Thanks to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, Housing Action Illinois subgranted $10,000 to the Embarras River Basin Agency to support the agency’s work to help individuals or families experiencing homelessness or who are unstably housed with emergency shelter and interim housing, short-term rental and mortgage assistance, and utility assistance.
When Governor Pritzker announced Illinois’ shelter-in-place order, the Embarras River Basin Agency had to think on its feet.
Like restaurants, the organization’s meal sites were no longer able to offer meals onsite, so ERBA shifted to pick-up and delivery. It moved families staying at its shelter to hotel rooms where they could practice safe social distancing. For now, the organization is taking all appointments by phone.
All of this translated to increased operating costs—to pay for the hotel rooms, as well as increased demand for meals during the pandemic.
To help, Housing Action Illinois awarded ERBA a $10,000 subgrant, thanks to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund. ERBA says this will allow them to serve twenty individuals who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness during state’s shelter-in-place order. Taken together, this amounts to 394 total nights of shelter.
The organization is providing up to two months of rent or mortgage payments, or up to $1,000 in assistance. In addition, ERBA is supplying up to $250 to help households affected by COVID-19 pay their water bills.
“It is especially important right now that people are able to stay in their homes and have running water and electricity,” Executive Director Cathy Feltner told the Effingham Daily News. “ERBA is always here, all year long, to assist those in need, but in times of social and economic crisis, we are even more important to so many people.”