Emergency Funds Resources


COVID-19 Immigrant Family Support Project: The Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) have partnered to develop the Immigrant Family Support Project. Recently, the agencies announced that the initiative has been extended into December 2022. The project offers cash assistance to immigrants who:

  • Have lived in Illinois for at least six months
  • Make below 200% of the federal poverty line
  • Are NOT ELIGIBLE for ANY public benefits, including:
    • Federal Economic Impact Payments established to alleviate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Unemployment insurance
    • Social Security
    • Supplemental Security Income
    • TANF/WIC/SNAP or any other public assistance

The National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement: Financial Education Resources

The National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement has developed a document called “Helping Families Access Tax Credits and Stimulus Payments.” To access the content on special rules around tax credits related to COVID-19, stimulus checks, and more, click here.

Get My Payment Illinois Coalition: Training to Support Clients with Accessing Stimulus Checks

The Get My Payment Illinois Coalition is providing free training to nonprofit case managers to support clients still waiting for their stimulus checks. Participants will be trained to help people assess their eligibility for stimulus checks and tax credits, take the next steps, and file their own tax returns, even if they have never done it before. Trainings will be hosted on March 25, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., and March 31, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. To register for the March 25, 2021, event, click hereTo register for the March 31, 2021, event, click here.


Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation: Banks to Provide Free Check Cashing for Stimulus Checks

On January 7, 2021, the Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation announced that it has partnered with several banks in Illinois to provide services for unbanked Illinoisans seeking to cash their stimulus checks without incurring check cashing fees. Banks included in this partnership include: Bank of America, First Midwest, Fifth Third, Huntington, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and U.S. Bank. To read the full press release and learn more about this opportunity, click here.

  • ComEd Initiative: The Helping Hand Program: ComEd has launched The Helping Hand program in order to provide most in-need consumers a one-time grant of up to $300 towards a past due balance. Those that apply must have a combined household income for the 30 days prior to application (gross income for all household members, before taxes are deducted) at or below 250% of the federal poverty level and one of the following concerns:

    • An unexpected loss of income or reduction in income(including job loss or furlough)
    • Sudden illness to you or family member
    • Other stated COVID-19 impacts

    Please note that the program is available until funds are exhausted. To find out more information, click here.

  • City of Chicago: Rental Assistance Program: The City of Chicago has created the Rental Assistance Program (RAP) to support Chicago residents who are at risk of becoming homeless due to lost income or due to another emergency that prevents them from paying rent. The RAP is open to all Chicago residents regardless of legal immigration status. To clarify, rental assistance is not a “public-charge” benefit. Applications are due online on November 15, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. CST. To learn more about eligibility and to apply, click herePlease note: assistance in Spanish is available.

  • Stimulus Checks Resource: There are still many Illinoisans that have not received stimulus checks provided by the federal government. In particular, those that do not earn enough to file taxes are still eligible for the Economic Impact Payments. If you missed the July 15, 2020 deadline to file 2019 taxes, you can still receive a stimulus check. However, you must take action before October 15, 2020. For more information, click here.

  • Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund (ICRF): The United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, in collaboration with the Office of Governor, created the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund to raise funds and award grants to nonprofits across the state serving individuals, families, and communities enduring the greatest burden from the COVID-19 pandemic. For the final round of funding, the ICRF is seeking applicants:

    • Primarily focused on serving Black and/or Latinx communities outside of Cook and the Collar Counties (DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will)
    • Led by (or in meaningful partnership with organizations led by) Black and/or Latinx individuals. Successful applicants will have an innovative approach that provides basic needs and is designed to be sustainable

    The deadline to apply for Round 5 funding is July 24, 00 at 12:00 p.m. The ICRF will be hosting informational webinars about the application process on July 15, 2020, at 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. To register for the webinar, click hereFor more information about ICRF funding and eligibility, click here. Please send any questions regarding the application to icrf@cct.org.

  • Chicago Resiliency Fund: In collaboration with the City of Chicago, the Resurrection Project has developed the Chicago Resiliency Fund. This fund is giving money to those who are undocumented, people who are part of mixed-status families, dependent adults, people experiencing homelessness, people who were formerly incarcerated, college students, etc. Individuals must not have been eligible for federal stimulus checks to apply. To read more about this project, click here. To access the application, click here.

  • CARE Act Loans Information: In collaboration with Spectrum nonprofit services and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the 50 State Afterschool Network has created a document regarding the CARE Act Loans programs. Learn about the Emergency & Normal Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
    • Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program will open on Friday, April 3, 2020, through current Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders. SBA anticipates high demand for these funds, and in preparation, encourages you to reach out to your bank to determine whether they are an SBA lender and have tailored guidance for their customers and also to begin filling out your application and gathering any supporting documentation. A factsheet that outlines the eligibility requirements as well as the information to gather is available from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The application form can be found here.
  • Peace First COVID-19 Rapid Responses Grants: Peace First is launching a rapid response grant process to help young people around the world lead projects that address community impacts of COVID-19. Projects include: providing meals to elderly neighbors, creating digital mental health campaigns to support youth feeling isolated, etc. Rapid response grants are open to young people between the ages of 13-25, anywhere in the world, starting today. Click here to apply!
  • Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund: The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago have launched of a fund to help nonprofits address the impact of COVID-19 on local communities. The fund is called the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, and its main objective is:
    • To disburse funds raised by different types of community-based organizations, businesses, philanthropies, and individuals in the city to health and human services organizations across the region.
    • The funds will be used to provide access to emergency food and basic supplies, rent and mortgage assistance, utility assistance, direct financial assistance for household supplies, and nonprofit safety and operations assistance.
  • COVID-19 Emergency Funding Resources: Forefront has compiled a list of emergency funds and other initiatives that have been created across the state of Illinois to help our communities during the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here to access it.