- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- State of Illinois Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- IDPH Hotline: 1-800-889-3931, email@example.com
- Cook County
- AlertCook: Text "AlertCook" to 888-777, Hotline: 708-633-3319, Email: CCDPH.COVID19@cookcountyhhs.org.
- Northwestern University
- ETHS District 202
- Evanston/Skokie School District 65
- Governor's Office COVID-19 Legislative Briefing
- NorthShore University HealthSystem
- AMITA Health
General & Emergency Assistance Program
The City’s Health and Human Services Department offers financial and emergency assistance towards rent, mortgage, utilities and food. For information, please call/text 847-448-4311.
The General Assistance Program is a locally-administered program that is mandated by the State of Illinois and funded by the taxpayers of Evanston. The Emergency Assistance Services Program is administered through the General Assistance Program and is available to all City of Evanston residents who meet income and asset guidelines as established by the General Assistance Office.
Economic Impact Payments
The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced on March 30 that distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks and will be distributed automatically, with no action required for most people. However, some taxpayers who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the economic impact payment. For more information, visit irs.gov.
The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, in collaboration with banks and consumer advocates, has worked to provide free check cashing to Illinois residents that do not have a bank account. Participating banks include Fifth-Third Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, First Midwest, US Bank, and more. Interested Illinoisans should call a bank branch or email IDFPR at IL.Banks@Illinois.gov to set up appointments with the banking institutions to ensure proper identification and ensure social distancing safety. In addition, Illinois consumers are encouraged to visit www.getmypaymentil.org for additional resources and information. Locally, Byline Bank is also offering free check cashing.
Comcast Xfinity is offering free WiFi hotspots across the country for anyone who needs them, including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit xfinity.com/wifi. Comcast is also offering Internet Essentials free to new customers. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. More information and services can be found at corporate.comcast.com.
Many wireless companies, including AT&T, Verizon and others, have signed on to the FCC's Keep Americans Connected Pledge. More than 500 companies have pledged to not terminate service to residential or small business customers for 60 days due to their inability to pay bills due to COVID-19 disruptions; waive late fees incurred due to economic circumstances related to the pandemic; and open up Wi-Fi hotspots to Americans who need them.
The City has eliminated nonpayment penalties for water, sewer and sanitation bills due between March 16 and April 30 for 60 days. The City has also halted water service shutoffs.
- The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has announced guidance for renters and homeowners struggling with payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. View this resource from Legal Aid Chicago for questions about eviction notices.
- The Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO) can assist residents with questions related to landlord-tenant problems, including repairs, no heat/hot water, pests, evictions and security deposits. Information and questions can be submitted online or by calling 773-292-4988.
- Please note, the City does not have authority over private mortgage foreclosures or to impose a rent freeze.
- If you feel you are in danger of becoming homeless, please visit the website of Housing Action Illinois.
- If you are already experiencing homelessness, please visit the Emergency and Transitional Provider List to find shelter options near you.
- Click here for a guide to available resources and questions to ask when deciding to delay payments.
- If you are a landlord looking to fill vacancies, register your units with the city housing programs so that we can reach out to you if a tenant can be matched to your unit.
- Guide for At Risk Homeowners from Illinois Realtors.
Emergency Food Pantry
The City will continue to provide the Emergency Food Pantry. In order to extend the pantry beyond the initial eight weeks of planned operations, the pantry will operate every other Wednesday (twice monthly) from 10:30 a.m. to noon until further notice. Food pantries in July will take place on July 8 and 22.
The pantry, located at James Park, offers Evanston residents free, prepackaged boxes of food, including non-perishable items, produce, and protein. Boxes are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Boxes will not be distributed before 10:30 a.m.
To facilitate social distancing and ensure the safety of staff and patrons, pick-ups should occur in a vehicle. Participants arriving on foot will be directed to an area where they can pick up a food box. Drivers are asked to enter the site by driving southbound on Dodge Avenue and turning right onto Mulford Street. There is a limit of one box per household. All participants must show a valid ID with their current Evanston address to qualify.
