As the colder months approach, the demand for shelter is growing and many shelter providers are already approaching maximum capacity. The increased demand could create difficulties for shelters, putting some of the most vulnerable Illinois residents at risk. To address this concern, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) announced on 12/08 that an additional $5 million is being invested to support the expansion of access to emergency shelters during the winter months.

In September 2021, Governor Pritzker signed an Executive Order (EO) to Fight Homelessness in Illinois. Consistent with the EO, the Illinois Office to Prevent and End Homelessness (IOPEH) was established to provide administrative support and infrastructure for the Illinois Interagency Task Force on Homelessness and the Community Advisory Council on Homelessness. The goal of these programs is to end chronic homelessness in Illinois. To this end, The Home Illinois: Illinois’ Plan to Prevent & End Homelessness was released in June 2022.

“The additional state funding that IDHS is providing will help emergency shelter providers serve additional people at a time when most all of the federal government resources that housed people during the COVID-19 pandemic have been exhausted, but the need for agencies serving people without a home has not lessened,” said Bob Palmer, Policy Director for Housing Action Illinois.

Anyone seeking more information about the services and supports that may be available can visit and select “Shelter”. Additionally, you can call 1-833-2-FIND-HELP or text the word “SHELTER” to 552020.