Apply for Growing Home’s Paid Production Assistant Job Training Program

Apply by August 21st to join Growing Home’s paid Production Assistant job training program.

Growing Home’s urban organic farm is once again hiring for its Production Assistant job training program.

Based in Englewood, Growing Home is Chicago’s leading expert in farm-based training for people with employment barriers.

Growing Home knows that when people have jobs, they have financial stability in their lives. Financial stability helps people eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle.

Also, when communities have access to healthy food options, the overall well-being and health of the community improves.

Job Training Program Highlights

Growing Home’s paid Production Assistant job training program combines time spent working on the on-site urban farm with lessons on work readiness and environmental literacy, an emotional resilience curriculum, and ongoing support for career success post-graduation.

  • Applicants who are accepted begin with a job training program that pays $16/hour for 16-20 hours per week.
  • The job training program will be via remote learning due to COVID-19.
  • Applicants must be 18 years or older, unemployed, and Chicago residents.
  • Participants are meant to transition into permanent, full-time employment after graduation.

Program participants also have opportunities to earn professional certifications, gain access to free legal consultation for record sealing and expungement, and receive the support of a case manager available to provide referrals for supportive services.

COVID-19 Considerations

Growing Home will continue to facilitate the 2020 program as a blended virtual and in-person curriculum.

  • Farm-based portions of the program will still be held on-site with heightened health and safety measures.
  • All traditionally classroom-based lessons will be facilitated virtually over Zoom.

Attached to this email is an updated Production Assistant Job Description that provides more detail on exactly what the blended on-site/remote job training program will look like.

Applying

Application Deadline for Cohort 3: August 21st, 2020

The application process will be run entirely remotely. It is outlined at the end of the Job Description flyer.

If you have any questions about the remote application process or the program, you can reach out to Amelia Nawn, Growing Home’s Program Operations Coordinator, at anawn@growinghomeinc.org

See this link for more details and check out the flyers below!


Important P-EBT and SNAP Updates: Apply for P-EBT Today!

Illinois households can now apply for P-EBT financial assistance until 8/31! (Plus important SNAP updates)

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) Extended to 8/31

Does your family have school aged children? If so, you can still apply for Pandemic EBT (P-EBT), which will provide you with financial assistance!

  • The deadline to apply for P-EBT has recently been extended to August 31st.
  • P-EBT provides financial assistance to families with school aged children.
    • Families receive an EBT card that can be used offset the cost of meals that would have been consumed at school.
    • P-EBT provides the value of school meals at the rate of $5.70 per child per school day.
  • Please download the P-EBT Guide below and share with community members who may be eligible for P-EBT.

SNAP Recertification Extension

Did you recently receive a SNAP Recertification Letter from the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS)? If so, please read on!

  • Illinois households that were scheduled to have their SNAP recertification in July and August 2020 will automatically have their SNAP certification period extended 6 months.
    • If you were going to be recertified in July, your recertification will be extended to January 2021.
    • If you were going to be recertified in August, your recertification will be pushed back to February 2021.
  • Unfortunately, IDHS already sent some recertification letters out.
  • Your benefits will not expire if you received a recertification letter for July or August 2020.

Maximum SNAP Benefits

  • All Illinois households receiving SNAP benefits will receive the maximum SNAP benefit for July and August.

IDHS Offices Reopening

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is starting to reopen local offices to client services.

However, IDHS still urges clients to use phone and online options to get help whenever possible.

Authorized community organizations are continuing to help households apply for SNAP over the phone.

For information on how to apply for SNAP online or over the phone, check out our blog post.

Chicago COVID-19 Rental Assistance: Apply by August 14th

COVID-19 Rental and Mortgage Assistance applications will now be accepted until Monday, August 14th at 11:59PM.

Photo by Ryan Maia

The City of Chicago recently announced an additional $25 million in COVID-19 rent and mortgage relief funding this month for Chicagoans impacted by coronavirus.

Deadline: COVID-19 Rental and Mortgage Assistance applications will be accepted from Monday, July 27 at 10:00AM until Friday, August 14th at 11:59PM.

Note: The original deadline was Monday, August 10th. It has been extended to Friday, August 14th.

A lottery (randomized) system will be used to select applications that will receive funding through this program.

This is intended to create a level equity and fairness. A first come, first serve system would favor applicants who happen to be more experienced using the Internet or who have all the required documents readily available.

Since a lottery system will be used, applicants who apply first will not receive higher priority.


Apply

To learn more and apply online, click here.

You can also apply in person at one of six Chicago Community Service Centers:

  1. Englewood Community Service Center
    • 1140 West 79th Street, Chicago, IL 60620, 312-747-0200
    • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  2. Garfield Community Service Center
    • 10 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, IL 60612, 312-746-5400
    • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  3. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Center
    • 4314 South Cottage Grove, Chicago, IL 60653, 312-747-2300
    • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  4. North Area Community Service Center
    • 845 West Wilson Avenue, Chicago, IL 60640, 312-744-2580
    • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  5. South Chicago Community Service Center
    • 8650 South Commercial Avenue, Chicago, IL 60617, 312-747-0500
    • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  6. Trina Davila Community Service Center
    • 4312 West North Avenue, Chicago, IL 60639, 312-744-2014
    • Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Deadline: COVID-19 Rental and Mortgage Assistance applications will be accepted from Monday, July 27 at 10:00AM until Monday, August 14th at 11:59PM.


More Info

Required Documents: The City of Chicago will ask for documentation to verify identity, social security number, income amount, and proof of housing. For more information about required documents, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions: For answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program, click here.

Meal Sites for Families in Need This Week

A list of locations offering free meals for families in need this week in response to program stoppages

Photo credit: Chicago Mayor’s Office

This blog post was adapted from this article by Block Club Chicago.

Chicago Public Schools suspended its free meal program on Monday, June 1st, but the program will return Tuesday, June 2nd. Here’s a list of CPS meal sites. All previously scheduled meal deliveries will still be delivered. People who want to sign up for future deliveries from CPS can call 773-553-KIDS.

In response to food program stoppages, neighborhood groups and local restaurants are coming together to offer relief. Here is a list of locations offering free meals for families in need this week.

  • The 40th Ward Neighbor Network will deliver meals from CPS schools to families that need them Monday, according to Ald. Andre Vasquez. You can sign up to help here.
  • Humboldt Park Montessori, 2540 W. Division St., will have bagged lunches for families needing food starting at 12:15pm until they run out.
  • The Pilsen Food Pantry was calling for volunteers to help with additional food distribution Monday.
  • Cesar’s Killer Margaritas, 3166 N. Clark St. is distributing boxed meals for families in need from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in light of the CPS news. “We ask you practice social distance, and have a face mask,” the restaurant’s owners posted on Facebook.
  • Urban Grill Chicago, 1132 W. Wilson Ave., is offering free lunches to CPS students from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Christ Lutheran Church at 3253 W. Wilson Ave is providing food for families. If you can donate, you can bring by groceries before 1 p.m. The most useful items are bread, sandwich toppings, peanut butter & jelly, rice, soups, non-perishables, microwavable meals and fruits (other than apples).
  • The Rogers Park Community Response Team is working with local food pantries and restaurants for CPS families in need of food assistance. Those in need can contact the response team’s hotline at 773-831-7668.
  • A small group of people are giving away prepared and canned food 1-3 p.m. Monday ay 3000 N. Kedzie Ave.
  • 39th Ward Alderman Samantha Nugent’s office is also working with neighbors in need of food assistance. Please call her office at 773-736-5594 if you or someone you know is in need.
  • New Life Community Church at 3729 W. Leland Ave. is giving out food, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
  • Mexican restaurant Mi Tocaya — in partnership with Logan Square Neighborhood Association and The Power of 10 initiative — is giving out free meals to  Logan Square families in need each week. On Tuesday, the giveaways start at 11 a.m. at Monroe Elementary, 3651 W. Schubert Ave. Check lsna.net for a full pickup schedule.
  • Teachers and staff at Brentano Math & Science Academy, 2723 N. Fairfield Ave., are giving out food. Contact: (773) 534-4100

(Updated) P-EBT: Relief for Households with School-Aged Children

Illinois’ Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT) will provide 316,000 Illinois households with additional funds to replace the meals children can’t access while schools are closed via LINK cards.

