Resources

Latest Guidance

All Chicago residents must stay at home and only leave home for essential tasks. Everyone must self-monitor for COVID-19 like illness – especially those who have had close contact with a person with possible or confirmed COVID-19 and those who are health care providers. Learn more about testing and what to do if you are sick (EnglishSpanishPolish).

Older adults and people with severe chronic conditions should take special precautions because they are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.

Food Service – All bars and restaurants in the state of Illinois will be closed to the public until further notice. Delivery, drive-thru and carry out are permitted.

Homeless shelters should screen all clients for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors. Staff can use the CDPH COVID-19 screening tool. For more information, see CDPH’s Guidance for Homeless Shelters.

K-12 Schools - Chicago Public Schools will be closed through April 20 with students returning on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. Students and families can continue to pick up meals at their neighborhood schools. 

Childcare Facilities and Colleges/Universities - Closure of childcare facilities is still voluntary. See IDPH's Guidance for Childcare Programs. Many institutions of higher learning are voluntarily closing their campuses and moving instruction online. See CDPH’s COVID-19 Guidance for Schools and Institutions of Higher Education.

Community- and Faith-Based Organizations should take steps to protect both the clients they serve and their employees. Large gatherings, such as religious services, should be cancelled to prevent the spread of COVID-19. See IDPH’s Guidance for Faith-based Organizations.

Businesses and Employers need to consider how best to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and lower the impact in their workplace. For more information, see CDPH’s updated Guidance for Businesses and Employers.

Health

Access to Health Care

If you do not have a medical provider and have insurance and believe you need non-emergency medical services, you can contact your insurance carrier to help locate care. If you have misplaced your insurance card, your employer’s benefits manager (usually human resources department) can provide you with the contact information. 

If you do not have a medical provider, are uninsured, or have limited or no income and believe you need non-emergency medical services, you can contact your nearest community health center (CHC) by phone and inform them of your need. They will work with you to coordinate appropriate care. CHCs receive funding from the federal government that allows them to charge each patient on a sliding scale fee based on the patient’s income and ability to pay. 

No patient will be turned away because of inability to pay. There are approximately 165 CHCs throughout the city of Chicago. You can find your nearest CHC at findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov.

 

Mental Health

Emotional reactions to this emerging health crisis are expected. Remind yourself, your family and your friends that feeling sad, anxious, overwhelmed or having other symptoms of distress such as trouble sleeping is normal. If symptoms become worse, encourage them, and yourself, to reach out for support and help.  The following are free mental health resources available to all Chicago residents:

  • Connect to a NAMI Chicago Helpline mental health counselor by calling 311 or directly at 833-626-4244
  • Connect to Bright Star Community Outreach's trauma counseling helpline at 833-TURN-123
  • Connect to free teletherapy services at Chicago Department of Public Health Mental Health Centers by calling 312-747-1020.
  • For after hours support, contact Crisis Text Line which serves anyone, in any type of crisis, 24-hours a day. Instructions: Text HELLO to: 741741 to access a trained crisis counselor.

CDPH Service Updates as of March 19, 2020

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is committed to keeping residents safe during the coronavirus pandemic. We have issued citywide guidance around social distancing requirements, which we are now putting in place for our own services. Effective this week, CDPH is suspending in-person services where possible, and getting creative by using technology better serve our clients during this time. A full list of service changes can be found at the CDPH website. If you have questions, call 312-747-9884.

CDPH Service Changes (Full List) PDF document

Food

Chicago Food Repository

The Greater Chicago Food Depository responds to food insecurity in our community every single day. Anyone in need of food assistance can turn to the Food Depository’s network of agencies and programs. With some exceptions, their network of 700 partner agencies and programs remains open. These sites are modifying their distributions to promote social distancing, including offering pre-packaged boxes of groceries.  

The Food Depository’s benefits outreach team is available by phone to help Chicagoans apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid benefits. SNAP benefits can be used to purchase groceries from local stores. Eligibility is determined by household income. Those affected by recent COVID-19 related job losses may qualify. For benefits outreach assistance, call 773-843-5416 Monday-Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. or apply directly with the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Public Schools are open Monday – Friday, 9am-1pm, to provide meals (breakfast and lunch). Every young person under 18 years old is eligible - no child will be turned away. Families will pick up the food outside the school building, weather permitting, at a table. They will receive 3 days of meal for each young person in the household. If families have trouble getting to a site, they call the contact number 1-773-553-KIDS or email at familyservices@cps.edu to make a request for food delivery.

 

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is another program supporting homebound seniors, and they are continuing to operate.

