Updates from the CoC

Home for All Continuum of Care
January 1, 2021

Note from the Director

The Continuum's New Year's Resolution: Reinstating the Monthly Newsletter!

While the newsletter fell off the priority list due to a few minor 2020 developments (I'm sure you sense the sarcasm), the information sharing that takes place through the newsletter is invaluable. So in 2021, the Continuum will be back in newsletter-shape!

2020 has certainly been a wild ride. While the news in March seemed to be earth shattering at the time, none of us anticipated the situation we would find ourselves in as we close out the year. When I consider the highs of this past year, all of the achievements of the cross-collaboration that has occurred because of COVID certainly shines through. To all of the Continuum's partners who make the work meaningful and impactful, thank you. Each of you play a crucial role in meeting the needs of those experiencing homelessness. The community and Continuum are better off because of you.

Sending wishes for a bright and joyous 2021.

Kate Green

Executive Director Home for All Continuum of Care

Safe Shelter for the I-74 Encampment

Speaking of collaborations and achievements in 2020, I hope everyone has heard about the incredible work that took place to close out the year. In a partnership that included Phoenix Community Development Services, the City of Peoria, Jolt Harm Reduction, The Salvation Army, OSF, Goodwill Industries of Central Illinois and Dream Center Peoria, all individuals who were staying in the encampment under the I-74 bridge were transitioned to safe shelter on December 28 and 29. The effort was planned and executed in less than two weeks.

While shelter isn't the long term solution, providing adequate shelter while working toward permanent housing is an important step in the housing journey for these individuals. Please join the Continuum in celebrating this effort and all the partners involved. It is a shining beacon of what is possible when we all align toward a shared vision.

Online Legal Help during COVID

The Illinois COVID Housing and Economic Loss Prevention tool (H.E.L.P.) is a statewide initiative to provide no-cost legal guidance and representation to Illinoisans experiencing common legal problems due to the pandemic. COVID H.E.L.P. offers a team of virtual legal assistants that can address common pandemic-related issues facing Illinoisans:

  • Personal debt and bankruptcy Housing (landlord/tenant, eviction, and foreclosure)
  • Employment
  • Unemployment
  • Wills, estates and guardianship

Illinois residents can access free legal assistance 24/7 at COVIDhelpillinois.org COVIDhelpillinois.org.

Annual Point in Time Count

The annual Point in Time Count provides an opportunity for us to gain greater insight into the state of sheltered and unsheltered homelessness across the Continuum’s four county service area. This year’s Count will take place overnight from January 26th into January 27th.

While the unsheltered count will look a bit different due to COVID precautions, the Phoenix CDS Street Outreach Team will still be out across the four counties to conduct surveys. If you or your clients are aware of locations that should be visited by the team, please send the locations to Molly Pilgreen a mpilgreen@phoenixcds.org.


Resource Fair

Just as everything else has been impacted by COVID, so too has the annual Resource Fair that accompanies the Point in Time Count. Rather than a booth setup for participations to walk through, Dream Center Peoria will stuff bags in advance to hand directly to participants. While more information about the Fair is forthcoming, Dream Center Peoria is ready to begin collecting items for distribution including resource materials and supplies.

Is your organization interested in providing a flier, pamphlet or other information to include? Are you or your agency interested in donating supplies? The wish list for donations includes:

  • Resource Pamphlets/Fliers
  • Chapstick
  • Hand Warmers
  • Non-perishable Treats
  • Small Hand Sanitizers
  • Comb/Nail Clippers/Nail Files

Please reach out to Kristy Schofield at kristy.schofield@dreamcenterpeoria.org.


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