February 24, 2024

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Unsure wherever to go for support, a homeless one mother named Mary produced an crucial contact right after she experienced a child in 2020. She dialed 211, a social services hotline that set her in contact with transitional housing.

However she was operating two positions, Mary, who declined to give her last title, could not afford both equally lease and little one treatment. But 211 operators in Lake County hooked her up with YWCA boy or girl treatment, economical support for a security deposit, 3 months’ rent, and a landlord who’d take both of those.

“I by no means would have regarded if I didn’t call 211,” Mary stated in a online video interview with United Way, which can help sponsor the services. She now has a solitary secure occupation and a household. “I truly feel like 211 … has helped me immensely.”

A comparable 211 support has a short while ago appear to DuPage County, and more are prepared to start early next calendar year — quite possibly on Feb. 11 — in Chicago, suburban Prepare dinner County, and Kendall County. 211, like the much better known 911 for emergencies and Chicago’s 311 for town expert services, places callers in contact with nonemergency overall health and social services.

Phyllis Gary, an intake and referral specialist with the new 211 hotline in DuPage County, answers calls on Nov. 17, 2022, in Wheaton. The new 211 social service hotline recently began in DuPage County.

The most typical companies are assistance shelling out hire and utilities, but they also include things like cost-free and private crisis counseling, disaster support, foods pantries, health and fitness care, insurance plan, employment, and veterans companies.

Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will are among the the quite a few counties that present the support in Illinois. As a full, the point out lags guiding the relaxation of the country in employing the hotline, with just about 50 % of its counties nonetheless devoid of.

But after Chicago and Kendall come on line early upcoming year, approximately 90% of the state’s inhabitants will be lined.

In DuPage, the 2nd most populated county in Illinois soon after Cook, officials established apart $1.6 million in federal American Rescue Approach Act cash to fund the software for the initial a few decades.

The round-the-clock, multilingual cell phone bank will be operated by Addison Consolidated Dispatch Centre, which also presents 911 dispatch products and services, County Board Chairman Dan Cronin explained.

“We are thrilled to introduce still yet another component of DuPage County’s strategy of strengthening our social service safety web,” Cronin mentioned.

Anticipating elevated wants for the duration of and pursuing the COVID pandemic, DuPage officials also have offered tens of millions of dollars in funding to beef up the county’s social services. That integrated shopping for and remodeling a former Purple Roof Inn in Downers Grove for PADS to use as a homeless shelter.

Expenditures differ by county. Kane County, whose services is

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