The Homelessness Food and Shelter Directory

The Homelessness Food and Shelter Directory is another resource listing the Emergency Food Programs provided through Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens in Chicago, Illinois and surrounding areas.

Dedicated Shopping Hours for Seniors

Several retailers have created dedicated shopping hours for seniors to shop for groceries without crowds of other people. Retailers include:

Whole Foods: Customers age 60 and older can shop daily an hour before stores open to the general public. So, if a store opens at 9 a.m., for example, seniors have access at 8 a.m.

When: Policy is already in effect.

Target: The first hour of shopping each Wednesday is reserved for the elderly and other vulnerable populations, such as those with compromised immune systems.

When: Policy is already in effect.

Jewel-Osco: Senior shoppers are being given priority from 7-9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

When: Policy is already in effect.

Mariano’s: The grocer has set aside two hours daily — 6 to 8 a.m. — for seniors and those with underlying health conditions.

When: Policy is already in effect.

Walmart: Customers ages 60 and older can shop every Tuesday an hour before stores open. Walmart pharmacies and vision centers will also be open during this time.

When: Starting Tuesday, March 24 through April 28.

Tony’s Fresh Market: Senior priority shopping hours are in effect 7-9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

When: Beginning Tuesday, March 24.

Housing

COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant

Application for Emergency Housing Assistance from the City of Chicago for individuals and families impacted by the economic fallout due to Coronavirus.

Application window: Friday, March 27th at 9:00am to Wednesday, April 1st and 11:59pm.

Selection process: All applicants will be entered into a lottery. Applicants can expect to hear back from the Department of Housing regarding their application in the days following the close of the application.

Rental Assistance Program

The Rental Assistance Program provides financial assistance to Chicago residents, to prevent homelessness, to eligible individuals and families who are in danger of eviction in order to stabilize individuals and families in their existing rental unit.

ShelterList.com

ShelterList provides a directory of shelters that offer assistance to the homeless.

DFSS Community Service Centers

Community Service Centers help individuals and families in need access a wide range of resources from shelter, food and clothing to domestic violence assistance, drug rehab, job training and prisoner re-entry services.

IDHS Family Community Resource Centers

Search for a DHS Office or Service Provider by selecting your county, and, for Cook County, your ZIP Code

IL Domestic Violence Hotline

The Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 to provide crisis intervention, information, and referrals for survivors of domestic violence. Call or text 877-863-6338 for confidential help and information. 
Schools and Youth

Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Public Schools has continually updated information regarding schools and student health and wellness.

Enrichment Learning Resources

Chicago Public Schools is offering online Enrichment Learning Resources for all levels. They include a range of activities that students can work on at home independently, with family members, or with other adults.

Chicago Public Library

Chicago Public Library has online learning resources for both kids and teens, along with ebooks and magazines

Chicago Healthy Adolescents & Teens

Chicago Healthy Adolescents & Teens (CHAT), a program supported by Chicago Department of Public Health and Chicago Public Schools, has sexual-health education information and resources online.

Resources for Immigrant Communities

Food

The Greater Chicago Food Depositoryresponds to food insecurity in our community every single day. Anyone in need of food assistance can turn to the Food Depository’s network of agencies and programs. With some exceptions, their network of 700 partner agencies and programs remains open. These sites are modifying their distributions to promote social distancing, including offering pre-packaged boxes of groceries.  

If you live on the Southside of Chicago, BraveSpace Alliance is delivering food to queer and transgender individuals, regardless of immigration status. If you need support, please complete this form. Your information will not be shared with any government or law enforcement entity.

The Homelessness Food and Shelter Directory is another resource listing the Emergency Food Programs provided through Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens in Chicago, Illinois and surrounding areas.

Health

If you do not have a medical provider, are uninsured, or have limited or no income and believe you need non-emergency medical services, you can contact your nearest community health center (CHC) by phone and inform them of your need. They will work with you to coordinate appropriate care. CHCs receive funding from the federal government that allows them to charge each patient on a sliding scale fee based on the patient’s income and ability to pay. No patient will be turned away because of inability to pay. There are approximately 165 CHCs throughout the city of Chicago. You can find your nearest CHC at hrsa.gov.

Heartland Alliance Health Centers remain open. Please call ahead: 773-275-2586. Locations: 1015 W Lawrence (M-F, 8-5); 932 W Washington Blvd (M-F 8-5); 5501 S Halsted (M-F 8:30-5)

Education/Youth

Chicago Public Schools is offering online Enrichment Learning Resources for all levels. They include a range of activities that students can work on at home independently, with family members, or with other adults.

