Stop Source of Income Discrimination: Support HB2775 (Rep. Ford / LaPointe) and SB2492 (Sen. Villivalam)
THE ILLINOIS COALITION FOR FAIR HOUSING
Background Despite the fair housing rights provided in the Illinois Human Rights Act, many Illinoisans face housing discrimination that locks them out of opportunities due to the exclusion of source of income (SOI) protections. Currently, landlords in areas without SOI protections can legally deny housing to individuals simply because they choose not to accept the applicant’s legal form of income. Unfortunately, this is common. The approximately 99,000 Housing Choice Voucher participants1 and the 575,000+ households earning non-wage income such as SSI, SSDI, TANF, or child support confront stigma, misunderstanding, and outright unwillingness to accept their forms of income. And now, during the COVID19 pandemic, vulnerable workers such as those in the service industry have seen increases in the rate of SOI discrimination because their profession is viewed as unstable.
We must pass this legislation to make source of income discrimination illegal in real estate transactions.
Sign-On Letter to Illinois Department of Public Health Prioritizing People Experiencing Homelessness in Phase 1b of COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
We are seeking signatures from our partners to join us in asking the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to release statewide guidance to prioritize people experiencing homelessness and homeless service provider staff within Phase 1b of COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
The guidance provided by IDPH influences the decisions of local public health departments across the state. We want to collectively lift up the importance of prioritizing people experiencing homelessness and homeless service provider staff in COVID-19 vaccine distribution planning across all of Illinois.
Join us! Please sign on to our letter by Sunday, March 14 so that we can share our list of supporters with IDPH decision-makers before the end of this month.
If you have any questions, please contact Katie Spoden, Advocacy and Development Coordinator at the Alliance to End Homelessness in Suburban Cook County. She can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 708-240-9533.
The Illinois HIV Action Alliance (IHAA) coalition is proud to introduce SB655, legislation that would repeal Illinois’ law criminalizing people living with HIV. Current state law criminalizes people living with HIV for having consensual sex without the use of a condom, needle sharing or for donating blood, tissue, semen or organs. The laws that specifically target and punish people living with HIV are based on outdated assumptions about HIV, are overly harsh and discriminatory, add to already high levels of stigma, and act as a barrier to HIV testing and treatment. IHAA is proud to partner with Senator Robert Peters as our lead Senate sponsor and State Representative Carol Ammons as our lead sponsor in the Illinois House of Representatives.
Please consider signing-on in support of SB655. You can add your organization to the fact sheet HERE. I have attached a copy of the bill factsheet (includes supporting organizations) for your review. In addition, you may view the press release introducing SB655 here.
Senate Bill 655 acknowledges that if we are to realize the priorities and goals of the Getting to Zero statewide initiative to end the HIV epidemic by 2030, then we must lead with science and public health prevention and care strategies that work—not fear, misinformation and discrimination. To end the HIV epidemic in Illinois, we must repeal the state’s law criminalizing people living with HIV.
Advocacy is active! In this introduction session, SHPA's team will present what is advocacy, why it is important, SHPA's advocacy philosophy, and how to get involved including tools and strategies to help you become a change agent through advocacy.
SHPA Members please use discount code "member" to attend for free!
All others: $30
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
This training will focus on the evolution of the supportive housing sector and how the industry will and can respond to the changing times and evolving realities we face. The training is geared towards direct service staff as well as executive staff, COC Leadership, and those dedicated to policy change in our communities.
SHPA Members please use discount code "member" to attend for free!
All others: $30
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
ILLINOIS CAPITOL AFFAIRS
2021 Legislative Session
STATE JOINS THE CITIZENS UTILITY BOARD IN URGING LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF MORE THAN $100 MILLION IN FUNDING STILL AVAILABLE THROUGH ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today joined the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) in announcing upcoming events to help more Illinois utility customers who are struggling with the cost of utility bills during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, the State of Illinois recently implemented a major expansion of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which combined with other household relief funding available, has created the $275 million Help for Illinois Families program to assist those impacted most by COVID-19. With over $100 million in funding still available through this program, the State of Illinois and consumer advocates at CUB are urging residents eligible for the program to take advantage and apply for Help for Illinois Families assistance today. The State and CUB are teaming up to host two free virtual events, in English and Spanish, to assist residents with applying for or learning about the programs. These events will provide an overview of the program, as well as a live question and answer session allowing residents to get their questions answered in real-time.
More information on how to register for free events can be found below. To ensure as many residents possible can attend the informational sessions, both events will also be streamed live on Facebook.
Mike Thomson, Michael Weir, and Aaron Chambers of ThomsonWeir, LLC have since 2012 provided SHPA with government affairs and strategic communications services. They advocate for our interests and regularly share important information for our members.
