Thanks to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, Housing Action Illinois subgranted $25,000 to Courage Connection to support the agency’s work providing interim housing and emergency shelter.
When Illinois’ shelter-in-place order came down, staff at Courage Connection recognized that the population they serve could be at increased risk. As a post on the organization’s Facebook page says, “It is important to remember that for some of us, home is not a safe place to be.”
That’s because the individuals and families Courage Connection serves are either fleeing an immediate domestic violence situation or dealing with ongoing homelessness related to domestic violence in past relationships.
To figure out how to safely continue operating during the pandemic, Courage Connection sought guidance from local public health officials. The agency decided to temporarily relocate all residents to a local hotel so individuals and their families can practice social distancing. Each room has a microwave and mini-fridge so clients can keep and prepare food. Courage Connection staff deliver food and personal care items when needed. Clients also receive wellness check calls daily.
Thanks to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, Housing Action Illinois subgranted $25,000—$15,000 for May and June, and $10,000 for July and August—to cover costs during the pandemic. Courage Connection used the funding to provide 2,166 shelter nights to 40 households during May and June. The agency expects to serve another 40 households during July and August.
“People don’t realize that the services are available,” Courage Connection’s Osajuli Cravens told news station WAND. “They might feel because of COVID-19, the services aren’t there, so they’re choosing to stay in a bad situation, and they don’t have to.”