ELGIN, Ill. (KFVS) - Welcoming centers across Illinois were awarded $30 million to support communities facing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Governor JB Pritzker’s office, $18 million in funding will go towards housing and utility assistance for families in need, $4.5 million will be used to support employment and job training services and $4 million in funding will be used to provide health care education. The remaining $2 million will go towards a multilingual effort to reach Illinois residents eligible to receive support and $1.5 million will be used for technical assistance.
“Our Welcoming Centers play a vital role in our pandemic response and so much more. In fact, places like Centro de Información and the Spanish Community Center have been on the ground monitoring inequities in healthcare and alerting my administration to the needs of immigrant communities, especially in this time of need. Attention to marginalized groups continues to anchor my administration’s response to this pandemic. I want to emphasize that COVID-19 testing and treatment is free to all residents of Illinoisans, regardless of insurance or citizenship status,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “With the help of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, we gave $20 million worth of direct cash assistance to residents who weren’t eligible for the federal government’s stimulus program. Undocumented immigrants contribute billions of dollars in state and local taxes, and Illinois is proud to help more of our residents access the helping hand they deserve in this trying time...”
In addition to $30 million in CURES funding, IDHS received $30 million in the fiscal year 2021 budget for immigrant-related support services including $10 million to connect immigrants with critical services and citizenship support and $20 million for cash assistance for Illinoisans ineligible for the federal pandemic stimulus.
To be eligible for the cash assistance program, applicants must be an Illinois resident and experienced a financial hardship due to the current health crisis. Priority will be given to residents that are not eligible for any federal stimulus, unemployment insurance or public benefits due to their immigration status.
Illinois residents have until Oct. 19 to apply for cash assistance. You can click here for more information.
Immigrant and refugee support services are available at 17 welcoming centers across the state.