UPDATE: The P-EBT application deadline in Illinois has been extended to August 31st!

For more information about recent P-EBT and SNAP updates this August, please see this blog post.

Due to COVID-19, schools across Illinois have been closed. As a result, families with children who got meals at school have been deprived of food.

In response, Illinois’ Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program (P-EBT) is providing 316,000 Illinois households with additional funds to replace the meals children can’t access while schools are closed.

Families have to apply for SNAP or P-EBT by July 15th August 31st to get any P-EBT. The state will no longer accept P-EBT applications after August 31st. Note: Previously, the deadline to apply for P-EBT was July 15th. That deadline was extended by IDHS.

Note: When applying for P-EBT, you are not required to enter a Social Security Number (SSN)! The application will ask for your SSN, but this is optional. However, inputting your SSN (if you have one) will allow your application to be processed more quickly.

Table of Contents

A Visual Guide to Applying for P-EBT
How much will families receive?
Who is eligible?
How can I apply?
Updates to this Post

A Visual Guide to Applying for P-EBT

Return to Table of Contents

How much will families receive?

  • UPDATE: For families who were enrolled in free and reduced price meals in March, if they enroll in SNAP or P-EBT in June, they will get P-EBT benefits retroactive to March – approximately $342 worth of benefits.
    • CPS families are automatically enrolled in free and reduced price meals. Therefore, all CPS families are eligible to receive P-EBT benefits retroactive to March.
  • P-EBT provides an EBT card that can be used at authorized retailers to offset the cost of meals that would have been consumed at school.
  • P-EBT provides the value of school meals at the rate of $5.70 per child per school day.

Return to Table of Contents

Who is eligible?

All CPS families qualify for P-EBT Benefits, but must submit an application for P-EBT if they are not enrolled in SNAP!

  • Households with children enrolled in free or reduced-price school meals, or with a child attending a school that provides all meals for free, can apply directly for P-EBT.
  • Households at or below 185% of the federal poverty guideline but who are not receiving SNAP or free or reduced-price school meals should first call their child’s school to enroll in free or reduced-price meals and then apply for P-EBT.
    • CPS families do not need to do this. They should apply directly for P-EBT.
  • Current SNAP participants are automatically eligible for P-EBT and should see the benefit increase on their LINK card.

P-EBT will be in place until August 31st.

Info for Immigrants and Refugees:

  • The public charge test does not consider receipt of P-EBT benefits. Using P-EBT benefits will not impact a parent or child’s immigration status.
  • Undocumented households with school-aged children are eligible for P-EBT.
  • A Social Security Number (SSN) is not required to apply for P-EBT. The application asks applicants for their SSN, but this is an optional question.

Return to Table of Contents

How can I apply?

  • The deadline to apply for P-EBT in Illinois is now August 31st.
  • Current and newly approved SNAP recipients will automatically see these benefits deposited on their LINK Card.
  • Those not currently on SNAP will have to complete a simplified application and if approved will be mailed a LINK card. This application can be completed through the ABE Online Application system. Approved applicants will receive a LINK card in the mail.

To apply for P-EBT directly through IDHS, use the ABE Online Application system or call 800-843-6154. There’s also a paper application that can be filled out and faxed or emailed to IDHS – links to the paper application can be found below.

If you have any questions for IDHS, issues applying, or are wrongfully denied P-EBT benefits, you can contact IDHS by emailing dhs.fcs.pebt@illinois.gov.

Legal Aid Chicago can help you apply for P-EBT!

  • Call them at (312) 347-8342 for help.
  • Assistance is available in all languages (including Spanish).
  • For more information on Legal Aid Chicago’s Public Benefits Helpline, click here.

The Illinois Hunger Coalition can also help you apply for P-EBT!

