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.

Chicago COVID-19 Rental Assistance: Apply by August 10th

COVID-19 Rental and Mortgage Assistance applications will be accepted until Monday, August 10th 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 Monday, August 10th at 11:59PM.

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.


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 10th 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.

Expanded Financial Relief for Illinoisans

Illinois households with income up to 200% of the federal poverty level are now eligible to receive assistance with utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food, and other household necessities.

The State of Illinois just authorized an expansion of the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program. This expansion will help Illinoisans get emergency assistance to cover costs of utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food, and other household necessities.

Households with income up to 200% of the federal poverty level are now eligible to receive financial assistance. Increased income eligibility thresholds aim to assist additional households needing support due to COVID-19.

Here are the services covered by this newly expanded financial relief:

Here is the income eligibility chart for these expanded services:

Family Size
(total number in household)
30-Day Income
Total to Meet Eligibility​
Add $747 monthly income per person above 4 people

This new funding means approximately 1 million more residents are now eligible for this program – with about 3.5 million residents eligible in total. For an average family, that amounts to hundreds of dollars.

What documentation do I need to prove eligibility? For each household member, please have the following documents ready to confirm eligibility with your LAA or CAA:

  • Social security card
  • Proof of past 30-day income (such as a paystub, check, or copy of check showing fixed income amount [e.g. SSA, VA, DHS benefits] or other proof of documentation for any income source)
  • Utility bill if seeking utility bill assistance or lease if seeking rental assistance

Residents seeking emergency relief can visit to determine their eligibility and submit a pre-application.

COVID-19 Relief Fund for Immigrant Families in Illinois

The COVID-19 Immigrant Family Support Project will provide funds to low-income immigrants in Illinois who are not eligible for the federal stimulus package, unemployment insurance, or public benefits.

UPDATE: According to ICIRR, the $2 million in funds have been exhausted. ICIRR is no longer accepting applications for emergency assistance.

Through a partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) has launched the COVID-19 Immigrant Family Support Project.

This project will provide relief funds to one of the most underserved populations of the COVID-19 crisis: low-income immigrants who live in Illinois who are not eligible for the federal stimulus package, unemployment insurance, or public benefits.

Recipients of these funds will not be subject to Public Charge.

How to Apply

Applicants will have to contact selected community-based organizations, who will screen applicants, determine eligibility, and assist in the application process.

Immigrant households should text “COVIDIL” to 52886 to receive more information and updates. Applications will be accepted until June 30th or when funds run out.

For information on how to apply, go to or text “COVIDIL” to 52886. Please also see the infographics at the bottom of this blog post for more information.


  • You must not be eligible for federal stimulus, unemployment insurance, or public benefits.
  • You must live in the state of Illinois.
  • You have experienced income disruption due to COVID-19.
  • Priority will be given to households with income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line. Please see the Income Guidelines infographic below for more details.





Income Guidelines

Get Your Stimulus Check can help take you get your stimulus payment as quickly as possible.

Most Illinoisans are eligible for Economic Impact Payments from the federal government. Even if you have no income you are eligible, but you might have to take action to receive your check.

You could receive up to $1,200 ($2,400 for a married couple) and $500 for each eligible dependent. can help take you through each step so you can get your payment as quickly as possible. It provides step-by-step instructions on how to secure your stimulus check and answers common questions you may have.

Also, the recently IRS announced that it will begin adding 3,500 telephone representatives to answers questions about stimulus checks. People can call (800) 919-9835 with their stimulus check related questions. Flyer: