Cook County’s new initiative, Cook County Legal Aid for Housing and Debt (CCLAHD), helps residents resolve eviction, foreclosure, consumer debt, and tax deed issues. The first program under the initiative, the Early Resolution Program (ERP), provides free legal aid, mediation services, and connections to other resources including rental assistance for tenants and landlords dealing with evictions, property owners who are behind on their mortgage payments or property taxes, and creditors and debtors with issues related to consumer debt. Visit www.cookcountylegalaid.org or call (855) 956-5763 to find out more information and get help. The services are provided for free for residents of Cook County and are being offered to:
- tenants facing eviction,
- landlords dealing with an eviction,
- debtors being sued for unpaid bills,
- creditors wishing to collect their unpaid debts, and
- property owners who have fallen behind on property taxes or mortgage payments.
Access to Care is partnering with Cook County to share CCHLADD services to our members and communities.
The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) offers “Destination: Vaccination”, which provides free rides to vaccination sites throughout suburban Cook County. Access to Care is proud to assist Cook County with this new program. To set up a free ride, call the Destination: Vaccination hotline at 833-308-1988 and they will set up a ride for you to a vaccination site. You can also call our office at 708-531-0680 (Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm).
COVID-19 Vaccines and Communities of Color: Providing Information & Addressing Concerns
For over 30 years, Access to Care has provided primary health care services to those in need. Most of our members are people of color who have been historically underserved in health care. Our focus in 2020 was to help support our members and communities by providing even easier access to health care services; sharing frequent, trusted information; and relieving pandemic-related worries.
In 2021, the negative impacts of the pandemic are still felt among our members and the communities we serve. Access to Care joined with County and local partners to address health equity and access by making over 1,100 vaccine appointments in 5 weeks. We have been promoting vaccinations sites and informational messages about masking, contact tracing, social distancing, and vaccine safety.
Vaccines to protect us from COVID-19 are now recommended for individuals 12 and older. Opportunities to receive a vaccine are now readily available. However, there are concerns in communities of color about equity (making sure everyone that wants a vaccine can get one) and hesitancy (why some people do not want to get the vaccine). Most US states report that Black and Latinx populations have received smaller shares of vaccinations than White populations.
On May 17, 2021, CDC reported that race/ethnicity was known for 56% of people who had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Among this group, 62% were White, 13% were Hispanic, and 9% were Black.
To address vaccine concerns, in the hopes of increasing vaccination rates for people of color, Access to Care has compiled some resources for our members, partners, and communities to help reach communities of color. The list is not exhaustive, but we will add to the list as we become aware of additional resources. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a resources you’d like us to add.
Assistance to Communities
We recently asked members to tell us how COVID-19 had affected them and their families. We wanted to share resources specific to the needs identified:
Jobs and Unemployment
- Illinois Department of Employment Security (unemployment)
- Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (find jobs; learn new skills)
- Cook County Government (find jobs)
Rent or mortgage; utility bills and other bills
- Housing Forward or call 708-338-1724
- State of IL Utility Bill Help or 217-785-2533
- As an ATC member, you can receive a 90-day medication supply for a 30-day cost, and help with medication costs. Call or email the Resource Desk for more information
- Get connected to the internet or save on your internet bill service discount up to $30/month
Food and household items
- Greater Chicago Food Depository or call 773-247-3663
- ABE – State of Illinois site that helps with food and other needs
- Chicago Furniture Bank – helps with furniture and home furnishings
Stress and worry
- As an ATC member, you can receive counseling sessions (up to 8 sessions) for a $5 co-pay. Call or email the Resource Desk for more information.
Still looking for more help? We encourage to call your local township or city offices. They may have services for their residents.