3/30/20 - IDHS Staff Message from Secretary Hou: FCRCs

Monday, March 30th, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

First off, I cannot thank you enough for your service during this extremely difficult time. While so many people are facing a great deal of stress, our team continues to work to provide life-saving and life-changing services for the people of Illinois. I continue to be so proud to work with you.

As you know, IDHS has to balance the safety of Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) staff and the public with the urgent needs of those we serve - whether through Medicaid, SNAP, cash assistance or other disability, mental health and substance use programs.

We want you to know that in the effort to keep FCRC staff and customers as safe as possible, the number of open, public-facing FCRCs has been significantly reduced - from 75 to 14 - starting today, Monday, March 30th. You can find a map with open locations on our website.

While this wasn't an easy decision to make and we know that there will be challenges, I am confident our team will make it work. Extraordinary efforts have already been made to enhance the ability of FCRC staff to work remotely. It is so important for everyone to know: critical nutrition and medical benefits are still available online, by phone, and in person for emergency situations.

Since March 19, our FCRC offices have been open at about 50% staffing levels, with many employees moving to the virtual service model. I am pleased with this expanded virtual capacity, and we continue to work actively in this regard. Productivity continues, and I am impressed with your ability to adapt. We hope to move more work to a virtual environment while fully meeting the needs of Illinois residents. Please help us encourage customers to stay home and access our benefits virtually.

We want to keep hearing from you, and we ask for your patience in the coming weeks, as operations are changing for IDHS in a truly unprecedented way.

You can find IDHS-related information in response to COVID-19 on the IDHS Coronavirus Website. You can find more information about COVID-19 at the State of Illinois Coronavirus Website and through the COVID-19 Hotline, at 1-800-889-3931.

Thank you,


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS