There is believed to be an estimated 80,000 residents in the Chicagoland area who are homeless according to the Chicago Coalition of Homelessness. Starting in January of 2021, a count began to collect data to get a more accurate estimate on how many homeless residents there are.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ruthlessly strike Chicago, its effects have not just been medical but have had detrimental effects finically. On March 11, President Joe Biden signed off on a new COVID-19 relief package, American Rescue Plan, granting $50 billion in aid for essential housing needs and homeless assistance.
Additionally, in December of 2020, an Emergency Rental Assistance plan was implemented providing $25 billion in aid. The allocation in Illinois being, $834,709,84. The intent of this program is to assist households who have been affected by COVID-19 and are no longer able to pay their rent and utilities.
With the assistance of these programs, as well as, Chicago’s Department of Family & Support Services (DFSS), Chicago is making good steps towards fighting homelessness. Many of these services provide 24/7 care for emergency housing due to crisis or homelessness. There are also programs that are offered during the daytime hours of Chicago. One of which is a DFSS funded program that has created 8 drop-in centers throughout the Chicagoland offering a safe and quiet place for homeless residents. These drop-in centers also include shower facilities, laundry services, meals and other basic services.