COVID-19 Updates and Resources
Dear CRN members, partners, and friends,
A note on our upcoming events: we are still looking forward to the beginning of our 25th annual Community Development and Empowerment Series. As we have to postpone the first several workshops, we are exploring options that will allow us to meet and learn together virtually. There are still spots open for the Empowerment Series--now is a critical time to connect with other affordable housing stakeholders and learn technical skills to bring more affordable housing to our communities.
We hope you are able to safely shelter in place, and are grateful to all those who continue to work to keep our communities running. We are continuing to monitor our email and voicemail from home, so please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Emergency Rental Assistance is available for people suffering financial hardship due to a crisis such as loss of job, home fire or illness. The program is intended to allow families to maintain housing during the time it takes to regain stability. Eligible clients must demonstrate that moving forward they will have sufficient income to cover rent and other living expenses. The program offers a one-time grant up to $900 to cover one month's rent. Applications can be filed at any of the City's six Community Service Centers. Find the locations here or call 311 for more information.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) is a nonprofit conceived after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 by several funders committed to making disaster-related contributions more effective and strategic. CDP's philanthropy focuses on education, grantmaking, and consulting and can help organizations find the grant opportunities that are available in their area. Learn more here.
With much of the world now social distancing and sheltering in place, isolation from friends, family, and other social contacts poses risk to emotional and physical well-being. This Curbed article explores ways to make sure that we're taking care of ourselves and each other during this challenging time, from reaching out to neighbors to getting involved in mutual aid networks. Our friends at Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation have also put together a helpful list of 10 questions to ask to check in on each other's mental health:
Breaking Down the New Bill
Still not sure what all is in the coronavirus response package? NLIHC provides a breakdown of funding for housing programs in the $6 trillion bill, including $4 billion for Emergency Solutions Grants for homelessness assistance, $5 billion for CDBG, and more. Read more.
Housing Instability and COVID-19 Map
NLIHC has created an interactive map breaking down rental housing instability, homelessness, and COVID-19 cases by county. Take a look.
Domestic Violence Hotline
The shelter in place order presents a risk to those facing domestic violence who will be required to stay in an unsafe household situation. Individuals can reach out to the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-877-863-6338 (Voice) or 1-877-863-6339 (TTY). The hotline is toll free, confidential, multilingual, and open 24-hour.
Further Reading: Housing Policy Must Change in Wake of COVID-19
COVID-19 affects us all, and everyone is at risk. But low-income and housing insecure individuals and households face some of the greatest risks. In a recent article, Shelterforce looks at COVID-19 through a housing justice lens, including who it will impact, how housing and health intersect, and how we must take action moving forward. Read it here.