Thanks to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, Housing Action Illinois subgranted $20,000 to Madison County Urban League. These funds support the agency’s work providing short-term rental and mortgage assistance, as well as utility assistance.
Since the pandemic began, staff at the Madison County Urban League have compiled a list of people who need help with rent and utilities. The organization, which serves Southwest Central Illinois, says those reaching out for assistance have been “tremendously effected” by COVID-19 and are likely to be at risk of eviction after Illinois’ eviction moratorium lifts.
Thanks to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, Housing Action Illinois has been able to help with two $10,000 subgrants—one for May to June, and the second for July to August. With the funds, Madison County Urban League served 35 individuals in May and June, and projects it will serve another 30 individuals during the second grant period. It is providing those in need with up to $200 in utility assistance and is also offering rental assistance to prevent evictions due to nonpayment once state’s eviction moratorium ends.
President and CEO Brenda Walker McCain says the Madison County Urban League was able to help one man, a veteran and cancer patient, negotiate with his landlord. Grant funds helped him make his rent payment and avoid eviction. The organization also provided him with $200 in utility assistance. “He was quite stressed,” McCain said in an email, “and to be able to relieve this threat was very meaningful to us, because this is what we do, and have done for over 49 years.”
The organization’s core mission is “to assist African Americans and disadvantaged persons to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights,” according to its website.
Madison County Urban League’s services in a snapshot (taken before the pandemic).