CHICAGO –Governor George H. Ryan today announced the Department of Human Services (DHS) is distributing an additional $2 million to help prevent Illinoisans from becoming homeless.
The Homeless Prevention Program works to stabilize individuals and families in their homes or to shorten the amount of time they stay in shelters. It also offers assistance to people attempting to attain affordable housing. People who may be eligible for the program include households that are in imminent danger of eviction, foreclosure or those that are currently homeless.
“These federal funds will provide emergency assistance and other services for families who are at risk of becoming homeless, ” Governor Ryan said. "With the winter fast approaching, it is important to help find shelter for the homeless and to help prevent families from becoming homeless."
“If paying a month’s rent, a security deposit, or a utility bill can prevent a family from becoming homeless, it is a good return on the public investment,” said DHS Secretary Linda Reneé Baker. “The increase brings total funding this year to $5 million, which will be used to assist more than 14,000 households.”
These projects will be funded with federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) dollars. States are given federal funds to provide cash assistance and services to low-income families with children. In Illinois, thousands of families have left cash assistance because of employment, resulting in additional funds being available for homeless programs.
The grants will be distributed to not-for-profit organizations around the State to supplement their existing homeless prevention efforts.
Families who receive Homeless Prevention funding must be able to demonstrate an ability to meet their housing or utility payments based on current or anticipated income.