Illinois residents who are struggling financially may qualify for help with bills. Financial assistance programs, sponsored by the federal government, charities and, community outreach. Working together, they bring aid and stabilization to the community.
You can locate assistance in all Illinois cities and counties listed below, including the city of Chicago and Rockford. In addition to the state and government assistance programs noted below, find organizations and charities in Illinois that may be able to help you pay bills, rent, a free box of food or government grants, medical care, and other social services.
Illinois Assistance Programs that Help with Bills
LIHEAP or the Low Income Home Energy Assitance Program is designed to help those in low-income households pay for their energy services, especially their heat in the winter. Eligibility levels are determined annually, and your application for the program is based on several factors such as income, location, household size, and fuel type.
Your grant goes towards one of several different utilities such as Ameren Illinois, Peoples Gas/North Shore Gas, ComEd, and Nicor Gas. Applications are evaluated, and grants are given out on a first-come, first-serve basis. The current application period is open until June 30, 2021, or until the funding runs out.
Phone Number: 1 ( 877 ) 411 – 9276 OR ( 217 ) 785 – 2533
2. Atmos Energy
Atmos Energy has a non-profit, community action agency that helps pay gas bills for those who cannot afford it. Their program, Share the Warmth, is run by community donations, so funds are limited at times. You can apply for the Share the Warmth grant by calling the Community and Economic Development Association. Atmos Energy also has a few other options if you are struggling to pay your natural gas bill.
For instance, through your Account Center with Atmos Energy and under the Payment Assitance tab, you can set up an installment plan. While this does not provide you with actual money to pay off your gas bill, it does give you more time to pay the bill through smaller, more affordable installments.
Atmos Customer Service Phone Number: ( 888 ) 286 – 6700
Share the Warmth Phone Number: ( 800 ) 571 – 2332
3. Free Child Care Assistance Program
Low-income child care assistance is available to families. The Illinois Child Care Government Assistance Program provides free or low-cost childcare services, depending on your income. You can receive a childcare grant for government or private centers. 800-843-6154. (more)
4. Good Samaritan Initiative
The Good Samaritan Initiative is a program run by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. This program is designed for Illinois community members who have had services turned off at their house. Through the program, people can apply to receive balance assistance.
If you qualify, you will only have to pay 20%, or up to 250 dollars, of your remaining balance to get utilities restored. This program is for people who have a balance that is too high to be covered by Illinois’ Low Income Energy Assitance Program (LIHEAP). To apply, you need to contact your local community action agency. You can find your local agency through the website provided below.
Phone Number: ( 800 ) 252 – 2923
5. Rebuilding Together
Rebuilding Together is a charitable organization that assists families that need to prepare their home for inclement weather but may not have the capability to afford to do so at this moment. This could be due to previous damage or simply out of precaution. Families with moderate income or less can apply and receive materials and installation services for different things, such as insulation, weather stripping, and caulking.
Phone Number: ( 618 ) 876 – 4578
6. Housing Choice Vouchers
You can receive housing assistance through HUD. Low-income families, seniors and disabled may qualify for financial vouchers to help pay rent. Applicants can choose any place that accepts Housing Choice vouchers. The landlord is paid directly by the PHA for the applicant. Any remaining rent the family is responsible for paying. (more)
7. Warm Neighbors Cool Friends
Warm Neighbors Cool Friends is a home weatherization improvement program that covers the cost of weatherization for low to moderate-income families and senior citizens. This program is primarily designed for those who cannot qualify for the federal or state heating assistance programs.
They also provide bill payment assistance to some customers. Once again, the program is for customers who do not usually qualify for state or federal heating assistance at up to 150-200 percent of poverty. If you are eligible, you can receive up to 700 dollars a year to help cover your energy costs.
Phone Number: 1 ( 888 ) 690 5700
8. People’s Resource Center
The People’s Resource Center offers a wide range of different assistance programs. First, they have a food pantry that offers fresh food and quality food to those struggling to meet their families’ nutritional needs. They also provide emergency rent and mortgage assistance, to those at risk of losing their home. They have a clothes closet that provides clothing for men, women, and children for all seasons, especially for the harsh winters.
Finally, they have programs ranging from an adult literacy program to a job assistance program that can help you find a job and get back on your feet. No matter your specific need, the People’s Resource Center probably has a program or can give you a referral to someone who can help. So they are a good place to start. They have offices in Wheaton (8 AM to 5 PM) and offices in Westmont (8 AM to 3:30 PM).
Phone Number: ( 630 ) 682 – 5402
9. St. Vincent de Paul Center
St. Vincent de Paul Center is a group based in Chicago that works to assist in a number of different ways. They provide food for the community through local and mobile food pantries, and local community dinners. They also provide clothing through thrift store vouchers, to the St. Vincent de Paul Giving Store. This includes winter coat drives. As far as financial assistance, St. Vincent de Paul Center provides help to pay for rent and utilities and help people find housing.
They also will be able to refer you to local shelters or housing authorities if needed. Finally, they have programs to help with transportation and medical expense assistance. No matter what kind of assistance you are looking for, the St. Vincent de Paul Center could be a good place to start because of the sheer variety of assistance programs they offer.
Phone Number: ( 773 ) 779 – 6700
Address: 12731 South Wood Street, Blue Island, Illinois
WORKS or Wayne-White Operation Roundup Kare and Share program is a charitable program that allows their customers to round up their electric bills. They provide grants to low-income families. These grants are available to individuals and 501(c)3 organizations. Those who apply must live within their coverage area. Also, you must be able to provide documentation as evidence for consistent, uninterrupted residency in the area for a minimum of 12 months or more.
Applications are sent to the board members and reviewed quarterly. If an application is approved, a check will be sent to the recipient within a week of the date of approval. These grants can be used to help pay medical bills, fix housing damage, meals on wheels, educational scholarships, and more. Grants for individuals can go up to $2500 based on need and available funding.
Phone Number: ( 618 ) 842 – 2196
11. Humanitarian Service Project
The Humanitarian Service Project has two main parts. One is designed to help senior citizens, and the other is designed to help children. The senior citizens’ project delivers groceries and other hygiene projects directly to their homes. Groceries include assorted fruits and vegetables, meat, bread, and non-perishables.
They will also deliver pet food and birthday cupcakes and work to meet more extensive needs such as vacuums, lift chairs, wheelchairs, and microwaves. The child program provides children with food along with a birthday box and school supplies. The program both works to combat food insecurity and provide children with some fun.
Phone Number: (630 ) 221 – 8340
12. Chicago Emergency Housing Assistance Program
The Chicago Department of Family and Support has an Emergency Rental Assitance Program that provides residents financial assistance to prevent homelessness. This program works to help families who are facing possible eviction and brings stabilization to their living situation.
To receive assistance from this program, the family must be at immediate risk of homeless. Also, they must be able to provide documentation for a temporary economic crisis. Another criteria for help is they have to prove they can afford rent in the future. A documented crisis includes loss of income, fire, flood, foreclosure, court-ordered eviction, or domestic violence.
Illinois Housing Assistance Program Locations
Phone Number: ( 312 ) 747 – 0200
Address: 1140 W. 79th Street
Phone Number: ( 312 ) 746 – 5400
Address: 10 S. Kedzie Avenue
Phone Number: ( 312 ) 747 – 2300
Address: 4314 S. Cottage Grove Avenue
Phone Number: ( 312 ) 744 – 2580
Address: 845 W. Wilson Avenue
Phone Number: ( 312 ) 747 – 0500
Address: 8650 S. Commercial Avenue
Phone Number: ( 312 ) 744 -2014
Address: 4312 W. North Avenue
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