8/21/20 - IDHS Weekly Bulletin

NEW MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAMS

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) recently announced three new mental health programs designed to provide additional support for Illinois residents. To achieve the successful transition of individuals leaving the IDHS State Operated Psychiatric Hospitals (SOPH), IDHS is contracting with community mental health centers and non-traditional service providers to develop capacity and to deliver clinical services and non-traditional supports. These new resources will be provided by community organizations through the Living Room Program (LRP), Transitional Living Centers (TLCs), and the Transitional Community Care and Support Programs (TCCS) throughout the state.

You can learn more about all the mental health supports and services offered by IDHS here.

IDHS VIRTUAL JOB FAIRS

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is hiring! Tune in to one of their virtual job fairs or recruiting events to learn more about employment with the agency. A list of all employment events can be found at this site: IDHS Job Fairs & Recruiting Events

P-EBT FOOD BENEFITS APPLICATION EXTENDED

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has extended the deadline for Illinoisans to apply for nutrition benefits to August 31. Illinois residents can receive food benefits totaling up to $342 per eligible student for the days missed in the spring. Approximately 390,000 students across the State of Illinois eligible for free or reduced meals from March 2020 through June 2020 have not yet applied for Illinois Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits. Those who did not receive SNAP benefits last spring are able to submit a simplified application for P-EBT benefits using the abe.illinois.gov online portal or by completing a paper application which is available at the IDHS website.

HOUSING ASSISTANCE

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has extended the deadline for Illinois renters to apply for aid by one week to 12:00 p.m. on August 28, due to those impacted by the recent storms. The Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program provides $5,000 to eligible tenants who have seen their household income decline as a result of the COVID-19. For additional help, applicants may visit era.ihda.org or contact IHDA's call center at 312-883-2720, or toll-free at 888-252-1119. For those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired, please contact Navicore Solutions for free assistance at: (877) 274-4309 (TTY).

IDHS COVID-19 RESPONSE

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) is here for you. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, IDHS took swift, responsible, life-saving measures to ensure the safety of staff, partner organizations, and those we serve.

To keep track of the many extraordinary measures IDHS has taken during the pandemic, they have created a recap document that reflects some of this monumental work.

Even as the crisis continues, it is crucial that we continue to plan for the future. Hopefully, we can all use this information to spark new ideas and to draw lessons that will help us reinvent and restore the human services system in Illinois!

SUMMER YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM 

Recently, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) joined Governor JB Pritzker, local leaders, and partners in Rockford, Waukegan, Urbana, and East St. Louis to highlight the success of the IDHS Summer Youth Employment Program (C-SYEP).

The C-SYEP program will employ 2,400 young adults statewide through August 2020, helping them train for and find work amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The State has dedicated $9.3 million to support this important initiative.

Those interested in inquiring about the program can find a provider and referral contact list here.

2020 CENSUS

The U.S. Census Bureau self-response deadline is Sept. 30, 2020. Visit My2020census.gov to complete the census online or call 1-844-330-2020. You can also text 987987 for more info (message and data rates may apply; see Terms & Conditions of Use) or go to census.illinois.gov.

NEW SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE NUMBER:

On Thursday, July 16, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to establish 988 as the new, nationwide, 3-digit phone number for Americans in crisis to connect with suicide prevention and mental health crisis counselors. The rules require all phone service providers to direct all 988 calls to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by July 16, 2022. During the transition to 988, Americans who need help should continue to contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK). Veterans and Service members may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing, chatting online at www.veteranscrisisline.net, or texting 838255.

IDHS SOCIAL MEDIA

We invite 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 its latest work. Here are the links to the IDHS accounts: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.