Homelessness prevention funding available

Volunteer staff and program participants at Connections 2017 Thanksgiving dinner.

Funding is available to help households suffering financial hardship that are at risk of losing their housing, says Betty Bogg, executive director of Evanston-based Connections for the Homeless.

“It’s critical that those facing eviction are aware that we have resources that could help them now – before they ever have to face homelessness,” Bogg says.  “Our mission is to serve and catalyze our community to end homelessness, one person at a time, and the best way to end homelessness is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place.”

Several homelessness prevention funding streams are available, including a recently launched private fund, with different qualification requirements.

In general a household must be suffering from a financial hardship that has put them at risk of losing their housing, where assistance from Connections might prevent their eventual homelessness.

Funds can also be used to serve households that recently lost their homes to get them back into housing as rapidly as possible. Examples of eligible costs include, but are not limited to:

  • Rent in arrears
  • Mortgage in arrears
  • Utilities in arrears
  • Security deposit/first month’s rent

Prospective applicants must call the Suburban Cook County call center at 1-877-426-6515 and if eligible for prevention support, they will be referred back to Connections or another agency as appropriate.

Connections has established a pool of private prevention dollars to keep individuals and families housed and stop homelessness before it can take root. 

“We are fortunate to be in a community that values keeping families in their homes,” Boggs says, “so much so that the community has begun to directly fund our ability to serve households that might otherwise fall through the cracks due to governmental bureaucratic red tape.” 

Although applicants must be screened through the Cook County call center, if someone has a high level program or eligibility requirement question, they can call Prevention Specialist, Donielle Dial, at 847-475-7070 x134.

Drop-in services for the homeless are available five days a week at 1458 Chicago Ave. in the basement of Lake Street Church and include case management, bag lunches and a food pantry, showers, a clothing closet, laundry facilities and medical and mental health services.

Community members who are aware of households (individuals, families or unaccompanied youth) who are in need of additional services related to homelessness or homelessness prevention can call Connections at 847-475-7070.

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