Thanks to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, Housing Action Illinois subgranted $10,000 to the Western Egyptian Economic Opportunity Council to support the agency’s work providing short-term rental and mortgage assistance, as well as utility assistance.
Before the pandemic began, Western Egyptian Economic Opportunity Council operated food pantries in three counties; provided rent, mortgage, and utility assistance; and offered foreclosure and housing counseling. The agency has provided these and numerous additional services to low-income residents of Monroe, Perry, and Randolph Counties since its founding in 1965.
In the weeks following the start of COVID-19, Western Egyptian’s food pantries began offering pre-made boxes for curbside pickup. The senior nutrition program put group activities on hold and switched from eat-in dining to carry-out and delivered meals. Counseling services were provided through phone, email, or online conversations instead of face-to-face meetings.
Through all of this, Western Egyptian has continued to assist families with rent, mortgage, and utility payments. Thanks to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, Housing Action Illinois subgranted $10,000 to Western Egyptian to provide short-term rent and mortgage assistance, as well as utility assistance, to unstably housed individuals and families. The agency made assistance available to households earning less than 100 percent of the area median income.
With the funding, Western Egyptian was able to serve twenty-nine people. Ten families received assistance to pay past-due rent, and one individual received help paying an overdue utility bill. The households included children and individuals with healthcare needs, as well as seven individuals experiencing wage loss. Two of the households that received assistance were ineligible for unemployment insurance, public benefits, or federal stimulus assistance.
Western Egyptian remains committed to finding innovative ways to meet the needs of the communities it serves.