PREVENTING HOMELESSNESS, a crisis response to housing instability
An accident, loss of job or unforseen crisis can impact any household. For a household already experiencing an unstable housing situation a reduction in houeshold income can lead to the loss of housing.
Housing Forward' Emergency Assistance program is an intervention to stave off the loss of housing through:
- Financial Assistance for eviction prevention (rent assistance), security deposits, and utility bills and assistance with negotiating payment plans.
- Referrals for urgent and basic necessities.
- Stabilization and Shelter Diversion services include assessment and linkage to resources as alternatives to the emergency shelter.
- Budgeting and Financial Literacy sessions to educate clients on how to create a plan focused on financial stability.
Our Emergency Assistance program provides referrals and emergency financial assistance for food, housing, utilities and transportation to individuals and families at urgent risk. Our goal is to address the immediate crisis so the individual or family can work on additional steps on the path toward stability. The Prevail program's staff and volunteers listen to each person’s individual situation and, working together with the client, use solutions-based counseling to develop a plan of action. Plans developed with our clients include services and referrals such as:
- Eviction and utility shut-off assistance counseling and referrals
- Public transportation passes for job interviews and medical appointments
- Assistance obtaining identification required for a job or to receive benefits
- Overnight shelter and transitional housing referral
If you live in suburban Cook County and are at risk of becoming homeless, call the Prevention Call Center at 877-4-COOK-15. If you live in Chicago, call the city help line at 311.
Documentation requirements for the Emergency Assistance program:
- You will need to provide identification. If you do not have current identification, our volunteers will help you acquire identification necessary to obtain benefits and employment. Please bring anything that might qualify as proof of identification including social security cards, birth certificates, school records, medical records, prison release documents or other types of official communication such as a benefits award letter or utility bill or lease.
- Certain types of assistance will require proof of income such as pay stubs, social security or link card awards or unemployment benefits.
- You will also need to provide documentation regarding your financial issue, such as a 5-day notice and copy of your lease, a utility shut off notice and bill with past due amounts or appointment slips for medical visits or job interviews.
For additional information about required documentation, please call 708.338.1724 ext. 307.