Get Free Legal Help in Austin at Legal Aid Chicago’s Access to Justice Center

Need legal help? Legal Aid Chicago has a new office in Austin.

Legal Aid Chicago is now offering free in-person intake for common legal challenges at Westside Health Authority in Austin.


Where: 5422 W. Division St

When: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays 10am-4pm

What: Help with common legal problems, such as…

  • Bankruptcy & Debt Defense
  • Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
  • Evictions from Subsidized Housing
  • Expungement of Criminal Records
  • Foreclosure
  • SNAP/TANF & Medicaid
  • Unemployment & Wage Claims

Walk ins welcome, no appointment necessary

For more info, check out the flyer below or call 312-423-5904.

You can also apply for legal help by going to https://www.legalaidchicago.org/get-help/how-do-i-apply-for-legal-aid/.


Replacing Food Destroyed Due to Recent Wind Storms

If food you bought using SNAP was destroyed due to the recent wind storms, you can receive additional SNAP benefits.

The SNAP Program allows for additional SNAP benefits when food bought with SNAP benefits is destroyed in a disaster.

  • A disaster is a fire, flood, tornado, or other devastating event beyond the control of the unit.
  • Additionally, food can be replaced due to a power outage of at least 4 hours.
  • More details: PM 22-03-01

COMED is reporting that 127,00 customers experienced outages because of extreme weather with hurricane-force winds, in excess of 90 miles per hour, that resulted in severe damage across the Northern Illinois service territory.

SNAP recipients who lost food because of the recent wind storm power outages should complete, sign, and submit a Request for Replacement of Destroyed Food form.

  • Most Department of Human Services Family Community Resource Centers (FCRC) are closed.
  • The best way to submit this form is by email to the SNAP recipient’s local FCRC.
    • Click the links below to download the form in English and Spanish.
    • You can find your nearest FCRC using the table below.
  • A request for replacement SNAP must be submitted within 10 calendar days of the power outage
    • In the case of the recent wind storms, that would be AUGUST 20, 2020.

Cook County Family Community Resource Center Email Addresses:

FCRC #FCRC NeighborhoodFCRC Email Address
203Mid Southdhs.midsouthfcrc@illinois.gov
208Englewooddhs.englewoodfcrc@illinois.gov
212Woodlawndhs.woodlawnfcrc@illinois.gov
213Calumet Parkdhs.calumetpark@illinois.gov
218Southeastdhs.southeastfcrc@illinois.gov
226South Suburbandhs.southsuburbanfcrc@illinois.gov
236Roselanddhs.roselandfcrc@illinois.gov
201Ogdendhs.ogden@illinois.gov
202South Loopdhs.southloopfcrc@illinois.gov
204Northsidedhs.northsidefcrc@illinois.gov
209Special Unitsdhs.specialunitsfcrc@illinois.gov
228Lower Northdhs.lowernorthfcrc@illinois.gov
229West Suburbandhs.westsuburbanfcrc@illinois.gov
231Humboldt Parkdhs.humboldtparkfcrc@illinois.gov
233Northerndhs.northernfcrc@illinois.gov
237Northwestdhs.northwest.fcrc@illinois.gov
243North Suburbandhs.northsubfcrc@illinois.gov

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!


Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance from Illinois Housing Development Authority

The Illinois Housing Development Authority is offering emergency rental and mortgage assistance to help Illinois residents during COVID-19.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) will soon be offering emergency rental and mortgage assistance to help Illinois residents during COVID-19.

The Illinois General Assembly has dedicated $396 million in Coronavirus Relief Funding to IHDA to fund affordable housing grants for emergency rental assistance and emergency mortgage assistance.

When to Apply:

  • IHDA will accept Emergency Rental Assistance Program applications August 10 through August 21.
  • IHDA will accept Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program applications August 24 through September 4.

Please see below for more information, videos, and printable flyers on IHDA’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) and Emergency Mortgage Assistance (EMA) Programs.

Contents

Click a link below to quickly go to a specific section!

