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Will County to assist in housing crisis brought on by coronavirus

4/17/2020, 12:56 a.m.
The Will County Board today authorized a contribution of up to $100,000 to the United Way of Will County to ...

The Will County Board today authorized a contribution of up to $100,000 to the United Way of Will County to assist with critical housing needs arising from the coronavirus, (COVID-19) pandemic. An initial $60,000 contribution to United Way will be used to assist and supplement the Rapid Rehousing HUD process to help displaced persons obtain new housing.

"This money can be used for security deposits that are required for housing, or other move-in costs such as utility deposits, moving expenses and household necessities such as bedding," Finance Committee Chairman Ken Harris (D-Bolingbrook) said.

The decision to collaborate with the Rapid Rehousing (RRH) HUD funded service agencies will provide a quick boost to families in need of housing support who have lost jobs or been otherwise negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Rapid Rehousing is a federal program that connects families and individuals experiencing homelessness to permanent housing through a tailored package of assistance that may include the use of time-limited financial assistance and targeted supportive services.

"Anything that we, as a county, can do to help our citizens who have been severely impacted by this public health pandemic is a worthwhile endeavor," said Denise Winfrey, Speaker of the Will County Board (D-Joliet). "Not only have countless people been stricken with the coronavirus and suffered life threatening illness, they have lost jobs as thousands of businesses have either shuttered their doors or laid off workers. This is a critical lifeline for many hard-working families of Will County."

The resolution approved by the County Board at its full board meeting provides for an initial payment of $60,000 to the United Way, followed by up to $40,000 more, all of it to be used for HUD Rapid Rehousing purposes.

As of Thursday April 16, more than 1,400 people had been stricken by the coronavirus and nearly 100 had died in Will County.

County Board Public Health Committee Chair Don Gould (R-Shorewood) urged all residents to continue practicing safe social distancing, and frequent hand washing to help stop the spread of COVID-19.