Earlier this week, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Brandie Knazze announced that $1.2M has been distributed to more than 2,400 eligible households who applied for financial relief from the Chicago Resiliency Fund 2.0. The purpose of the fund is to provide $500 relief payments to populations that had difficulties accessing and qualifying for federal relief payments, including households with dependents who were excluded from federal stimulus payments, undocumented residents, and domestic workers.
The initial application, for households with qualifying dependents on their 2019 taxes, (such as college students or disabled relatives) opened October 31 and closed March 31. Outreach was conducted citywide by DFSS, Association House of Chicago, and the Chinese Mutual Aid Association, generating more than 6,000 applications for up to 4,000 awards. The nonprofit program administrator, Heartland Human Care Services, reviewed all applications and approved 2,284 eligible households to receive a $500 relief payment.
“My administration is proud to have delivered this added financial relief to caregivers in our city,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “We know that cash assistance works to combat the harmful effects of poverty. The US Census Bureau estimated that the first two rounds of federal stimulus payments lifted 11.7 million people out of poverty in 2020. With the Resiliency Fund 2.0, we can catch additional households who fell through the cracks due to eligibility requirements that changed with the third stimulus payment and address the economic insecurity that too many of our caregivers and care workers face.”
The Resiliency Fund 2.0 is still accepting applications from eligible undocumented residents and domestic workers. DFSS intends to award up to 7,000 domestic workers and 10,000 undocumented residents with a one-time $500 relief payment. To be eligible, applicants must be a domestic worker or undocumented resident, live in Chicago, be 18 or older, and have household income at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level ($74,580 for a household of 3). The Chicago Resiliency Fund 2.0 is open to all eligible Chicago residents, regardless of legal immigration status. No questions will be asked regarding citizenship or immigration status in the application or verification process. COVID-19 cash assistance is not considered under public charge analysis.
“Since 2020, my department and our community partners have distributed more than $143 million in rental and financial assistance to residents, helping them meet their basic needs such as housing and food,” said Knazze. “Now, the Resiliency Fund 2.0 is enabling us to better serve our city’s domestic workers and undocumented residents to further strengthen our social safety net as we, and our residents emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The term “Domestic worker” refers to those who in the last 12 months have been paid for household services such as childcare or housekeeping which take place in a private home or residence. Examples include housekeeping, childcare or other caregiving, home health services, cooking, chauffeuring, and more.
“Undocumented resident” refers to anyone residing in the United States without legal documentation, and who lacks a Social Security number valid for employment. This includes people who entered the country without inspection and authorization from the government, and those who entered with a valid visa that is no longer valid.
Residents should visit www.chicash.org to learn more and submit their online application. Applications and customer support are available in Spanish, Polish, Chinese, and Arabic. Up to two applications per household will be accepted and paid. Those who have not received any previous COVID-19 cash assistance from the State of Illinois’ Welcoming Center COVID-19 Recovery Fund or from the Immigrant Family Support Project will be given priority for the Resiliency Fund 2.0 payments.
The website also contains additional information on eligibility, the application process, and helpdesk contact information. Outreach materials can be downloaded for community organizations interested in spreading the word, and residents can access a public calendar of upcoming information and assistance events (virtual and in-person). Upcoming events include:
- Daily application assistance from Erie Neighborhood House at the Mexican Consulate on Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., 204 S. Ashland Ave. Spanish-language assistance available.
- Daily application assistance from Pui Tak Center on Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 2216 S Wentworth Ave. Mandarin and Cantonese language assistance available.
Freebies for Families at Southwest Collective, May 21, 2023, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. St. Gall Parish, 5511 S. Sawyer Ave.
The Chicago Resiliency Fund 2.0 is part of the $1.9B Chicago Recovery Plan and represents a continued commitment from the City of Chicago to center households in the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is modeled after the 2020 Chicago Resiliency Fund, which was a public partnership between the City of Chicago, The Resurrection Project and Open Society Foundation that provided cash assistance to residents excluded from the first federal stimulus payments.