This year has been a whirlwind of uncertainty, and just like when watching a horror movie, we sit in suspense on the edge of our seats, waiting to see what is next. With an ongoing pandemic and unpredictable times upon us, the stakes are high for more than just our physical health. Local social services are receiving daily calls requesting information about mental health services, rent assistance, food assistance, utility assistance and more. Across the country, an increase in reports of suicide and domestic violence has been seen. Marriages are stressed, parents are stressed, school personnel are stressed, and children are stressed. So where do residents of Grundy County find the resources to help during this interesting time?
The Community Foundation of Grundy County has a resource directory that is easy to access and available to everyone. The website www.815941help.com holds the answers to many of the questions asked regarding where to turn to get assistance. 941-HELP is an information system for health and human services serving Grundy County. From this website, those seeking information can obtain the name and contact information of agencies providing needed services. Residents who don’t have access to the internet can call 815-941-HELP.
I myself have spoken with numerous people who have either stopped in our office or called to obtain information on services. The services I am most frequently asked about are rent and utility assistance. I encourage anyone who is looking for assistance with those to contact the agencies below directly. I also would remind everyone that many of the organizations still are working remotely; therefore, callers may need to leave a message.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Joliet, can provide emergency services and homeless prevention assistance in the form of vouchers for food and clothing, rent/mortgage assistance, and financial assistance for medication. Catholic Charities can be reached at 815-774-4663.
Kendall Grundy Community Action offers a low-income home energy assistance program and can be reached at 815-941-3262.
We Care of Grundy County provides general services ranging from food to rental assistance. It can be reached at 815-942-6389.
Again, the above organizations are the most asked about; however, they are not the only organizations, so visit www.815941help.com to obtain more information on services you are looking for.
With Christmas coming, I also want to mention that the application for Christmas assistance through We Care of Grundy County and collaborating organizations is open until Nov. 9. The application is available on We Care’s website, www.wecareofgrundy.com.
With the holidays approaching and no sign of COVID-19 ending, the needs of residents are sure to increase. While some may think Grundy County lacks the services needed to assist those in need, our local social services and nonprofits are ready and willing to serve those in need in Grundy County. There is a large amount of behind-the-scenes collaboration between organizations to ensure families do not fall through the cracks of services. I encourage residents who are struggling to reach out before they are in crisis situation.
• Devan Gagliardo is program director for Community Foundation of Grundy County.