Emergency Supplemental Victims' Fund


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Emergency Supplemental Victims Fund

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The City of Chicago’s Emergency Supplemental Victims Fund (ESVF) pilot provides financial assistance in set amounts to survivors and their families to alleviate the immediate financial impacts of fatal and non-fatal shooting incidents. Launched in December 2022, the pilot's goal is to combat the immediate financial impacts and trauma inflicted on those who experience loss from gun violence.


Eligibility Criteria

Financial assistance through the City’s Emergency Supplemental Victims Fund (ESVF) is available until funds are depleted.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Victims or families of victims who have experienced homicide or nonfatal shooting victimizations within the calendar year. All cause homicides within the 15 priority community areas are eligible.
  • Incident occurred in one (1) of the 15 community areas listed below and/or the victim is a resident of one (1) community areas listed below
  • Families of citywide homicide victims aged 24 or younger (Chicago Survivors)
  • Victim and applicant must have proof of City of Chicago residence
    • When a fatal incident occurs, if there is no proxy or next of kin that resides within the City of Chicago, the applicant may apply only for funeral/burial expenses on behalf of the fatal incident victim. However, the check must be cut directly to a Chicago-based funeral home/burial service.

*The program is open to anyone who lives in Chicago, regardless of immigration status.

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Download the ESVF Flyer:


Application process

Eligible survivors or next of kin must work with a Victim Advocate  to apply for funding through the Victim Services organizations administering the program in the community area where the incident occurred or where they reside. Individuals wanting to apply for ESVF should connect with a Victim Advocate at the designated organization below.

Community Area Organization Phone
Auburn Gresham Universal Family Connection 773.881.1711 Ext. 1114
Austin Institute for Nonviolence Chicago (INVC) 773.350.4508
Chicago Lawn Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) 708.632.0784
East Garfield Park Breakthrough Urban Ministries 773.707.3075
Englewood Universal Family Connection 773.881.1711 Ext. 1114
Greater Grand Crossing Together Chicago 312.332.5713
Humboldt Park BUILD 773.227.2880 Ext. 167
New City (Back of the Yards) Institute for Nonviolence Chicago (INVC) 773.350.4508
North Lawndale UCAN 773.981.0747
Roseland UCAN 773.981.074
South Lawndale New Life Centers 312.736.2466
South Shore Claretian Associates 773.734.9181 Ext. 2012
West Englewood Target Area (TADC) 630.636.0143
West Garfield Park Institute for Nonviolence Chicago (INVC) 773.350.4508
West Pullman UCAN 773.981.0747
Citywide Chicago Survivors 312.488.9222 Ext.108

Types Of Expenses

The maximum amount of funding a nonfatal victim can receive is $2,000 per victimization. The maximum amount of funding available in the case of a homicide victimization is $3,500. All applicants must connect with a Victim Advocate from one of the organizations listed above to receive funds. The types of funding offered by the ESVF program include:

Funeral

The next of kin or the proxy for the fatally injured victim can apply for up to $1,500 for funeral or burial expenses. The applicant for funeral funds must be the main payer for funeral or burial expenses with their name appearing on relevant receipts or contractual documentation. Whenever possible, the Victim Services agency will distribute approved funding directly to the funeral or burial service provider.

Basic Needs

The direct victim, next of kin, or proxy for the victim can apply for up to $1,000 for basic needs expenses incurred immediately following an incident of violence. Basic needs expenses can be applied toward wage loss, rent and utilities, groceries, uninsured medical expenses, mental healthcare and support, childcare, or other relevant expenses. The approved funds will be distributed via check or electronic funds transfer (EFT) to the applicant within two (2) weeks of approval.

Relocation

The direct victim or cohabitant of the direct victim can apply for up to $1,000 for relocation expenses. Funding is available for any household where the victim, fatal or nonfatal, resides and, if applicable, for the household where the incident occurred, resulting in the need for safe relocation. This funding may support temporary relocation anywhere (up to 90 days), and permanent relocation elsewhere within the City of Chicago. Relocation funding may be applied toward moving or storage expenses, hotel or Airbnb, flights, security deposit, first month's rent or mortgage, or back rent accumulated after the incident date. Whenever possible, the Victim Services agency will distribute approved relocation funding directly to the relevant service provider.


The Community Safety Coordination Center's 15 High Priority Community Areas with ESVF Funding Are:

  • Auburn Gresham
  • Austin
  • Chicago Lawn
  • East Garfield Park
  • Englewood
  • Greater Grand Crossing
  • Humboldt Park
  • New City (Back of the Yards)
  • North Lawndale
  • Roseland
  • South Lawndale
  • South Shore
  • West Englewood
  • West Garfield Park
  • West Pullman

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Incidents of shooting or homicide that occur within the City of Chicago may be eligible. 

Residents of Chicago who are victimized by gun violence or homicide incidents occurring in any of the 15 community areas listed above may be eligible for ESVF.

Residents of the 15 community areas listed above who are victimized anywhere in the City of Chicago may be eligible for ESVF.

Families of youth (aged 24 or younger) who fall victim to homicide anywhere in the City of Chicago may be eligible to apply for ESVF through Chicago Survivors.

