COVID Relief Resources

Financial Support

Unemployment Benefits

  • As of September 4th, 2021 all federal pandemic benefit programs ended including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), but the standard unemployment benefits still remain active.

    • ​FAQs about expired/expiring federal programs. 

  • File for unemployment benefits at the following link and follow the steps listed on the site.

WIC

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

Undocumented immigrants are able to apply for these benefits. Learn more and apply online.

SNAP and Medicaid Benefits

Benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps, can be used to purchase groceries from local stores. Medicaid can help you access health insurance if you are uninsured. Eligibility is determined by household income. Apply directly through the IDES website, or get assistance from the Greater Chicago Food Depository Benefits Hotline (Mon-Fri, 8:30a-5p) at 773-843-5416. Visit the Department of Human Services’ website to use an interactive SNAP calculator.

 

There have been a number of laws that have passed expanding access to food assistance programs. The Greater Chicago Food Depository has compiled a number of resources to help people navigate the different programs for which they may be eligible:

Evictions

Non-Government Resources

  • The Lawyers Committee for Better Housing has also put together information for tenants facing an illegal lockout and may be able to provide legal assistance to income-eligible tenants. Learn more on their website here

  • Rentervention: is a program that can help tenants with housing issues by giving brief advice from volunteer attorneys, help write letters to your landlord, connect you with community resources, and teach you about renters' rights. 

  • The Metropolitan Tenants Organization: is a tenant advocacy group that maintains a tenant's rights hotline Monday-Friday, 1:00-5:00pm at 773-292-4988, in addition to other resources found on the website. 

  • Legal Aid Chicago: can potentially help those facing eviction or at risk of homelessness. 

City of Chicago

Federal

  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has complied an updated resource pool for rental and utility bill assistance programs.

 

Housing Assistance

  • Chicago's Department of Housing has compiled resources for renters who need help finding affordable homes or resolving landlord disputes. 

  • The City of Chicago Rental Assistance Program: financial assistance to Chicago residents to eligible individuals and families who are in danger of eviction.

  • Legal Aid Chicago: provides legal and assistance resources for housing, utility bills, and more.

  • Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing: can provide help with individuals facing eviction, foreclosure, housing discrimination, unsafe apartment conditions, unresponsive landlords, utility shutoffs, or tenant-landlord disputes. 

  • Community Service Centers: resources from shelter, food and clothing to domestic violence assistance, drug rehab, job training and prisoner re-entry services

  • ShelterList: directory of shelters that offer assistance to people experiencing homelessness and housing instability.

  • Housing Action Illinois: information and resources for housing and homelessness professionals

  • Mortgages: The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) offers hardship programs for homeowners whose loans are guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (Property owners with private lenders are encouraged to contact their lender to discuss options. Many lenders are offering forbearance programs as well.) 

  • The Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund (ILHAF) program, starting in April 2022, will accept applications from homeowners struggling to pay mortgages due to COVID-19 for relief grants of up to $30,000 to eliminate or reduce past-due mortgage and property tax payments.

Internet & Utility Information

Small Business & Restaurants

 Chicago is currently in Phase V of their reopening metrics

Resources for Small Business Supporters & Consumers

Resources for Small Business Owners

Business Counseling