Community members can support the Food Pantry by making a financial contribution at cityofevanston.org/
Summer Youth Food Program
Beginning on Monday, July 6, the Youth Food Distribution Program will transition to the Summer Youth Food Program. As in previous years, free cold breakfasts and lunches will be served on a first-come, first-served basis daily, Monday through Friday, to youth ages 1 to 18 years old.
New this year, all meals will be grab and go and no congregating will be allowed. Breakfasts will be served from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and lunches will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following four locations through Friday, August 14:
- Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster St.
- Robert Crown Community Center, 1801 Main St.
- Kamen Park David Wood Fieldhouse, 1111 South Blvd.
- Mason Park, Church Street and Florence Avenue
The Greater Chicago Food Depository's Producemobile is scheduled to come to Evanston from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, July 14, and July 28 at the Levy Senior Center, 300 Dodge Ave.
On these dates, Producemobile volunteers will distribute boxes of fresh produce, frozen pre-cooked meat, and assorted dairy products to Cook County residents. There will be a drive-up (preferred) and walk-up line, and numbered tickets will be given on arrival (one per driver). Drivers may enter only from southbound Dodge Avenue. Face coverings are required.
Distribution will take place outside, rain or shine. No seating is available, but a portable toilet is. There will continue to be a Producemobile distribution on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays each month in August and September with the location TBA. Please call 847-475-1150 or 847-869-0478 or check back here in early August for updated information. This program is co-sponsored by Interfaith Action of Evanston and the City of Evanston.
Pandemic P-EBT SNAP Benefits
Need help buying food for your school age children? Apply for P-EBT SNAP Benefits. This is a special benefit that can help you buy food for your school age children 3 to 17 years old and 18 to 22 years old (in high school), who would receive National School Lunch Program free or reduced-priced meals when schools are in session. View information in English and Spanish.
The City has assemble a list of additional Food Resources.
Several grocery stores have implemented special shopping hours for seniors and those most vulnerable to COVID-19, including Target (Wednesdays, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.), Whole Foods (daily, 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.), Jewel-Osco (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.), and Valli Produce (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. beginning March 31).
The Downtown Evanston Farmers' Market also offers shopping hours for seniors from 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
View the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) website for a complete list.
Residents who do not currently possess an Evanston Public Library Card can receive a temporary 30-day card remotely. The Library wants everyone in Evanston to be able to make use of digital services like Kanopy, Hoopla, Overdrive, ebooks, and e-audiobooks. Fill out the online form to take advantage of this offer.
The City has waived business registration fees for the remainder of 2020; however, businesses are still required to register with the City in order to facilitate communication. Nonpayment penalties for liquor and amusement taxes have been waived for bills due between March 16 and April 30 for the next 60 days.
In addition to the resources listed below, the City has compiled a COVID-19 Business Resource Checklist.
Face Covering Guidance
The Illinois Department of Human Rights has provided FAQs for businesses regarding the use of face coverings.
Strategic Consulting Support
Northwestern University and its Kellogg School of Management are partnering with the City of Evanston to provide strategic consulting support to local business owners. The initiative allows Evanston business owners to set up a profile on Startup Tree, a software provider that facilitates university entrepreneurship. Local business owners can browse the Kellogg network of volunteers across functions and industries and schedule meetings to discuss their business challenges. They also can work with student volunteers on short-term projects, such as cash flow analysis.
- US Small Business Administration Loans
- US Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program
- US Small Business Administration Lender Match Program
Lender Match is a free online referral tool that connects small business with participating SBA-approved lenders
State of Illinois Level Assistance
- Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG)
- IDES Unemployment Benefits for employees
- State of Illinois COVID-19 Small Business Impact Survey
- IDES Unemployment Insurance
- Information for Small Business
- Emergency Small Business Grants and Loans Assistance
- Stay at Home Order Essential Business Guidance
- Disability Resources
- Guidance for Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Funeral Homes
- Emergency Daycare Program
- Attorney General’s Workplace Rights Bureau: call 877-470-5076 or submit a complaint online.
- Unemployment Insurance Eligibility: call Claimant Services at (800) 244-5631.
- Taxes, Fines and Fees Relief Package
- Cook County Community Recovery Fund Application. This loan fund offers one-time, zero-interest loans of up to $20,000 for small businesses and up to $10,000 for independent contractors in suburban Cook County.
