State-wide Illinois Recovery & Reinvestment efforts are under way, read more at Recovery.Illinois.gov.
Below are the Illinois Department of Human Services programs directly affected by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps)
Illinois residents who are enrolled in the SNAP program (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) will receive increased monthly assistance under the federal recovery bill. Approximately 600,000 low-income Illinois families will receive this increased assistance, which will allow them to purchase more food and nutritional items. Find out more about the SNAP/FoodStamp program and to apply in person or online.
Illinois will receive $8.3 million in Emergency Food assistance to distribute approximately 5.9 million pounds of additional food statewide. The Emergency Food program provides federal funds to food banks across Illinois to distribute United States Department of Agriculture commodities and privately donated food to pantries, homeless shelters, and soup kitchens throughout Illinois. The Illinois Department of Human Services partners with food banks in Illinois to operate the program. Visit the DHS website for more information on the Emergency Food program and to find the food pantry, shelter, or soup kitchen nearest to you.
Illinois will receive approximatley $73 million in additional funding over two years to expand subsidized childcare services to the families that need it most and enhance the services already being provided. The Illinois Department of Human Services currently works hand-in-hand with local communities and providers throughout Illinois to provide qualified working families with access to quality, affordable child care. Read more on the DHS Illinois Child Care program.
Early Intervention/IDEA Part C Program
Illinois will likely receive increased funding to administer and expand its Early Intervention program. The EI program assures that families who have children ages birth to three with diagnosed disabilities, developmental delays, or substantial risk of significant delays receive resources and supports that assist them in maximizing their child's development while respecting the diversity of families and communities. Visit the DHS website for more information on Illinois' Early Intervention program and to apply for assistance.
Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Illinois will receive approximately $18.25 million over a two year period to enhance and expand its Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program. The VR program helps people with disabilities across Illinois find and keep jobs. Visit the DHS website to find out more about the Vocational Rehabilitation program or to apply for services.
Independent Living Program
Illinois will receive extra funding for its Independent Living Program that the Department of Human Services administers in partnership with the Illinois Centers for Independent Living. The Centers for Independent Living provides information, referrals, and services to persons with disabilities that help them live and work in community settings.
Neighborhood Stabilization Program
Illinois will apply to the federal government for expanded funding for its Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The NSP provides funds to states, local governments, non-profits and non-profit working in consortium with for profit groups to finance activities to mitigate the problems caused by foreclosures, high-risk mortgages, and high numbers of abandoned or vacant properties. Visit the DHS website for more information on the Illinois Neighborhood Stabilization Program and any state funding announcements.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program provides temporary cash assistance to help families achieve independence. Most TANF customers are required to work or participate in work-related activities. The stimulus package establishes a contingency fund whereby Illinois can request a percentage of funds based upon an increase in TANF expenditures incurred by the state in relation to a specific period of time. There are strict eligibility requirements for TANF, and individuals must meet certain guidelines and criteria. To find out if you are eligible, and for more information about TANF and to apply, visit the DHS website.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created a new and temporary TANF Emergency Fund. Get the facts, read more about TANF ARRA Information.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program
Illinois will benefit from the federal contingency reserve fund designed to fund increased participation in the WIC program as a result of the economic downturn. The WIC program offers food assistance program for pregnant women, new mothers and young children so they can eat well and stay healthy. To find out more about the WIC program and to apply for assistance, visit the DHS website.
Illinois will receive a significant boost for the Serve Illinois Commission as a result of the recovery package. Additional funding will allow expansion of the current AmeriCorps Program Portfolio by increasing the number of Programs as well as the number of AmeriCorps members serving throughout the State. Find out more about the Serve Illinois Commission and the AmeriCorps Program on the DHS website.
Summer Youth Employment
Illinois will receive a major influx of funds for summer youth employment that it will likely use to expand its traditional summer jobs program. Please check back soon for more information about summer employment opportunities.