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Emergency Assistance

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Emergency Assistance Services

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.  The Emergency Assistance Program is operated and funded by the General Assistance Program and is provided according to adopted and written standards set forth by the General Assistance Program.  Emergency Assistance can only be issued once in a 12-month period and must meet the definition of an “Emergency” or “Life-Threatening” situation (evictions, utility disconnections or food).

Emergency Assistance assists in the following:

  • Rental payment assistance
  • Mortgage payment assistance
  • Condominium Assessment fee assistance
  • Utility payment assistance
  • Food

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Must be a resident of the State of Illinois and reside in the City of Evanston.
  • Must not be eligible for General Assistance.
  • Must be income eligible.
  • Must have documented emergency.
  • Household gross income at or below 200% Poverty Guidelines for utility, rent and food assistance.  (Note: an exception can be made if extenuating circumstances can be documented that shows the use of excess income for an emergency situation).
  • Household gross at or below HUD 80% Median income for mortgage and condominium assessment fees.

Documentation Requirements

  • Proof of income for at least the past 30 days for all members of the household 18 years of age or older (check stubs with social security number, name and pay period: UCB letter, SSI letter, etc.)  If a household is including foster children on the application, the household will be required to provide proof of income that is being received for foster children.
  • All members of the household documented (Social Security Card, Birth Certificates, etc.)
  • Current Lease/Landlord Rental Verification, Mortgage Statement or Condominium Association Payment Booklet/Notice.
  • Mortgage Delinquency Notice, Pending court order for eviction, or 10/5 Day Delinquency Notice for individual seeking delinquent rental assistance.  Referral from Housing counseling Agency required.
  • Utility Bills and Utility Disconnect Notice.
  • Documentation of the emergency situation (i.e. letter from IDHS)
  • Proof of payment toward mortgage, condo assessment fee, rent and or utilities.
  • If applicable, Housing Choice Voucher approval and amount being paid for rent.
  • If applicable, proof that you have applied for Unemployment Compensation Benefits, Social Security, Supplemental Social
  • Security, TANF, etc.
  • Bank statements for the past 30 days.
  • Proof of reason why the emergency situation occurred (i.e. proof of loss of wages, reduction in unemployment, illness, interruption in food stamps, burial expenses, car repairs on vehicle for work, natural disasters, etc.)
  • Rental & Mortgage Assistance

Delinquent rent and mortgage assistance is paid directly to the landlord or financial institution once a client presents a 10 or 5 day notice from the landlord or court order for eviction proceeding and for those who meet other eligibility guidelines.

If you are more than one month delinquent, or your monthly mortgage exceeds the Emergency Assistance maximum payment level, you must first pay or make arrangements to pay the difference before assistance can be provided.

The City of Evanston does not pay security deposits or first month’s rent except in the case of individual or family displacement due to disaster.

Condominium Assessment Fees

The City of Evanston also provides assistance with condominium assessment fees because the State of Illinois allows a Condominium Association to take possession of an owner’s unit for non-payment of assessment fees. This situation can lead to potential homelessness for the individual or family. An applicant may apply for assistance with delinquent monthly condominium assessment fees of up to $750.00.  This amount can only cover one month. An applicant is not eligible to apply for both mortgage assistance and condominium assessment fee assistance.

Utility Assistance

The maximum total amount the program will pay toward emergency utility assistance is $1,000.00 per year. Assistance can be provided for heating gas, electric, water and homes that provide heat through oil tanks instead of natural gas. The City will not assist with cooking gas.

Payment will not be made if it does not alleviate the potential disconnect or assist to restore the utility service.


The City of Evanston Emergency Assistance provides emergency food assistance through food vouchers. 

Applicants must meet the 200% Poverty guidelines.  A family or individual may receive emergency food assistance under two categories: Categorical Basis or Emergency Food Program.  The following situations could qualify as an emergency basis.

How To Apply

To apply for assistance, a person must call or stop by the General Assistance office and provide all required documentation indicated in this document Emergency Assistance Application.

Location & Hours Of Operation

City of Evanston General Assistance Office
Lorraine H. Morton – Civic Center
2100 Ridge Avenue – Room 1600, 1st Floor
Evanston, IL  60201

Phone: (847) 448-8112
Fax: (847) 448-8057
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.




After Hours Communication

For after hours communicable disease or bioterrorism emergencies, please call 847-448-4311 and stay on the line to be connected to someone immediately.