Ike Ogbo, Evanston’s health and human services director, says spending on general and emergency assistance programs increased 37% last year while the number of clients served increased by 31%.

In a report to be presented at Monday’s Human Services Committee meeting, Ogbo says more clients sought stabilized housing last year.

In the midst of a shortage of affordable and transitional housing in the city, Ogbo says, some of those being helped ended up being placed in new housing outside of Evanston.

He says the city also ended up providing more food assistance to residents last year because of delays by the Illinois Department of Human Services in processing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.

Ogbo says the total number of participants in the programs at some point during the year rose from 163 in 2018 to 213 in 2019 and that the general assistance program currently has 111 active participants.

The report says the number of clients referred to substance abuse and mental helath programs increased from 16 to 27 and the number participants who secured employment increased from 42 to 53.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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