IDHS issues many Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) throughout the year for our programs. Below is a list of all of the new NOFOs that were recently posted. You can also find a full list of funding opportunities on the IDHS Grant Opportunities web page.
African American HIV/AIDS Response Act
The African American HIV/AIDS Response Act provides funding to prevent the transmission of HIV and provide comprehensive resources for communities of color in Illinois. The HIV/AIDS service delivery system will help to reduce the disparity of HIV infections and AIDS diagnosis in African-Americans. To view the NOFO, apply, and get more information on the webinar/call, go to www.IDPHgrants.com. In the menu on the left, click on “Health Protection – HIV/AIDS” and the African American HIV/AIDS Response Grant opportunity will be at the top of the page in green.
Eviction Response Grants
Illinois Equal Justice Foundation (IEJF) and the IL Department of Human Services (IDHS) have partnered to develop a statewide legal aid and mediation response to the impending eviction crisis. With a budget of $2M to be spent by June 30, 2021, this grant process will be expedited in nature. Applications are due by close of business on March 5, 2021. Funds will be primarily focused on locales that have NOT already established and funded an eviction mitigation program. All applicants must be GATA-certified and 501(c)(3) organizations that are in good standing. For more information, click here: https://iejf.org/eviction-response-grants/.
Independent Living Services for Older Individuals
The purpose of the Older Blind Program is to provide services for individuals age 55 and older whose severe visual impairment makes competitive employment difficult to obtain, but for whom independent living goals are feasible. Services are designed to help persons served under this program to adjust to their blindness by increasing their ability to care for their individual needs. This application closes on March 24, 2021. For more information, click here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=131769.
Cluster Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)
The PSH Cluster Housing model is designed to provide resource support to Class Members living in their own apartments. This is not a therapeutic environment and staff is not stationed in individual apartments. Direct care services, ACT, CST, or case management will be provided to the Class Members by one of the contracted Primes who provide Care Coordination for the Williams and Colbert Consent Decrees. These apartments are "clustered" in close proximity. For more information, click here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=131619.
Front Door Diversion
Front Door Diversion Program (FDDP) services are to be provided to an eligible person who, without such services, might be referred and/or admitted to a Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Facility (SMHRF), and who have been assessed as appropriate for community-based services. Services are provided to allow individuals to live in the most integrated community-based setting. For more information, click here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=131633.
Program functions as a point of contact between the Illinois Juvenile Court System, probation, schools, the community, and the MHJJ Liaison employed by a community Grantee. It is the responsibility of the MHJJ Liaison to build these collaborative relationships to identify and obtain referrals of youth with or at risk for mental health concerns. For more information, click here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=130335.
Housing Bridge Subsidy Administrators
The grantee will conduct the activities of Subsidy Administration on behalf of the Division of Mental Health (DMH) Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Bridge Subsidy Initiative. The DMH PSH Bridge Subsidy Initiative is a partnership that includes Subsidy Administrators (SA) and the DMH Statewide Housing Coordinator, which ultimately coordinates efforts to provide PSH opportunities to DMH eligible consumers in accordance with such mandates as the Williams Consent Decree. For more information, click here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=130339.
Community Support Team
The grantee will create and maintain additional capacity for Community Support Team (CST) services for Northwest Crisis Care System (NCCS) eligible consumers who are unfunded. NCCS's geographic area includes Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Winnebago, and Whiteside counties. The team will meet the CST staffing requirements based on Rule 132, Section 132.145, and Rule 140, Section 140.TABLE N(c)(1). For more information, click here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=130352.
Regions Rural Behavioral Health Access
The grantee under this Rural Behavioral Health Access (RBHA) grant will provide access to all Rule 140 services to individuals residing in Stark and Marshall counties. These services will be provided by 2 FTEs, 1 QMHP, and 1 MHP. Mental Health promotion, education, and advocacy will be provided through county-specific trainings including Mental Health First Aid and Suicide Intervention. For more information, click here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=130356.
Juvenile Inpatient Forensic Services
The grantee will operate an Inpatient Forensic Unit by licensed mental health professionals who will provide statewide forensic services for juveniles adjudicated Unfit to Stand Trial (UST) and Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI) and are remanded to the Illinois Department of Human Services for treatment on an inpatient basis. These services shall include, but are not limited to, psychiatric, mental health, substance abuse, and dually-diagnosed intellectual disability treatment services, as well as, legal education, case management, transportation, court reporting, and court testimony. For more information, click here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=130455.
Regions Deaf Special Program
The grantee shall deliver mental health services to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deafblind by utilizing a culturally affirmative approach. This approach will adhere to the Americans with Disabilities Act. For more information, click here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=130459.
