3/30/20 - Message to Providers from Secretary Hou: IDHS Local Offices

Monday, March 30th, 2020

Dear IDHS Stakeholders,

Thank you for your continued work throughout this extremely difficult moment in our history.

As you know, IDHS has been working to balance the safety of our staff and public with the urgent needs of the people we serve - whether through Medicaid, SNAP, home-based disability supports, substance use or mental health treatment.

We want you to know that in our effort to keep all staff and customers as safe as possible, IDHS is reducing the number of open, public-facing Family and Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) to 14 -- starting today, Monday, March 30th.

This was a difficult decision, but we have put together virtual capacity to ensure that people can access critical nutrition and medical benefits online or by phone. For cases of emergency, these limited office locations will still be open.

Benefits are available online at ABE.illinois.gov or by phone at 1-833-2-FIND-HELP.

Since March 19, these offices have been open at about 50% staffing levels, with many employees moving to a virtual service model. We hope to move all of the local offices to a virtual environment while fully meeting the needs of Illinois residents.

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

Finally - if you are interested, we would love for you to help us amplify important information and messages for the public and your organizations. You can find IDHS-related information in response to COVID-19 on the IDHS Coronavirus Website.

Also, if you or anyone you know is aware of PPE resources that can be donated in support of our most critical public health needs at this time, please email PPE.donations@Illinois.gov.

Thank you,

Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS