The Illinois Department of Human Services announced Tuesday two summer COVID-19 response programs aimed at providing support to both youth residents and immigrant families within the state.
The summer youth program provides support in finding employment opportunities amid the coronavirus pandemic to "at-risk" young people between ages 16 and 24 in Illinois.
The employment program aims to employ 2,200 low-income, minority and at-risk young people living in high poverty areas and places hit hardest by the pandemic.
Those who participate will be placed in age-appropriate, ability-appropriate and experience-appropriate programs, primarily at entry-level positions, according to the IDHS.
In order to be eligible for the youth program, an individual must be:
- A low income or at-risk individual between the ages of 16 to 24
- An Illinois resident
- Able to provide an I-9 prior to employment
The Immigrant Family Support Project aims to provide pandemic-related emergency assistance funding to Illinois immigrants facing unemployment, loss of income and medical costs, along with food and housing insecurity as a result of COVID-19.
These services will be provided to families regardless of immigration status, according to the ISDH.
"Immigrants play an essential role in our society and make up the fabric of our communities across the state of Illinois," Secretary of IDHS Grace Hou said. "We want everyone to know help is here for anyone who needs it."
Through local partnerships, the IDHS plans to provide funding to more than 3,600 households of immigrant families, focusing on those with the lowest income.
In order to be eligible for the Immigrant Family Support Project, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be a resident of Illinois
- Previously experienced an income disruption directly due to the coronavirus pandemic
- Not eligible for federal stimulus or unemployment insurance