DFSS Announces Initial Application Round for Chicago Resiliency Fund 2.0

First round of the $14.68M fund will provide approximately 4,000 eligible Chicagoans with $500 relief payments CHICAGO – Today, the Department of Family and Support Services announced the initial application round for the Chicago Resiliency Fund 2.0, which will provide one-time, $500 relief payments to up to 4,000 eligible Chicagoans in its first round of payments. The first in a series of cash assistance payments, the fund's overall $14.68 M strategy will provide one-time $500 payments to other vulnerable populations otherwise left out of COVID-era stimulus, including dependent youth, dependent adults, undocumented residents, and domestic workers.

December 29, 2023

The initial application, which opened October 31 and closes December 9, is open to low-income households who filed 2019 taxes but whose dependent youth aged 17 to 24 and dependent adults, at the time were excluded from federal stimulus payment benefits.

“We know that the pandemic disproportionately impacted low-income households, with many left out of similar stimulus programs,” said DFSS Commissioner Brandie Knazze. “While caregivers and adult dependents continued to navigate the pandemic and ensuing economic downturn, many fell between the cracks when being considered for stimulus supports. This cash assistance program will support Chicago residents who are still working on their path to stability and recovery in this new phase of the pandemic.”

Through a competitive RFP process, the City selected Heartland Human Care Services, with AidKit as its technology partner, to be the program administrator. Association House of Chicago, Chinese Mutual Aid Association, Heartland Human Care Services, and the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago were selected by the City to lead outreach for different focus populations within the fund.

“As part of Heartland’s mission to secure equity and opportunity for all, we are thrilled to partner with the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services to serve as program administrator for the Chicago Resiliency Fund 2.0, said David Sinski, Executive Director of Heartland Human Care Services. “We believe that the Fund will help those who have been unable to receive traditional cash assistance secure a little more stability in their lives as they continue to recover from the pandemic’s impact.”

“AidKit specializes in creating technology that enables diverse populations to access relief funds, even if they face steep barriers to applying for traditional aid programs. We are pleased to be supporting the City of Chicago and Heartland Human Care Services by creating application and payment systems that protect against fraud while minimizing the time and energy required to apply.” Katrina Van Gasse, Co-Founder and CEO of AidKit.

Households will be selected by lottery in a two-step application process. The first step is a brief Interest Form with basic contact, eligibility, and administrative information. If selected by lottery, residents will then receive an invitation to finalize their application by uploading eligibility documentation and choosing their preferred payment method. The application will be available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Polish, and Arabic.

To be eligible for the relief payment, residents must live in the City of Chicago, be 18 years or older, have a household income at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (ex. $69,090 for a household of 3), and have filed 2019 taxes with at least one dependent aged 17 years or older at the time. The tax filer should apply on behalf of the household, and all applicants will be asked to upload a copy of their 2019 tax return or access and upload their 2019 tax transcript in the second part of the application process.

The application plus FAQs and help options are available at Residents who align with the eligibility criteria for this initial round have until Friday, December 9 to submit their Interest Form. Community-based organizations can also visit the website to access outreach materials for distribution to their communities.

Help is available to residents who lack ready access to the internet. Interested residents can turn to their nearest DFSS community service center, DFSS senior center or Chicago Public Library branch to access wi-fi or a computer. Association House of Chicago and Chinese Mutual Aid Association will be hosting application assistance events around the city.  

“Association House of Chicago has been connecting our communities most vulnerable individuals to resources for more than a century. We’re honored to be selected by the City of Chicago to continue that work in partnership with the Resiliency Fund 2.0. Our wrap-around model will connect individuals not only to the Resiliency Fund, but to a myriad of other supports that address longstanding disparities across health, education, and economic opportunity. Our Community Health Workers are excited to hit the ground running.” – Juan Carlos Linares, Association House, CEO

"Chinese Mutual Aid Association (CMAA) is truly delighted to be working with the City of Chicago and other community partners to be a part of the Chicago Resiliency Fund 2.0. CMAA will ensure equitable outreach to the residents of Chicago to provide improved visibility and access to this crucial assistance. We are dedicated to support the residents to navigate the processes of this program as well as any other needs that the communities might have"- Shivana Shrestha, Manager of Social Services, CMAA

The Resiliency Fund 2.0 is part of the $1.9B Chicago Recovery Plan bucket of investments and represents a continued commitment from the City of Chicago to center households in the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is modeled after the 2020 Chicago Resiliency Fund, which was a public-partner partnership between the City of Chicago, The Resurrection Project and Open Society Foundation that provided cash assistance to residents excluded from the first federal stimulus payments. Later this year, a second round of applications will open for two other focus populations for the fund, domestic workers and undocumented residents, at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level.

DFSS Announces Initial Application Round for Chicago Resiliency Fund 2.0
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