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$4M For Asylum Seekers’ Meals: Illinois Governor & Greater Chicago Food Depository Join Hands

$4M For Asylum Seekers’ Meals: Illinois Governor & Greater Chicago Food Depository Join Hands

Governor JB Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), and the Greater Chicago Food Depository announced a further $4 million investment to guarantee that meals be provided to asylum seekers through the end of December as part of a cooperative effort to address their needs.

This additional funding supports the ongoing response to the humanitarian crisis. The state is contributing $2 million, and philanthropy through the Food Depository is matching the amount.

In June 2023, the State granted $10.5 million to the Greater Chicago Food Depository in response to a request from the City of Chicago to provide meals to asylum seekers.

But to guarantee ongoing support through December, an additional $2 million is being added from the State and the Food Depository due to delays in the procurement process. In January 2024, the City of Chicago will take over as the State steps up its efforts to provide shelter, resettle, and Temporary Protected Status programs.
This $2 million investment complements Governor Pritzker’s recent $160 million pledge to improve the asylum-seeker pathway to self-sufficiency, which was made possible with the help of IDHS. Furthermore, for the Fiscal Years 2023 and 2024, the State has set aside $478 million for the asylum seeker response.

The increased State investment extends beyond the supply of food. Through targeted, data-driven investments, it strategically addresses obstacles in the asylum-seeking.

WELCOME: A $30 million initiative to build a sizable intake center and send out a welcome team with the goal of reducing the number of newcomers who need housing by 10%.

SHELTER: A $65 million allocation to create and run two shelters within the City of Chicago’s current shelter system, improving community care and on-the-ground support services.

INDEPENDENCE: An additional $65 million in funding will be provided to extend wraparound services, which will enable asylum seekers to move from shelters to independent living. These services include case management, housing assistance, legal services, work permit processing, and workforce development support.

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