Cook County Justice Advisory Council to Host Information Session on Funding Opportunity for Community-Based Organizations
Cook County, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Thursday, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC), and the Cook County Justice Advisory Council (JAC) announced an American Rescue Plan Act-funded reentry initiative that will provide rental assistance and wraparound support services to residents returning to Cook County from periods of incarceration.
“The reentry period is a vital time to lay foundations for future safety and success,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Justice-involved residents face challenges when they return home to their communities. Access to stable housing and supportive services are key in helping them successfully navigate challenges and achieve their goals.”
The Rental Assistance and Services for Returning Residents initiative will provide up to $15 million dollars in rental assistance and $8 million dollars in wraparound services delivered by qualified community-based service providers over the next three years.
The program will support individuals who have returned home to Cook County from prison in the last 24 months. Eligible individuals will be referred by a reentry case manager or a parole officer and will receive rental assistance via direct payments from HACC to their landlord. Residents participating in the program will also receive individualized wraparound services such as case management, education and employment support, healthcare services and legal assistance. Enrolled participants are expected to begin receiving rental assistance and services this summer.
“This important initiative underscores the county’s commitment to equity by helping to close the gaps in support that exist for justice-involved residents,” said Richard Monocchio, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Cook County. “We cannot overstate the integral role stable housing plays for returning residents. The support these residents will receive through this program will impact their lives for years to come and will ultimately contribute to safer and more equitable communities in Cook County.”
“Residents who are returning from incarceration are historically overlooked and underserved,” said Avik Das, Executive Director of the Justice Advisory Council. “But these residents are sons, mothers, neighbors and friends that deserve a chance to thrive and to contribute to their communities. When we connect this vulnerable population to housing and supportive services, we provide the stability they need to be successful. Previously incarcerated residents can in fact become leaders and change makers in their communities and we are incredibly proud to be increasing access to the services that help make this possible.”
The types of wraparound services that will be funded under the initiative are:
- Case Management Services including needs assessments, transition planning, connecting to and navigating services and support
- Legal Support including expungement, petitions and record sealing
- Housing Access Advocacy including assistance with finding housing, communicating with landlords and advocating for legal rights
- Employment Supports including job readiness training, job placement and entrepreneurship opportunities
- Healthcare Services including physical, mental and behavioral health services and substance abuse support
- Educational Supports including GED and literacy programs, certification programs, and special education services
Eligible organizations interested in partnering to provide wraparound services for returning residents receiving rental assistance will respond to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from the JAC. The RFQ will be published on the JAC Grants website on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. The deadline to submit a response is Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at 5:00pm.
A virtual information session on the funding opportunity will be held on Wednesday, January 25, 2022, at 1:00 pm. Register here.