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Local

Hope Haven receives $15,000 grant to aid COVID-19 relief

Administrative staff at Hope Haven of DeKalb County pose for a photo wearing homemade face masks. From left, Emergency Shelter Coordinator Angie Shaulis, Executive Director Lesly Wicks, Site Manager Malikh Woods, Permanent Housing Coordinator Jennifer Swanson and Associate Director Gary Chapman.
Administrative staff at Hope Haven of DeKalb County pose for a photo wearing homemade face masks. From left, Emergency Shelter Coordinator Angie Shaulis, Executive Director Lesly Wicks, Site Manager Malikh Woods, Permanent Housing Coordinator Jennifer Swanson and Associate Director Gary Chapman.

DeKALB – Hope Haven of DeKalb County, Inc. is one of the 30 partner organizations of Housing Action Illinois that received regranted funds due to the nonprofit’s work to meet the immediate COVID-19-related needs of people who are homeless or who may become homeless.

Housing Action Illinois is a statewide coalition that has been leading the movement to protect and expand the availability of quality, affordable housing in Illinois for more than 30 years. The coalition’s goal is for every Illinoisan to have a stable, good home.

The majority of the funds that Housing Action Illinois will regrant come from the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, which was established by the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations in collaboration with the Office of the Governor. Additional funds come from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

“Housing Action Illinois has been around for decades, lobbying in Springfield for agencies that advocate for the homeless,” Lesly Wicks, Hope Haven's executive director, said. “Their lobbying and grants help us during this really difficult time with expenses and needs for the homeless.”

Wicks said that Hope Haven will use the $15,000 grant for COVID-19 related expenses.

“All nonprofit agencies create budgets for the fiscal year, July through June, and there’s no way we could have foreseen this kind of crisis,” Wicks said. “Now it’s the last two months of the fiscal year and we’re carrying a huge deficit due to COVID-19. We’ve been using operational funds to pay for the crisis, but we still have those operational expenses. Getting relief from [HAI] really helps us stabilize our budget and continue to serve the homeless.”

Hope Haven’s mission is to provide shelter, meals and life skills programs for homeless individuals and families while preparing them for long-term rehousing.

On average, Hope Haven serves 91 people a night at its two DeKalb locations, its main shelter at 1145 Rushmoore Drive and 965 W. Dresser Court. 

For more information about Hope Haven of DeKalb County, visit www.hopehavendekalb.com.

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