4/13/20 - Message to Providers from Secretary Hou: Community Bright Spot - Family Focus

Monday, April 13, 2020

Dear Partners,

IDHS has been sharing Employee Bright Spots, which are examples of our employees who have gone above and beyond during this crisis, on our IDHS Facebook page. We know that your organizations have also gone above and beyond to continue to provide for Illinoisans in need of services.

Today, I'd like to share a Community Bright Spot about Family Focus, an organization that provides family support services to 17,000 individuals in the Greater Chicago area. To find more information about Family Focus, visit their organization website.

Community Bright Spot: Family Focus

Family Focus has been redirecting all their available funds to provide food and basic supplies to families in need. They are purchasing items that families may need and delivering them directly. One family who was recently helped included a pregnant woman who is an immigrant with a young child who had just left an abusive partner and needed food and diapers. Family Focus was able to secure the mother a $500 cash grant from a private foundation and to enroll her in virtual home visits for herself and her child. Family Focus quickly screened the client and sent staff to deliver food, diapers, and basic supplies. Staff are delivering meals in their personal cars and even using Amazon delivery when necessary.

Family Focus is also setting up a system to provide meals for two weeks to families that have tested positive for COVID-19 and are ineligible for State benefits. In a recent case they handled, a man was required to self-quarantine after his brother died of?COVIID-19. Because he is ineligible for State benefits, Family Focus is providing meals and cleaning materials to disinfect his home while he is out of work. Family Focus is currently applying for emergency funds to allow them to provide this same service to other families that have tested positive for COVID-19 and to seniors who live alone and are advised not to leave their homes.

Family Focus is also utilizing Welcoming Center dollars to provide holistic services and to connect families with State services. Thank you, Family Focus, for your commitment to help all those in need, especially during this challenging time.

We hope that by sharing Community Bright Spots we can support and recognize the amazing work being done in our communities while also giving our community partners new ideas. As always, please know that we are grateful for all of the work you are doing to support Illinoisans and people in need during this time.


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS