Cook County Fund To Provide COVID-19 Relief To Families

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A south suburban Cook County commissioner said the Southland Family Support Fund has been set up to provide some measure of relief to hundreds of families negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cook County Cmsr. Donna Miller said the Southland has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic with more than 700 COVID-19 deaths.  She said the impact has been financial, as well.

"The stimulus money from the federal government was helpful to people, I'm sure, but the need is so great. People can't pay their rent. People can't pay their mortgage. People can’t buy food."

Miller said Family Independence Initiative will dole out a $500,000 total--$500 grants each--to a 1,000 south suburban residents who have been hit hard for COVID-19-related reasons.

"They can use it for anything that they need to use it for. Food, rent, utilities, daycare," she said.

Cmsr. Miller said Chicago Community Trust was instrumental in obtaining the donations and the nationally-based Family Independence Initiative will handle the online application process.

"They will put together an application process, and this is what they’ve done across the country, have people describe their need. This is not an in-depth, cumbersome application," the 6th District board member said.

She said people will soon be able to apply for the $500 grants online, once a website has been announced.

"They have to have a COVID-related experience, either maybe they were impacted by COVID financially by losing their job or impacted by a downturn in hours for their job. Maybe they’ve been hospitalized," Miller said.

Of the $500 grants, the commissioner said, "it might be a small amount to some people, but for some people it’s the difference between having a month’s worth of food or providing daycare or maybe getting some essential medication that they might need."

She said even front line workers could be eligible.

"These are people who, they didn’t lose jobs. They’re still working every day, but they have to provide childcare. How are they going to go to work and take care of their kids who have to do online classes?" Miller said.

Miller said her goal is to see a $1,000,000 made available to Southland residents who need help.