IDHS ANNOUNCES $300M IN ADDITIONAL INVESTMENTS FOR CHILD CARE PROVIDER RELIEF
Earlier this month, Gov. JB Pritzker and Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Sec. Grace Hou announced that $300 million in new relief grants will be made available to eligible child care providers across the state. These dollars will support child care providers with approximately $25,000 per classroom per year, child care group homes with $15,000 per year, and child care homes with approximately $10,000 per year. To help recruit and retain staff, at least 50 percent of these funds must be invested in new personnel and workforce initiatives, with a focus on increasing compensation and benefits.
Applications for this newest round of funding are due in early January, with funding beginning to flow in February 2022 and through January 2023.
With an eye toward equity, additional funding will be made available for programs that demonstrate that they reach underserved communities. These grants will support providers with predictable funding to cover increased wages and other operational costs.
The State is also extending a previous grant program by providing a $45 million, six-month extension to the Child Care Restoration Grants to best assist providers not eligible for the new round of grants.
Application information about the newest round of grants and Restoration Grant extension will be available for providers through the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (INCCRRA).
IDHS issues many Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) throughout the year for our programs. You can find a full list of funding opportunities on the IDHS Grant Opportunities web page.
MUTUAL AID GROUP FOR ILLINOIS FRONTLINE STAFF
Frontline staff are facing unprecedented stressors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Join Advocates for Human Potential for a free mutual aid group to share experiences, feel supported, and get resources. The group meets on Tuesdays at 12:00pm and can be accessed by using this Zoom link.
NEW PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING NOFO
IDHS' Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery (SUPR) has released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH). This NOFO furthers IDHS' vision of a human service system that enables all to thrive regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, zip code, and varying ability.
This NOFO is intended to provide PSH for individuals with a substance use disorder (SUD) or co-occurring substance use and mental health disorder (COD). Priority populations for this program include young adults, women, and women with children, although organizations may consider all applicants. Organizations that apply for this funding are expected to comply with the Housing First approach, which means connecting individuals to housing without preconditions or expectations for treatment or recovery services.
For more information or to apply, visit the Permanent Supportive Housing NOFO webpage.
6 NEW RETAILERS ADDED TO SNAP ONLINE GROCERY PROGRAM
IDHS is happy to announce 6 additional retailers offering online SNAP purchasing in Illinois. The newly-approved retailers include Capri IGA, County Market, FairPlay Neighborhood Market, Schnucks, Supermercados El Guero, and Woodman's Market. These additional retailers operate a combined 83 stores across Illinois.
With the addition of these retailers, Illinois residents now have a total of nine online options for SNAP families. ALDI, Amazon, and Walmart also accept online orders in Illinois.
To use SNAP benefits online, visit www.capriiga.com, mycountymarket.com/shop/online-grocery-shopping/, fairplayfoods.com, shop.supermercadoselguero.com, shopwoodmans.com, shop.aldi.us, Amazon.com/SNAP, or Grocery.Walmart.com and follow the instructions on the screen.
All SNAP recipients with Link cards in Illinois are able to participate. To sign up for SNAP or further information, please visit dhs.state.il.us.
Retailers who are interested in the program can learn more and apply at http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/online-purchasing-pilot.
CRISIS COUNSELING PROGRAM TO SUPPORT COMMUNITIES HARDEST HIT BY COVID-19
IDHS launched Illinois-Strong, a pilot program to provide community-based crisis counseling to individuals in Cook, Winnebago, and St. Clair Counties who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. The program focuses on helping disaster survivors understand their reactions and connect with other individuals and agencies that may assist them in improving their situations. Staff members who provide individual crisis counseling are active listeners who offer reassurance, practical assistance, and emotional support, while teaching behavioral techniques for coping with stress.
Illinois-Strong will offer disaster-related relief services to individuals identified through individual and group interactions. For additional information, please visit: illinois-strong.org for more information on this program.
IDHS SOCIAL MEDIA
We are looking to stay connected! We are inviting you to follow IDHS on its social media platforms. Each one is a great way to connect with IDHS and to stay up to date on the Department's latest work. Here are the links to the IDHS accounts:
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.