SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) Director Malcolm Weems today announced that the state will donate boots, coats, sleeping bags and other gear to help thousands of homeless individuals stay warm during the upcoming winter season. CMS will donate federal surplus supplies valued at $1.1 million to the homeless through charities, homeless shelters, churches and other humanitarian organizations who enrolled in the surplus program.
“As cold weather approaches, we want to do everything we can to help thousands of homeless individuals in Illinois, many of whom are veterans and seniors,” said Dir. Weems. “With the help of the U.S. General Services Administration, we have been able to donate millions of dollars’ worth of surplus property to organizations that provide critical services to people in need. We will continue to find ways in which our surplus program can help benefit communities.”
The Illinois State Agency for Surplus Property (ILSASP) redistributes, recycles or disposes of surplus state property and oversees the distribution of the federal GSA surplus property. Through the program, CMS will donate more than 2,700 cold-weather boots, as well as military boots, shoes, jackets, mittens, pants, overalls, thermal innerwear, sleeping bags, storage bags and parka liners for jackets and pants this winter.
“Part of the U.S. General Services Administration’s mission is to responsibly dispose of gently used federal property, and we work with both state and federal agencies to help them acquire items that enable them to serve local communities,” said Ann P. Kalayil, Regional Administrator for the U.S. General Services Administration. “In this case, we’re proud to work with the state of Illinois to make available to the state more than $1 million worth of re-purposed federal property, such as clothing and winter coats, which will help people stay warm this winter.”
In FY 2012, CMS received and allocated more than $36.4 million in surplus federal agency equipment such as office furniture, vehicles, machine-shop tools and other materials to Illinois police and fire departments, schools, townships, libraries, not-for-profit organizations and museums. CMS transfers taxpayer-funded equipment no longer needed by the Federal government to eligible organizations, as well as to certain under-served small businesses, thus enabling employers to keep equipment overhead low and potentially retain or hire new employees.
According to a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 2011 report, more than 15,000 individuals in Illinois are homeless. The Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) served approximately 55,000 individuals through its homeless prevention service programs in FY 2012 and the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) estimates that 1,300 veterans are currently homeless. CMS continues to increase awareness of its surplus program, especially for not-for profit organizations dedicated to serving underserved populations.
The Department currently has more than 1,000 organizations participating in the surplus program. The following organizations have requested winter supplies:
1. Belvidere/Boon County Food Pantry, Belvidere
2. The Salvation Army, Chicago
3. Chicago Chesed Fund, Lincolnwood
4. Emmanuel Faith Bible Christian Center, North Chicago
5. Grace Urban Ministries, Springfield
6. M.E.R.C.Y. Communities, Inc., Springfield
7. Salvation Army Corps Community Center, Springfield
8. Springfield Association of Retarded Citizens (SPARC), Springfield
9. Abundant Faith Ministry, Springfield
10. The Lighthouse Shelter, Marion
More information on Illinois’ surplus program is available at: http://cms.illinois.gov