  • Call them at 1-800-359-2163 for help.
  • Assistance is available in multiple languages (including Spanish).
  • For more information on the Illinois Hunger Coalition’s Hunger Hotline, click here.

Return to Table of Contents


Updates to this Post

  • Updated 8/5/20 with P-EBT application deadline extension to August 31st.
  • Updated 6/23/20 with IDHS P-EBT email address and Illinois Hunger Hotline for help with P-EBT applications in most languages.
  • Updated 6/19/20 with new deadline: July 15th 2020. Also clarified the fact that applicants are not required to use a Social Security Number.
  • Updated 6/8/20 with info about retroactive benefits and applying by June 30th
  • Updated 5/26/2020 with info about how to apply and graphics in Spanish and English

Return to Table of Contents

Growing Home Job Training Program Accepting Applications

Growing Home’s urban organic farm is currently hiring for its Production Assistant job training program.

Growing Home’s urban organic farm is currently hiring for its Production Assistant job training program.

Based in Englewood, Growing Home is Chicago’s leading expert in farm-based training for people with employment barriers. They know that, when people have jobs, they have economic stability in their lives; this stability allows for healthy people and families. And when communities have access to healthy food options, the overall well-being and health of the residents improves.

Growing Home’s job training program combines time spent working on the on-site urban farm with lessons on work readiness and environmental literacy, an emotional resilience curriculum, and ongoing support for career success post-graduation.

Program Highlights:

  • Applicants who are accepted begin with a job training program that pays $16/hour for 16-20 hours per week.
  • The job training program will be via remote learning due to COVID-19.
  • Applicants must be 18 years or older, unemployed, and Chicago residents.
  • Participants are meant to transition into permanent, full-time employment after graduation.

Program participants also have opportunities to earn professional certifications, gain access to free legal consultation for record sealing and expungement, and receive the support of a case manager available to provide referrals for supportive services.

Last Day to Submit an Application: Friday, June 12th 2020

See this link for more details and check out the flyers below!


Job Training Program Flyers

Unemployment Benefits Now Available to Gig Workers, 1099 Workers, and other Nontraditional Workers

Nontraditional workers whose businesses have been shuttered by the stay at home order can now apply for unemployment benefits through the State of Illinois’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.

The information below was adapted from this article by Block Club Chicago.

Nontraditional workers whose businesses have been shuttered by the stay at home order can now apply for unemployment benefits through the State of Illinois’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.

Those who qualify for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program must first file a regular unemployment claim online or over the phone. Governor Pritzker has recommended people file online.

Once the regular unemployment claim is denied by the regular system, the applicant can then apply for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.

Click here for the Block Club Chicago article on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.

Emergency Grants for Individuals and Families Experiencing Homelessness

On May 11, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless will launch a mutual aid fund providing one-time emergency grants of up to $500 to individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) hopes to quickly process applications and distribute funds to those hit hardest by COVID-19 and its economic impact. The fund will be overseen and led by a committee of grassroots leaders with lived experience of homelessness.

Individuals interested in applying can apply online or over the phone beginning Monday, May 11 at 9 a.m. through Friday, May 15 at 5 p.m. 

  • Access to the application will made available on the home page of the CCH website from 5/11 at 9am until 5/15 at 5pm.
  • To apply over the phone, individuals can call and speak to an operator at (312) 641-4148 between 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Outside of those hours, people can leave a message and will receive a return call to fill out the application.
  • The online application is available in Spanish, and Spanish-speaking phone operators can be reached at the above number.

For more information, please visit this webpage or view the flyers below.


CommRx: A Free Community Referral Platform

Register for NowPow’s free CommRx referral platform to see which agencies are continuing to operate in your area during COVID-19.

Do you want to make sure you refer community members to organizations that are still open during the COVID-19 crisis?

NowPow is constantly updating the operating hours and services of community organizations in Chicago. Register for NowPow’s free CommRx referral platform to see which agencies are continuing to operate in your area.

Continue reading “CommRx: A Free Community Referral Platform”