For 2024, victims and survivors of eligible incidents that occur between October 1 - December 31, 2024, who are unable to initiate ESVF applications by December 31, 2024, are allowed to still initiate an ESVF application in the new year, between January 1 - March 31, 2025. This carryover process ends on March 31, 2025. Therefore, all ESVF applications must be entered into the system prior to and no later than that date. The same verification process and an assessment of continuing needs would occur during the review of funding eligibility. These carryover provisions are being studied by the City and further clarification is forthcoming. This same structure will be implemented in the coming years as well.

If the incident occurred prior to this date (October 1st of most recent calendar year), you unfortunately are not eligible for the ESVF program at this time.

Yes, anyone who lives in the City of Chicago is eligible to apply, regardless of immigration status. A variety of proof of City residence documents are accepted.

Preferred proof of residence is a photo ID. If this is not available, acceptable proof of Chicago residence may include a government issued piece of mail (including a benefits letter), a utility bill, a lease or mortgage, a CPS ID, a Chicago Library card, a CityKey card, or a completed HMIS form (for houseless individuals only).

Yes, funding is available for each victimization. If both individuals are fatal victims, the surviving family may apply for both victims. However, relocation expenses are only available once per household, per incident. In the event of a mass shooting incident eligibility criteria may change based on the severity of the situation, the ESVF team will work with the appropriate delegate agencies/victim advocates on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility in extreme situations.

An applicant must work with a Victim Advocate of one of the organizations listed above to complete an online application for ESVF. While Victim Advocates determine initial eligibility, ultimately, all applications are accepted and approved at the discretion of the CSCC’s reviewing body. The CSCC’S Project Manager notifies the Victim Advocate of approval or denial within 7 days. Approved applicants receive funding directly from the Victim Advocate organization within 14 days.

No, at this time all applicants must work with a Victim Advocate from the appropriate eligible community area in order to apply.

Relocation expenses may be disbursed only once per household for qualifying incidents of violence. There are three scenarios in which an individual may be eligible for relocation expenses:

  1. Direct victims of violence who qualify for the Emergency Supplemental Victims Fund are automatically eligible.
  2. If a qualifying incident is fatal, the cohabitant(s) of the direct victim is eligible for relocation expenses.
  3. If a shooting or homicide incident occurs at a place of residence, the individuals who reside at that location may be eligible for relocation.

If approved, the applicant will receive relocation services totaling up to $1,000 booked for them directly by the Victim Services agency. These funds may be put towards temporary relocation anywhere or permanent relocation elsewhere within the City. To grant the most flexibility to families wishing to permanently relocate, these funds may be spent any time within the calendar year of application approval.

 

Proof of residence for the applicant and the direct victim (if not the applicant) are required to apply.

If funeral and/or relocation funds are requested and approved after all services have been rendered, reimbursement directly to the victim or survivor may be considered. In these cases of retroactive funding, receipts for relocation and funeral/burial related costs are required at the time of application submission.

The ESVF staff aims to review applications as soon as possible. Decisions should be made within seven days of submission. Following approval notice, it is the expectation that the Victim Services agencies disburse basic needs funds within two weeks, book funeral/burial services ASAP, and book relocation services as soon as the victim or survivor desires, but before the end of the calendar year.

The City's 15 priority communities are the community areas that, on average, experience the most homicide and nonfatal shooting victimizations per year. These high levels of violence disproportionately affect communities of color on our South and West sides. By focusing our efforts on the people and places most impacted by violence, we are able to best work towards the goal of sustainably reducing violence and making Chicago a city where everyone is and feels safe.

As of 2024, Chicago’s 15 priority communities are: Auburn Gresham, Austin, Chicago Lawn, East Garfield Park, Englewood, Greater Grand Crossing, Humboldt Park, New City (Back of the Yards), North Lawndale, Roseland, South Lawndale, South Shore, West Englewood, West Garfield Park, West Pullman.

The program first launched in a test-phase in December 2022. The initial program ran in only five (5) community areas through year end, 2023. In early 2024, the ESVF program broadened its incident and location eligibility per the guidelines described above. There remains the possibility for future program expansions and additions although none are planned at this time.

Yes, applicants for the ESVF program are still eligible to apply for additional funding sources. The CSCC recommends that you apply for all available funding to help mitigate the financial burden of violence.

If you or a loved one suffered an incident of gun violence or homicide but are ineligible for the Emergency Supplemental Victims Fund program, you may still be eligible to receive assistance from the State of Illinois's Crime Victims Compensation fund. Please visit https://ag.state.il.us/victims/cvc.html for more details. The City still recommends that victims and survivors connect with their local Victim Services agency to receive free wraparound services.

Yes, if the victim is not currently incarcerated or detained, they are eligible to apply for ESVF, regardless of parole or probation status. An individual currently detained by CPD or another law enforcement body is ineligible for ESVF due to the freezing of assets at intake. Once released from a holding facility, if still within ESVF eligibility timeline, the participant may apply for funds regardless of pending charges or criminal involvement.

Due to the scope and funding restrictions of the ESVF program, suicides do not qualify at this time.

Self-inflicted shooting victimizations are not immediately eligible for the ESVF program. Incidents will be assessed on a case-by-case basis with an additional level of verification required by CPD.


Contact Us

For any questions regarding the Emergency Supplemental Victims Fund program, please email ESVF@cityofchicago.org.