- Grubhub suspends commissions for independently owned restaurants needing delivery service
- Free Xfinity Wifi Hotspots
- Facebook announces grant program for small businesses impacted by COVID-19
Community Development Financial Institutions
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) can help provide additional financial resources for small businesses.
- ACCION Chicago
Lending Type: Consumer, Microenterprise
- C3 Fund
Lending Type: Business
- Chicago Community Loan Fund
Lending Type: Housing, Real Estate
- Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group
Lending Type: Microenterprise, Business
Lending Type: Community Facilities, Housing
- Lending for Evanston and Northwestern Development (LEND)
Lending Type: Business, Microenterprise
- Local Enterprise Assistance Fund (LEAF)
Lending Type: Business, Housing, Microenterprise
Lending Type: Consumer, Microenterprise
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused fear and anxiety for many. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using the following mechanisms to help cope with stress:
- Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals. Exercise regularly. Get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
If you or someone you know is feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety and are in need of mental health services, please refer to the following resources:
AMITA St. Francis Hospital Behavioral Health Services
The City has contracted with AMITA Health St. Francis Hospital to provide education, mental health care, support, counseling and crisis intervention services. Residents may dial 847-448-8659 to access these free services.
Call 4 Calm
Call 4 Calm is a free emotional support text line where you can speak with a mental health professional.
Text “TALK” to 552020 or “HABLAR” for service in Spanish to the same number 552020.
For Healthcare Professionals and Essential Workers
Text for support dealing with anxiety, stress, fear, isolation, or other difficult emotions you are experiencing. Visit forthefrontlines.org to learn more.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Helpline: 312-563-0445 (trained counselors available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
NAMI Resource Guide
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
National Domestic Violence Hotline
COVID-19 and Gun Violence Prevention
Illinois Department of Human Services
Illinois Mental Health Collaborative for Access and Choice
Virtual Support Group via PEER Services
Join a FREE virtual support group for community members struggling with substance use during the pandemic. The support group takes place on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join!
The Living Room at Turning Point
The Living Room is a drop-in center for adults over the age of 18 who are seeking mental health assistance. They are open remotely on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings, 3-8 p.m., to support people via phone or video conference at 847-933-9202.
Family Institute at Northwestern University
The Family Institute at NU has a clinic providing therapy services remotely. They use a sliding scale payment model. (847733-4300.
Erika's Lighthouse is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing teens with depression awareness programs. erikaslighthouse.org/
Mental Health Q&A
On April 20, Mayor Hagerty hosted a "Coronavirus Q&A" on mental health with local experts, Dr. Adia Gooden and Dr. Christine Somevill.
For Families and Caregivers
- The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development GOECD has updated information on actions taken by the state regarding childcare and early childhood development on GOECD's website. This site includes updates on emergency child care for essential workers and teletherapy in Early Intervention, among other critical issues.
- Call 1-888-228-1146 toll free to be connected with a Child Care Resource and Referral Agency that helps connect essential workers and families to emergency childcare.Text 1-312-736-7390 to be connected with Illinois Action for Children regarding the Child Care Assistance Program.
- District 65's Family Support Program is providing support like diapers, food, and connections with services in the community to expectant parents and families with children ages 0 to 3 years old. For information, please call 847-424-2446
- Visit cps.edu/remotelearning for the most up-to-date information on remote learning and to access valuable remote learning resources for your children. CPS has provided this guide for Getting Connected to the Internet and best practices for privacy and confidentiality when participating in remote learning.
For Providers: Education and Childcare
The City, in partnership with the Evanston Community Foundation, Evanston 311 and the Evanston Public Library, launched the Evanston Care Network to better connect individuals seeking social service assistance and resources with verified providers.
The Evanston Care Network is available at evanstoncarenetwork.org. The platform connects residents with social service information and resources, while allowing businesses and non-profits to better coordinate their efforts. Resource categories include food, shelter, health care, employment, financial assistance, and more. Contact information and eligibility criteria are listed under each resource.
Those seeking resources can visit the website or call 311 for assistance. English and Spanish-speaking representatives are available.
All organizations currently providing free or reduced-cost support to Evanston residents are encouraged to add their information to the website.