The City of Evanston has provided the following information about resources available to help individuals, families and businesses get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Illinois’ Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA)
Illinois’ Emergency Rental Assistance program will provide renters impacted by COVID-19 $5,000 for back rent and prepay through 2020, or until funds are exhausted. The application portal will open today, Mon., Aug. 10 through Fri., Aug. 21. Due to high volume, the portal may close early, so we encourage those who meet the requirements to apply as soon as possible. Learn more here or visit era.ihda.org. (Please be aware that you may experience some technical difficulties. IDHA is aware of website issues and is working to fix them.)
- Household income must be at or below 80 percent of the area median before March 1, 2020. Details here.
- Must have experienced income loss due to COVID-19, including reduced hours
- Must have a written lease/contract and unpaid rent balance that began on or after March 1
- Landlord MUST submit required documents for a complete application
Cook County’s COVID-19 Recovery: Rental Assistance Program
Cook County’s Rental Assistance Program helps suburban Cook County residents who are having difficulty paying their rent as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It pays up to three months of overdue or future rent, and rental payments will be sent directly to landlords by the Housing Authority of Cook County. The application portal opens today, Mon., Aug. 10 and closes on Tues., Aug. 18.
- Live in suburban Cook County and rent your home
- Have past-due status on rental payments starting March 27
- Not be a recipient of other rental assistance programs
- Prove household income before March 27 was below the 80th percentile of the Area Median Income (AMI)
Illinois’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMA)
The Illinois Emergency Mortgage Assistance program will provide homeowners impacted by COVID-19 $15,000 for mortgage payment assistance. This program will begin accepting applications on Mon., Aug. 24. Find out more here.
- Your household income before March 1 was within the allowable limits
- You, or an adult member of your household, suffered a loss of income due to COVID-19
- You missed a mortgage on or after March 1
ComEd’s Customer-Assistance Package
ComEd has announced the availability of new and continued financial assistance options for customers affected by the pandemic, ranging from grants of up to $500 to more flexible payment options.
- Extended suspension of disconnections
- Bill assistance for eligible low-income customers
- More flexible payment arrangements
- Extended fee relief
- Flexible payment options
- CARE Financial Assistance Grants
- Supplemental arrearage assistance
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps eligible low-income households pay for home energy services, including heating, gas, propane and electricity. LIHEAP income eligibility is up to 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
Income eligible households may also submit a pre-application for Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding that can help pay for rent, temporary shelter, food, and other household necessities. CSBG income eligibility is also up to 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository’s Producemobile is scheduled to come to Evanston from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Tues., Aug. 11 and Aug. 25 at James Park.
Producemobile volunteers will distribute boxes of fresh produce, frozen pre-cooked meat, and/or assorted dairy products to Cook County residents while supplies last. There will be a drive-up line (preferred) and a walk-up line (bring cart), and numbered tickets will be given on arrival. Face coverings are required.
Entrepreneurship Emergency Assistance Program
The City of Evanston recently allocated an additional $50,000 to the Entrepreneurship Emergency Assistance Program. This program offers up to $2,500 in financial assistance for eligible expenses and up to $1,000 in permitting/licensing fees per business and is first-come, first-served. Businesses must be located in Evanston (including home-based) and have been in existence for at least one year prior to March 16, 2020. Learn more about the eligibility requirements, expanded eligible expenses, and application process in the program guidelines.
Lending for Evanston and Northwestern Development (LEND), a student-run, microfinance organization, is providing zero percent interest loans to small businesses in Evanston. Visit their website for the application and to learn more about their lending process.
Evanston’s Cultural Fund Grant Program
The Cultural Fund Grant Program, administered by the Evanston Arts Council, supports artistic excellence throughout the community by providing financial assistance up to $3,000 to community organizations focused in the arts and not-for-profit arts organizations for general operating costs or projects. Applications must be submitted via online forms, which are posted at cityofevanston.org/culturalfund, by Mon., August 31.
All information about the grants, guidelines and applications can be found by visiting cityofevanston.org/culturalfund.
Mental Health Services
AMITA St. Francis Hospital Behavioral Health Services
The City has contracted with AMITA Health St. Francis Hospital to provide education, mental health care, support, counseling and crisis intervention services. Residents may dial 847-448-8659 to access these free services.
Evanston Care Network
Click image to play Video about the Evanston Care Network
The Evanston Care Network is a free online platform, created by the City of Evanston and community partners, that allows residents to search for free and low cost local services including childcare, unemployment, job training, housing, and more!