Between schools closing and parents suddenly unemployed, many families in Chicago and the suburbs aren’t finding their time stuck inside akin to a vacation. There are options for help, from those just seeking answers to verify daily questions about COVID-19, to families wondering how to pay the rent.
Here are some resources to help those looking for answers.
- The city of Chicago government webpage has updated local numbers as well as state numbers and information. The page also answers Frequently Asked Questions, such as what to do if you suspect you have COVID-19.
- A preparedness checklist is also available from the city of Chicago, to help families make sure they are aware of their needs in case of mandatory quarantine. Chicago Public School students needing lunches during the crisis can find information here. If your family is outside of the CPS system, visit your local district webpage.
- If you are out of work and unemployed because your company has shut down, you can apply for Emergency Rental Assistance within the city of Chicago. If you own your home, you can consult the Chicago Home Ownership Preservation Initiative if you feel you are in danger of foreclosure. Contact a HUD-approved agency and refer to the HOPI program for support.
- For those needing to apply for temporary unemployment services, visit the Illinois Department of Employment Security to file a claim. The offices are closed for health safety, but claims can be filed online.
- The Illinois Commerce Commission reached out to utilities to ensure that water and electricity would be available through May 1. If you have a problem with your utilities being shut off during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact the ICC.
- For parents or kids with anxiety or depression who are seeking help, 24-hour hotlines are still available. Call 1-800-273-8255 or 311 within the city.
- For families who have money or resources to give to those in need, consider a donation to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund. The fund was established in collaboration with the City of Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago to help those missing paychecks and provide access to emergency food.
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