COVID-19 Resource Guide

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While we navigate the crisis of COVID-19, it is imperative that we listen to Governor Pritzker, Mayor Lightfoot, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and health officials. And it is important that we consider the health of our society as a whole as we all make temporary changes to our day-to-day lives. Our team has compiled a resource guide below with resources on accessing food, senior services, health care, housing assistance, unemployment insurance, how to help small businesses, immigration services, legal aid, activities for children, and how you can help our community during this pandemic.

This won’t be easy, and we will all have to sacrifice, but we can get through this together. Together, we are strong.

Resource Guide

For more information on coronavirus, please consult the CDC website here.

Additional background information:

TESTING

City of Chicago testing information here

Cook County testing information here

Will County testing information here.

FOOD

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is operating over 400 food distribution sites across greater Chicagoland. Look here for locations, times and more information.

Casa Catalina Basic Human Needs Center (4537 S. Ashland Ave, Chicago): Catholic Charities food pantry serving Back of the Yards and surrounding neighborhoods since 1990. Currently open and distributing pre-packed bags of food; requesting donations of frozen meat and nonperishable food items. No clothing please. Hours are Tuesday 9:30-11:30a and 1:00-3:00p, Wednesday 1:00-5:30p, Thursday 10:00-11:30a and 1:00-3:00p. Se habla español. First-come, first-served.

Closed Loop Farms at The Plant has launched an online store to bring the farmers’ market to your door, offering home delivery of local food products made and grown in Back of the Yards at The Plant and beyond.  Orders are handled by a team well-versed in safe food handling practices; direct delivery without need for a third-party service adds reassurance that orders are safely fulfilled.

Greater Bridgeport Mutual Aid, a network of neighbors and volunteers, is providing grocery and supply drop off, connections to hyper-local resources, and check-ins. To request aid, check here.

Chicago Public Schools are providing meals Monday through Friday, 8:00a-1:00p. Families may pick up three days worth of meals for every child in their household. ID is not necessary. More information here, and map of meal pick-up-sites here.

SENIOR SERVICES

Area supermarkets are operating dedicated hours for seniors to shop without crowds. Reach out to your local store to enquire about shopping hours for seniors or high-risk individuals.

There are also grocery delivery services including Instacart and PostMates in addition to local grocery store delivery.

For neighbors who need help affording groceries/Meals on Wheels programs

  • In Chicago, people 60 and up should call 312-744-4016
  • Suburban Cook County: 
    • Resources here for Palos, Lemont, Orland and Worth Townships 
    • More resources here for Berwyn, Lyons, Lemont, and Worth Townships
    • You can also connect with Aging Care Connections at 708-354-1323 to connect with resources in the area.
  • In Will County, people 60 and up should call 815-740-4225 or consult here for more information
  • In DuPage County, people 60 and up should sign up online here
  • The Greater Chicago Food Depository operates over 400 pickup locations in the greater Chicago area. For locations and hours of operation call 773-247-3663.

HEALTH

Pharmacy Resources

Most major pharmacies are offering prescription delivery services. Contact your pharmacy for further details. 

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. For mental health resources, check here

For local mental health resources, please check the National Alliance for Mental Illnes (NAMI), here.

It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster. Everyone reacts differently, and your own feelings will change over time. Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself and your family. Self-care during an emergency will help your long-term healing. For more information on self-care and emotional health, check here.

CareLink

Cook County Health (CCH) system treats undocumented people living within Cook County, which includes the City of Chicago. CCH is a public health system with a strong charity program called CareLink, for people who are uninsured or undersinsured, including undocumented immigrants. 

CareLink is accepted in all health clinics and hospitals within CCH. Those with CareLink do not have to worry about any medical bills.

Check here for a list of CCH hospitals and primary care clinics. For billing and insurance questions, check here.

Charity Care/Hospital Financial Assistance

All public hospitals in Illinois are required to offer financial assistance to uninsured individuals who meet certain income requirements. If you are an uninsured Illinois resident and meet the income eligibility guidelines, you can apply for financial assistance for free or discounted care based on family size and income. Hospitals’ financial assistance programs may apply only to the hospital charges.