  1. Emergency Rental Assistance Program
  2. Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program
  3. ERA and EMA Background

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Summary

The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program will give $5,000 to renters impacted by COVID-19 for back rent and prepay through 2020.

  • IHDA will accept Emergency Rental Assistance Program applications August 10 through August 21.
  • You must have an unpaid rent balance that began on or after March 1, 2020 due to loss of income related to COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, please see the video links and flyers below or go to https://era.ihda.org/.

To apply, please click the button below.

Return to Table of Contents


Videos

Emergency Rental Assistance Video

Programa de Asistencia de Renta Video

Return to Table of Contents


Flyers




Emergency Mortgage Assistance

Summary

The Emergency Mortgage Assistance (EMA) program will provide homeowners impacted by COVID-19 up to $15,000 to reinstate their mortgage and prepay through 2020.

  • IHDA will accept Emergency Mortgage Assistance applications August 24 through September 4.
  • You must have a past due balance or a forbearance balance that began sometime on or after March 1, 2020 due to loss of income related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information, please see the videos and flyers below or go to https://ema.ihda.org/.

To apply, click the button below.

Return to Table of Contents


Videos

Emergency Mortgage Assistance Video

Asistencia Hipotecaria de Emergencia Vídeo

Return to Table of Contents


Flyers


Return to Table of Contents


ERA and EMA Program Background

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.

Community Organizations: Are you interested in receiving training on P-EBT outreach and how to talk to immigrant families about P-EBT? Do you have P-EBT questions your clients keep asking? If so, reach out to pif@povertylaw.org for free training.

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.

Lawndale Cares: Helpline and Financial Support

Lawndale Cares helping residents in Lawndale and surrounding neighborhoods find resources and meet their needs.

Lawndale resident sews masks at Stone Temple Missionary Baptist Church.
Picture Credit: Pidgeon Pagonis

The newly created Lawndale Cares Virtual Helpline is now helping residents in Lawndale and surrounding neighborhoods find local resources and meet basic needs.

  • The helpline is available to North Lawndale residents and those in nearby communities, including Little Village.
  • Residents can request help online by…
  • Residents can also call the helpline at 800-655-1626.
    • Volunteers and helpline staff are available 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday for immediate assistance.

Additionally, the Lawndale Cares mutual aid network has created The Compassion Fund for North Lawndale residents to get help paying for food, child care, transportation assistance and housing.


Check out this Block Club Chicago article for more details about these awesome grassroots resources.

Racial Equity and Hunger Resources

The Racial Equity and Hunger National Learning Network has an upcoming webinar, a podcast, and a website for organizations and individuals fighting hunger.

About Racial Equity and Hunger

Racial equity is fundamental to addressing hunger in our community. Without looking at hunger through a racial equity lens, we will have no hope of creating sustainable and just solutions to hunger.

“Racial equity is both a process that focuses on centering the needs, power and leadership of people of color, and the goal of achieving equal outcomes.”

Racial Equity and Hunger Learning Network
  • Communities of color (namely African American and Indigenous communities) are consistently 2-3 times more likely to experience hunger as their white counterparts.
  • This was the case even before the recession, and this disparity has only grown in the midst of COVID-19.
  • When it comes to food, race matters.

The Racial Equity and Hunger National Learning Network is a network of individuals, organizations, agencies and policy makers who care about ending hunger. We recognize that to achieve this goal, we must discuss race and apply a racial equity lens. The Northwest Food Partners Network is a member of this network.

Resources

The Racial Equity and Hunger National Learning Network has an upcoming webinar, a podcast, and a website that should serve as resources for organizations and individuals fighting hunger.


Upcoming Webinar: Identifying and Dismantling White Supremacy

Webinar series starts August 18th. Register here.

From August to November, the Racial Equity and Hunger Learning Network will host a 5-part webinar series on identifying and dismantling white supremacy.

