5/7/20 - IDHS Weekly Bulletin

Thursday, May 7, 2020


Illinois has been a leader nationwide in meeting the special needs of our foreign-born population. Based on the 2010 Census, 1.8 million immigrants resided in our communities, and since 1975 Illinois has resettled more than 123,644 refugees from more than 60 countries.

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) houses the Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Services which funds, manages, and monitors contracts designed to help newly arriving refugees achieve self-sufficiency in the United States. The bureau also provides outreach and interpretation services to low-income and limited English-proficient individuals requiring supportive services. These services are available to refugees, asylees, SIV holders, parolees, low-income immigrants, and limited English-proficient individuals.

To learn more about refugee and immigrant services offered through IDHS, please visit their Refugee & Immigrant Services webpage. You can also find a complete list of community agencies serving immigrants here.


The Immigrant Family Resource Program is a partnership between the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and community-based and ethnic organizations across Illinois. Partners are available to provide outreach, information and referral, case management, and interpretation or translation services, especially for IDHS services.

You can find the nearest Immigrant Family Resource Program partner provider on this list.


The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) knows that social distancing and the uncertainty around COVID-19 are difficult, and older adults are at increased risk for harmful social isolation. Suicide, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders are issues that many older adults face even without the added stressors of a global pandemic. IDHS wants older Illinoisans to know that help is here with a variety of services that can support both young and old during these challenging times. To learn more about their programs and resources please visit dhs.illinois.gov/helpishere or call toll free at 1-833-2-FIND-HELP (1-833-234-6343).


IDHS funds Illinois Welcoming Centers across the state that serve as one-stop human service centers, providing case management and service coordination to immigrants and refugees in a linguistically, culturally sensitive manner. They are familiar with benefits and services provided by state, federal, and community-based social service agencies and can connect individuals to appropriate services through case management or referral. The Welcoming Centers can help new Illinoisans find the community and resources to thrive in their new home.

You can also find a list of all community service agencies serving immigrants and refugees, including Illinois Welcoming Centers, on this list.


With Illinois schools moving to remote learning during the COVID-19 crisis, the Pandemic Emergency Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program was established to help Illinois families buy food for school-aged children and young adults who would receive National School Lunch Program free or reduced-priced meals when schools are in session.

If you currently receive SNAP benefits, your school-aged children are automatically eligible for P-EBT benefits and do not need to apply. Your P-EBT benefits will be automatically loaded into your Illinois LINK EBT account along with your regular SNAP benefits.

If you do not currently receive SNAP benefits and need to apply for the P-EBT program or to learn more, please click here.


The State is making an investment that will begin to ensure that Illinois' at-risk youth ages 16-24 have an equitable opportunity to secure employment. The Illinois Youth Investment Program aims to empower and support young people along their path toward successful, long-term employment and career development.

Providers interested in this program can learn more here. Applications are due by June 1, 2020.


The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) continues to strongly encourage all of its providers whose ability to provide services has been impacted, either in whole or in part, by the COVID-19 pandemic to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding and, if successful, to keep the federal PPP funds provided. IDHS makes this recommendation for providers to maximize federal dollars and to ensure that limited State funding is stretched as far as possible, particularly in light of increasing economic uncertainty and the impact on State revenues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IDHS has updated their Frequently Asked Questions page regarding PPP to address questions submitted to the email DHS.PPPQuestions@illinois.gov and to program staff. Providers are encouraged to continue submitting questions and monitoring the FAQ page found on the IDHS Coronavirus webpage.

IDHS is grateful to every provider making good faith efforts to secure and retain federal funding. Both directly and indirectly, this helps the provider, IDHS, the State, and the social and human services system to weather this unprecedented challenge.


To donate personal protective equipment (PPE), please send an email to ppe.donations@illinois.gov.