Patient must:

  • Be uninsured
  • Live in Illinois
  • Have an income 200% federal poverty level or below 
  • Have applied for any discount or programs that they may be eligible for (such as Medicaid, etc)
  • Received medically necessary health care services exceeding $300 in any one inpatient admission or outpatient encounter

Access Living has put together an entire resource guide for people with disabilities and those who are immuno-compromised to get through COVID-19. To view their guide, check here.

HOUSING, HOMEOWNERS, AND RENTERS

Many folks either lost jobs or can not work due to illness right now and are worried about paying bills. 

You can find information about rental assistance below.

Housing assistance and shelters are available as well:

  • MorningStar Mission Ministries’ Shelter in Joliet is accepting women and families. Call for more information at 815-722-5780.
  • Metropolitan Family Services is accepting people in its domestic violence shelter and also has a 24-hour domestic violence hotline
  • Housing Action Illinois does not provide direct assistance to people looking for affordable housing, but they have a full resource guide available on their website.
  • To find a homeless shelter near you, check here.

For domestic violence survivorts

The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached by calling 800-799-7233, or 800-799-7233 for TTY, by texting LOVEIS to 22522, or by chatting on its website. The hotline’s website also has a post with suggestions for survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Additional resources:

Utilities and Debt

  • There is a statewide moratorium on utility disconnections for individuals experiencing financial hardship. More information here

Many other municipalities have suspended water shutoffs and may be offering assistance as well. For more information, please get in touch directly with your municipality.

UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE

Unemployment benefits may be available to those whose job loss is attributed to COVID-19 through the State of Illinois. To seek more information and apply, click here.

Brave Space Alliance (773) 333-5199), offers virtual assistance for those applying for unemployment and other benefits.

Legal Aid Chicago, which provides free legal assistance in civil cases to Cook County residents living in poverty, has compiled an FAQ on paid sick leave. People who work for a Chicago or Cook County employer may be eligible for paid sick leave under the Chicago Paid Sick Leave and Cook County Earned Sick Leave Ordinances.

Assistance for domestic workers

National Domestic Workers Alliance is starting a Coronavirus Care Fund and also has a resource hub with other info for domestic workers. If you are a domestic worker, you can text RELIEF to 97779 to get updates from NDWA.

Assistance for hospitality workers

Assistance for union workers

The Chicago Federation of Labor is providing funds directly to union workers who lost their job due to COVID-19. They are providing essential resources to the individuals and households who are most impacted by the COVID epidemic such as emergency food, basic supplies, rent and mortgage assistance, utility assistance, and other costs. The funds are administered through $500 one-time payments to their union members that may not qualify for unemployment insurance or other support programs. To donate to their efforts, check here.

 

BUSINESS OWNERS

Small business owners in Illinois may be eligible for low-interest disaster relief loans due to COVID-19 through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Please check here for details.

Resource guide for Chicago small businesses here

The State of Illinois has set aside over $90 million for emergency relief to small businesses. For a full list of loans, grants, and other information, please check here.

For aid to businesses in Chicagoland, please check the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce website, linked here.

Small businesses are in need of our help at this time. Many restaurants and stores in IL03 are still open and offering pickup and delivery options. To see a guide of some small businesses, check here. For a guide to support local bookstores at this time, check here. Not all small businesses are included on this list, but many more are still open around our district.

IMMIGRATION

ICIRR has a comprehensive COVID resource guide for immigrants here.

The Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Joliet also has an immigrant support program. This location serves DuPage, Will, Kankakee, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, and Kendall counties. It assists with the following:

  • (Very) limited financial assistance for basic needs and for immigration fees that go to US Dept. of Homeland Security (DACA renewal, naturalization, green card, etc)
  • Provides referrals and education for other services and information about immigration
  • For more information and to request assistance, contact Laura Bohorquez, [email protected], 630-519-6533

LEGAL AID

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services staff are available via phone to provide pro bono legal help with issues ranging from child support and landlord-tenant disputes to how to write a will. Call 312-332-1624 or fill out the form on their website. CVLS also offers direction to other legal resources here.

The Metropolitan Tenants Organization crisis hotline is open; call 773-292-4988 for help with housing-related legal issues.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

If you are healthy, you can donate blood with the American Red Cross. For more information and to schedule a time to give blood, check here.