This 5-part series will begin to equip participants with the tools, practices and language to feel confident speaking about white supremacy and related concepts (race, racism, anti-black racism, etc.), as well as in their ability to disrupt white supremacy and racism.

After the first four webinars, participants will have the opportunity to practice what it means to disrupt white supremacy with other Network members in their area.

The webinar series will conclude with a final webinar that will highlight the experiences of network members who started to implement these practices and help network members refine their toolbox to continue disrupting white supremacy.


Podcast: Race, Hunger and COVID-19 in African American Communities

With COVID-19, our country is seeing that communities of color are experiencing the impacts of hunger and the impacts of dying from the coronavirus at higher rates.

Many are not sure what to do and very much need guidance in how to apply a racial equity response in their programs, policies, and so forth.

The Racial Equity & Hunger National Learning Network Podcast is designed to educate, inspire and enable those interested in advancing racial equity and ending hunger through sharing experiences, expertise and recommendations from experts around the country.


The Racial Equity and Hunger Website

Learn more about the Racial Equity and Hunger Learning Network and access resources on racial equity and hunger by visiting https://www.racialequityhunger.org/.

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.

Unemployment Benefits Expiring? Apply for SNAP

If your Pandemic Unemployment Compensation is expiring soon, you should consider applying for SNAP.

If you received unemployment benefits during the pandemic, you likely receive Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, or PUC. PUC is scheduled to expire for all unemployment participants at the end of July.

This article contains information and resources on applying for SNAP benefits for both PUC recipients and community organizations that serve clients who have received PUC benefits.

Outreach Resources

What is Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC)?

PUC provides an additional unemployment benefits of $600 per week. This temporary increase will end on July 25, 2020. 

What can I do once my PUC benefits expire?

If you need additional help with purchasing groceries once your $600 per week from PUC stops coming in, you should consider applying for SNAP benefits.

Income Eligibility

Eligibility for SNAP is based on the income you received in the 30 days prior to the date of your application.  For many people, the additional income received through Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) put them over the income limit for SNAP eligibility. 

You can apply for SNAP as soon as your PUC benefits end. However, it is important to note that your first month of benefits will likely be $0 based on the income you received through PUC in the prior 30 days. 

Future months of benefits, however, will be based on your income without PUC.  (Illinois SNAP Policy Manual: PM 13-02-03: Income)

SNAP Income Limits

Below are the gross income limits for SNAP benefits.  If your income will be less than the listed amount after the Pandemic Unemployment Benefits (PUC) end, you may be eligible for SNAP Benefits.

SNAP Unit SizeMaximum Gross Income Standard (165%)
1 Person$1,718
2 Persons  2,326
3 Persons  2,933
4 Persons  3,541
5 Persons  4,149
6 Persons  4,757
7 Persons  5,364
8 Persons  5,972
9 Persons  6,580
10 Persons  7,188
Each Additional Member+608

Tips for a Smooth Application Process (for Community Organizations)

In order to ensure that IDHS has a clear understanding of the client’s financial situation at the time of application, we recommend providing the caseworkers with an explanation of the fact that the clients income will be decreasing. 

You can include a note on the fax cover page for a paper application, or in the comments section of the online application. 

Below is a sample text for the note:

Mr. Smith had previously been receiving Pandemic Unemployment Benefits in the amount of $600 per week in addition to his regularly scheduled unemployment benefits.  Beginning 7/25/2020, Mr. Smith will no longer be receiving the additional unemployment income, and will only be receiving his weekly benefit in the amount of $250.

Free Math and Reading Tutoring for CPS Students

This summer, Chicago Teen Mentors will be offering free tutoring in Math and Reading to rising 5th through 8th grade Chicago Public Schools students!

This summer, Chicago Teen Mentors will be offering free tutoring in Math and Reading to rising 5th through 8th grade Chicago Public Schools students!

Tutoring will be provided via Zoom Mondays through Saturdays.  

To sign up, families and teens can go to chicagoteenmentors.org.  

For more information, please contact chicagoteenmentors@gmail.com.

Please see and share the flyer below!