ILLINOIS — More funds have been allocated to assist low-income families in Illinois affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker appeared in Belleville Monday along with officials from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to announce an additional $90 million dollars would be made available through the CARES Act, to help families with food, rent, utility bills, medicine and other essential household services.
The funds are in addition to $185 million dollars already allocated through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the Community Services Block Grant program.
“We must take action to protect people as best we can from the financial challenges that COVID-19 have brought on,” said Pritzker.
Michael Negron, assistant director at the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said the pandemic has led to an extraordinary economic crisis.
“Our mission at DCEO has been to develop an initiative to support the businesses and the workers that keep our economy moving, but an economy that leaves behind our most vulnerable residents doesn’t move at all,” Negron said.
Bob Gallo, state director for AARP Illinois, said the funding will help senior citizens.
“We commend state and community leaders for recognizing the need to provide a crucial safety net to older adults, so that they can worry a little less about falling behind on utility, rent and other essential expenses,” he said.
Applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis until the funding is exhausted. In the coming weeks, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will partner with its network of 35 statewide Community Action Agencies to conduct outreach to high-need communities to inform them about the funding and how to apply.
The Center Square – Kevin Bessler