PLAINFIELD — To help families searching for relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is highlighting additional unemployment benefits and rental assistance for families who are still struggling.

“The public health crisis has led to severe financial losses for thousands of Illinois families, at no fault of their own,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “These programs will help Illinoisans begin to bounce back from their hardships by ensuring they don’t have to worry about how they will be able to keep a roof over their heads.”

The Illinois Housing Development Authority is offering support through the Emergency Rental Assistance program for renters who are at risk of homelessness when the moratorium on evictions expires later this month.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must have fallen behind on their rent since March 1 and must be able to demonstrate income losses as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Applications open Aug. 10 at 9 a.m. and will be available at ERA.IHDA.org. The application period will close no later than Aug. 21. However, it may close earlier if IHDA receives an overwhelming number of applications, so renters are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Successful applicants will be notified within 2-3 weeks of submitting their forms.

While applications are only available online, community partners are available to help people who cannot complete an application over the internet. A list of these partners will soon be available in the Resources section of the program’s website and at (888) 252-1119.

An Emergency Mortgage Assistance program will launch later this month to assist homeowners who are struggling financially.

Additionally, the Illinois Department of Employment Security announced Thursday that 20 weeks of state extended benefits are available to people who exhaust the allotted 26 weeks of regular state unemployment and the additional 13 weeks of federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.

People with questions or those who need assistance with unemployment benefits should visit IDES.Illinois.gov.

PLAINFIELD — As more parents continue to head back to work, many of them need safe and reliable child care. State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is encouraging child care providers to apply for Child Care Restoration Grants to help them reopen after months of financial distress.
“As workplaces continue to reopen, many employees are in need of child care and want to make sure they are sending their children to facilities that are clean, safe and adhering to all guidelines,” said Bertino-Tarrant, who voted to create the program. “The grant will allow child care facilities to reopen while ensuring they have the funds to keep children safe.”

The Illinois Department of Human Services is distributing $270 million in available funding to assist child care providers across the state with reopening in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Licensed child care providers that meet the eligibility criteria may apply for Child Care Restoration Grants.

To be eligible for the grant, child care providers must:

  • Have a current license from the Department of Children and Family Services to care for children,
  • Be open and caring for children at the time of application,
  • Be able to demonstrate a “business interruption” from their pre-COVID capacity, and
  • Submit a complete application with all required documents.

Applications are open now until Aug. 14. To learn more and apply, child care providers should visit www.inccrra.org/.

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School Districts throughout the 49th Senate District are working hard to address the needs of the communities.

Below is a list of current plans by school districts.

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PLAINFIELD — As a result of our current situation, some people are forced to stay in dangerous situations because they have nowhere else to go.

State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is reminding people the importance of reporting suspected abuse, neglect and exploitation of all people — but especially those who may not be able to speak up on their own, including older adults and people with disabilities.

“Victims of abuse can be too afraid to report on their own, or do not have the means to do so,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It’s up to everyone to be aware of the signs of abuse and keep an eye on neighbors, customers, and our loved ones.”

Alongside the Illinois Department on Aging, Bertino-Tarrant is advocating to protect seniors and adults with disabilities from abuse. The three-year campaign — pegged as Engage2Change — received a $2.1 million grant from the federal Administration for Community Living.

Through the use of television, email marketing and other digital platforms, the campaign will focus on educating people about the signs of abuse and encouraging them to do their part to prevent future problems.

“People who suspect abuse should report it immediately,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We need to ensure those who need help get it as soon as possible.”

People who are victims of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation — or know someone who is a victim — are encouraged to call the Department on Aging’s 24-hour abuse hotline at 866-800-1409, or visit illinois.gov/aging/engage. Trained professionals are available to take reports of suspected abuse and forward them to local adult protective service agencies.

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