Regions IPS Trainers
The grantee will provide evidence-based Individual Placement and Supported Employment (IPS-SE) to assist persons with serious mental illness obtain mainstream competitive employment. For more information, click here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=130463.
Regions Extended MISA Detox
The grantee will provide hospital-based extended Mental Illness/Substance Abuse (MISA) detox. The grantee will serve clients from their own Emergency Department and the Emergency Department of other Community Hospitals and community service Grantees. After the clients have completed detox, the Grantee will refer the clients to community agencies for continued MISA services. For more information, click here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=130467.
The grantee will purchase psychiatric medications for consumers who are in emergent situations and are likely, without needed medications, to require more expensive and intensive services (such as hospitalization). An emergent situation is defined as an immediate need for psychiatric medication to prevent exacerbation of psychiatric symptoms for an individual who is without the funds to purchase them, and is not eligible for Medicaid, or if eligible for Medicaid, is not able to immediately access these medications using the Medicaid benefit. For more information, click here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=130471.
The Grantee will operate the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) formula grant, providing flexible, community-based services throughout the State of Illinois to address the needs of adults ages 18-65+ and families, with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders, who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. For more information, click here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=131571.
The Grantee shall administer the Ambassador Program and maintain a network of ambassadors to deliver the activities described herein. Ambassadors are Williams or Colbert Consent Decree Class Members who have transitioned from Specialized Mental Health Rehabilitation Facilities (SMHRFs) or Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) into community living and have completed a minimum of 20 hours of training specific to providing peer support services. The ambassadors visit the SMHRFs or SNFs to speak about hope, recovery, resilience, and their journey in transitioning to the community and conduct open question/answer discussion. For more information, click here: https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=131581.
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services has posted an Updated Medicaid Rate List for Nursing Facilities and SMHRF's, Effective January 1, 2021. You may view the updated list from the following lnk: Long Term Care (illinois.gov)
We are pleased to announce that Anthony Love rejoined USICH as its interim Executive Director on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, via detail assignment from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In his role at VA, Anthony serves as the Senior Advisor and Director of Community Engagement, VHA Homeless Programs. He has been there since he left his position as Deputy Executive Director here at USICH in 2012, where he was responsible for coordinating the state and local work of the Council and served as the lead on Veterans issues for the Council.
Prior to USICH, he served as the President/CEO of the Coalition for the Homeless, which is the leader of the homeless response system for Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery Counties in Texas.
Anthony has almost 25 years of experience in homelessness, Veterans, and poverty issues. He holds a BA in Broadcast Journalism from Texas State University, and a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
We hope you will join us in congratulating Anthony, and we look forward to engaging with you in the weeks and months ahead.
The National Human Services Data Consortium (NHSDC) is a collaborative organization that understands the importance of data quality and the value of using valid and reliable data for community planning and performance measurement. NHSDC has worked for over 14 years to deliver conferences that allow Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) professionals to share ideas, current challenges, and best practices while developing a critical network of peer support.
Senate Approves COVID-19 Relief Bill, More Advocacy Needed!
The Senate voted today to approve the American Rescue Plan Act, overcoming a major hurdle to enacting the bill.
The comprehensive relief package, which includes almost $50 billion in essential housing and homelessness assistance, now goes to the House floor as soon as Monday for a final vote before heading to President Biden’s desk for his signature.
Please contact your representatives and urge them to vote to approve the relief package!
We are immensely grateful for the incredible work that SOAR case workers and SOAR leaders are doing to serve those who are most vulnerable in our communities. The SOAR initiative is special and unique in so many ways. It requires people to step out of their comfort zones, learn complex regulations, and navigate complicated bureaucracies. You all do it with grace and fortitude.
Our country and these lands on which we live have seen difficult times over the centuries, and this time in which we are living is one that will remain in our hearts and history books as one of the most challenging. We have all struggled personally and professionally in so many ways. We are so proud of how SOAR providers have shown both resilience and innovation. Although the challenges of enduring a global pandemic are real, you all have found, and continue to find, ways of continuing SOAR work with compassion for the people we serve and commitment to the fidelity of the SAMHSA SOAR model. You’ve figured out new ways to communicate and stay safe, all while continuing to help people access life-saving benefits. Every form, every Medical Summary Report, every phone call to the Social Security Administration (SSA) is taking a step to transform someone’s life. Your SOAR work matters.
Thank you for your essential work. —Kristin Lupfer, Dazara Ware, and Abigail Kirkman, SAMHSA SOAR TA Center
National Disability Forum COVID-19 and SSA Programs: Mental Health Impact on Adults and Children
Thursday, April 15, 2021
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET
STAY TUNED: Additional details are forthcoming.
To learn more about the National Disability Forum, check out https://www.ssa.gov/ndf/.
If you have any questions, feel free to email us at OEA.Net.Post@ssa.gov.