who were living communally. To help people who are experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis, Call for Help provided sixty-five individuals and families emergency shelter in hotels and motels. The agency, which serves the Metro East St. Louis Community as well as the Southwest Central Illinois Region, also supports people who are at risk of experiencing homelessness, providing rental, mortgage, and utility assistance.
“Each day brings an unexpected challenge—however, COVID-19 strengthened our agency’s commitment as a community leader during unprecedented times,” said James Kellermann, Executive Director of Call for Help.
Call for Help’s staff assembles care packages for their clients, using bags donated by Molina Healthcare.

To continue doing so, Call for Help needed additional funding to cover hotel and motel stays for the duration of the stay-at-home order and to offer additional assistance to help more people shelter in place. Thanks to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, Housing Action Illinois was able to provide a $15,000 subgrant to Call for Help. The agency’s leaders anticipate that the funding will allow them to serve 200 people.

Call for Help’s outreach team continues to serve and offer assistance to any unsheltered persons in Saint Clair County.