Virtual yoga literacy classes

Chicago Healthy Adolescents & Teens (CHAT), a program supported by Chicago Department of Public Health and Chicago Public Schools, has sexual-health education information and resources online.

Chicago Public Library has online learning resources for both kids and teens, along with ebooks and magazines. As of March 21st at 5pm, all Chicago Public Libraries will be closed until April 7th.

Employment-related issues

Know Your Rights If you do not have work authorization in the United States, you still have rights. If you need assistance understanding your rights, you can contact ARISE Chicago at 773-769-6000.

If you have valid work authorization (this includes DACA recipients), you may qualify for unemployment benefits if you have lost your job or hours worked. 

Benefits

If you have been a victim of a crime and you are currently pursuing a T-Visa, U-Visa, or Asylum you are eligible for State-funded health insurance, food assistance, and cash assistance. This will NOT cause you to be a public charge.

Children, regardless of legal status, can qualify for All Kids health insurance. Pregnant women and new moms qualify for WIC benefits, regardless of legal status. However, if you are concerned about your immigration case and have public charge questions, please contact your attorney before applying for these benefits. If you need an attorney, see the resources listed under Legal Services

Safety

If you are experiencing violence in your place of residence, you can contact the IL Domestic Violence Hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call or text 877-863-6338 for confidential help and information. Services are available in several languages.

If you need to obtain an Order of Protection, you may visit the courthouse located at 555 W Harrison even during the Stay Home Order issued on 3/20/20.

If you are a victim of sexual violence/abuse and need help, you can contact the confidential rape crisis hotline 1-888-293-2080

If you are experiencing human trafficking and need help, the STOP IT program has a 24/7 free and confidential Hotline 877-606-3158

Housing

Evictions/Foreclosures: All evictions/foreclosures have been suspended for at least 30 days in Cook County. This means that if you are unable to pay your rent, you cannot be evicted.

Employment and Financial Support

U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration has guidance and loans available for small businesses.

Unemployment Benefits

Information regarding Unemployment Benefits from the State of Illinois is available.

Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund

As a direct response to COVID-19 and the strain it is placing on our city’s small businesses, The City of Chicago is establishing a $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund which will help to provide small businesses with emergency cash flow during this immediate health crisis.

Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund

The City of Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust, and United Way of Metro Chicago launched the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund to unite the funds raised by Chicago’s philanthropies, corporations, and individuals to be disbursed to the region's health and human service nonprofit organizations.

Workforce - Employment Opportunities

There are companies in need of employment support during this crisis. Organizations that can help support those looking for work are Skills for Chicagoland’s Future and the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership.

Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) Resources

This site includes resources for businesses, consumers and employees, including financial assistance available throughout Chicago via BACP

 

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Hospitality Emergency Grant Program

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is offering Hospitality Emergency Grants to qualifying food and beverage businesses and hotels impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for the lottery are open March 25-April 1.

Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership

Our sister agency, Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, is listing open paid jobs for essential businesses. You can also text “WORK NOW” to 474747 to be connected to the employment resources

U.S. Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division has information on COVID-19 and the American Workplace, including paid leave requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

University of Chicago South Side COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Emergency Fund

The University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement (OCE), through its UChicago Local initiative will provide one-time bridge grants to support small local businesses experiencing economic impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These bridge grants are intended to support local small businesses as public and private assistance comes online. To learn more about the program and to see if you qualify, click here.

Divvy Half Price Bike Share Memberships

Divvy Offering Half Price Bike Share Memberships and Dollar Divvy Rides for One Month to Give Chicagoans an Additional Transportation Option

Utilities

The City of Chicago

The City of Chicago is temporarily suspending debt collection, ticketing, and towing practices to provide debt relief in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Gas/Electric

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) issued an emergency order requiring a moratorium on disconnections for non-payment and suspension of late fees until May 1, 2020, or until the end of the Governor's COVID-19 state of emergency if it goes beyond May 1.

For more information on the ICC order and each company's resources and response see:

Citizens Utility Board

People's Gas

ComEd

 

 

Comcast

Comcast announced new steps they’re taking to help people stay connected to the Internet as more schools suspend classes and companies encourage employees to work from home due to the coronavirus.

Consumer Protection Mandate

At the request of Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Attorney General Kwame Raoul, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) on Wednesday, March 18, issued protections for all customers of private, investor-owned utilities during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

https://www.citizensutilityboard.org/covid19consumerprotections/

 

How You Can Help

Learn more about ways to lend a helping hand to your fellow Chicagoans.