As pandemic continues, 14 homeless service providers throughout Illinois receive funds for emergency programs that support people who are homeless or face housing instability

CONTACT: Kristin Ginger, Manager of Communications & Development, Housing Action Illinois, or 312-854-3333

CHICAGO – Housing Action Illinois is regranting $145,000 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.

“A home is the best protection against COVID-19,” stated Bob Palmer, Policy Director at Housing Action Illinois. “During the first months of the pandemic, many providers worked tirelessly to adapt their programs and move clients from shelters into hotels. Now we’re figuring out what comes next. These funds will be used to address immediate needs at shelters, connect unhoused Illinoisans with homes of their own, and prevent eviction or homelessness for families on the brink.”

During the pandemic, homeless service providers have been contending with heightened need for shelter and services, which is only expected to increase in the coming months. Organizations must balance the increased demand for services while also working to comply with shifting public health guidelines, which place strain on resources.

The funds that Housing Action Illinois is regranting to support these providers are available thanks to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund (ICRF), which was established by the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations in collaboration with the Office of the Governor. This is the second round of relief funding from Housing Action Illinois; in May, the statewide coalition subgranted $340,000 to service providers to help Illinois residents remain in stable home or access housing.

Relief funds allowed recipients to distribute emergency rental and mortgage assistance and utility assistance, move shelter guests to hotels to prevent virus transmission, extend emergency shelter hours, and move clients into permanent housing, among other activities.

One partner organization—Madison County Urban League—was able to provide those in need with up to $200 in utility assistance. They also distributed rental assistance in a bid to prevent evictions due to nonpayment once the state’s eviction moratorium ends. The organization serves an area of the state that was hard hit by the pandemic.

“During this unbelievable health crisis we are all facing, this grant is giving us an amazing opportunity to help so many,” said Brenda Walker McCain, President & CEO of Madison County Urban League. “We have been able to help clients maintain their shelter and provide utility assistance when it was most needed in their lives. It is humbling to see the looks of relief on the faces of those we serve.”

Madison County Urban League is among the 14 organizations throughout Illinois that will continue to receive support from Housing Action Illinois in the second of funding this July. Awards range from $10,000 to $15,000.

Relief Funding Recipients:


  • Carbondale Warming Center, Carbondale
  • Call for Help, East St. Louis
  • Catholic Urban Programs, East St. Louis
  • Courage Connection, Champaign
  • Dove, Inc., Decatur
  • The Haven (formerly Mattoon Area P.A.D.S.), Mattoon
  • Helping Hands of Springfield, Springfield
  • Hope Haven, DeKalb
  • Freeport Area Church Cooperative, Freeport
  • Lazarus House, St. Charles
  • Madison County Urban League, Alton
  • MorningStar Mission, Joliet
  • PADS of Elgin, Elgin
  • Shelter Care Ministries, Rockford


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.