Good afternoon all -
As we hunker down to keep safe and warm at home, let’s continue to check on our neighbors and share the numerous resources available to help our community stay healthy, safe and warm.
Sweetheart Safety, Saturday, February 13th, 10 – 11:30 am – NHS Chicago and Greater Chatham Initiative are hosting a public safety workshop. While the policy debates continue, this workshop will focus on what we can do to minimize our risk and increase our chances of property recovery.
o Review of some of the most common safety issues currently challenging Greater Chatham and basic safety tactics
o Overview of existing tools/tactics to deploy or redeploy – leveraging our network
o Technical tools you can use to protect or possibly recover items taken from your home, vehicle and/or person
We will also feature a breakout group that focuses on managing anxiety associated with the possibility of being carjacked or the result of such experiences. Register today at www.tinyurl.com/ybuzwaod.
Snow removal – My Block My Hood My City is at it again and needs our help! If you are able, please lend a hand, shovel, salt, and some good energy to this huge effort to clear the snow for our seniors in the community. All ages are welcome and encouraged to participate. It’s one little thing, we can do to help improve our neighborhood. There are a couple of ways to help the effort.
· Volunteer Option 1: Dispatch - Seniors are assigned by email. Shoveling can be completed anytime Friday, but morning is best.
o Register at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdXps0xdeXsHpR4NtIxX769RH--ghk9iPBdsuhtJuhY6GNudQ/viewform
· Volunteer Option 2: In Person - Group shoveling. Meet up at 10am at one of two locations. One of the meet up locations at 71st and Vernon, in Grand Crossing! Please register to help organizers efficiently make use of your time and effort.
o Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/m3-snowstorm-response-tickets-139999567475
Seniors in need of shoveling assistance can register on M3’s site, https://www.formyblock.org/request-snow-removal.
Tag your pictures with the hashtag #M3ShovelCrew and your neighborhood to represent!
Blood Drive – The Community Blood Center conducting blood drives in Chatham and Auburn Gresham. Your gift can save 3 lives! To schedule an appointment, visit www.communityblood.org or call 800-280-4102.
· Saturday, February 13th – 1456 E. 70th Street, 10 am – 2:30 pm
· Saturday, February 20th – Josephine’s 436 E. 79th Street, 10 am – 2:00 pm
· Wednesday, February 24th – Mt. Hermon Missionary Baptist Church, 7848 S. Normal Avenue, 10 am – 1:00 pm
Senior Highlights – My Block My Hood My City needs your stories! They’re looking for about 40 seniors they’ve worked with or serviced to be featured on social media. If you or someone you know would like to participate please contact Devonta Boston at [email protected]. If you aren’t able to email, feel free to call me and I can facilitate a conversation for you. Let’s celebrate our seniors and how they thriving in these challenging times!
Homebuyer Funding Challenges – Was your experience securing a mortgage riddled with road blocks? Did you feel as if you would never get approved even though your credit was in range, debt to income ratio was within threshold, and your savings were where they needed to be? NHS Chicago needs to hear from you immediately. Please email [email protected] and tell us your story.
Housing U – Housing U is back! Our South Suburban office will be hosting Housing U this spring via virtual webinars. The program consists of 3 tracks:
· Track 1 - Homebuyer’s Education - This 4 - 6 week series led by HUD Certified Housing Counselors will provide potential homebuyers with:
o Key information needed to start the home- buying journey
o The ability to navigate the home buying process with confidence
o An understanding of what to expect as a homeowner.
o Helpful information on options for mortgage default and steps to avoid foreclosure.
· Track 2 - Financial Wellness for Living Wisely - This eight week series will provide guidance and best practices on:
o Making healthy financial decisions
o Effective debt and credit management
o Protecting yourself and personal finances against fraud and theft
o Estate planning for you and your family
· Track 3 - Growing Home Equity - This eight week series led by subject matter experts will focus on strategies:
o To help your money work for you
o Explore practices to preserve more of your earnings while increasing your retirement savings
o Avoid the potential financial sinkhole in your house
o Making legacy decisions
o Learn how to evaluate insurance, property taxes, and more
To learn more and register, visit https://nhschicago.org/learn/workshops/ to day.
· TIF Purchase Rehab Assistance – In partnership with the City of Chicago, NHS Chicago is launching the TIF Purchase Rehab Assistance program. This program provides up to 25% of total purchase and rehab costs for homes purchased in the following TIF districts:
o Chicago/Central Park (Humboldt Park)
o Midwest (No. Lawndale/East & West Garfield Park)
o Englewood Neighborhood
o 63rd & Ashland (West Englewood)
o 79th & Vincennes (Auburn Gresham)
o 119th & Halsted (West Pullman, Roseland, Morgan Park)
Please visit https://nhschicago.org/purchase-assistance/TIFPR/ for additional information and application.
· Micro Market Recovery Program (MMRP) – The MMRP is an initiative to help revitalize distressed communities by increasing homeownership. In the ten MMRP zones, down payment assistance up to $15,000 is available to eligible homebuyers. Both Auburn Gresham and Chatham/Grand Crossing have MMRP zones. To learn more, contact me, [email protected], or our partner organizations
o Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation – gagdc.org
o Greater Chatham Initiative – www.greaterchathaminitiative.org
· IHDA SmartBuy - To assist homebuyers affected by increasing student loan debt IHDA Mortgage, offers SmartBuy. This down payment assistance (DPA) is offered as a 2nd mortgage in conjunction with a promissory note for 15% of the purchase price (up to $40,000) for student debt relief for qualified borrowers. Visit https://www.ihdamortgage.org/smartbuy to learn more.
· Foreclosure Prevention Counseling: We are here to help you, however you need. To schedule an appointment to speak with one of our home counselors to review your options, visit https://nhschicago.org/keep/foreclosure-intervention/ or call us at 773-329-4111. You are not in this alone.
· Foreclosure Prevention Workshop on Demand: Visit https://www.ehomeamerica.org/nhsc to register for our self-paced foreclosure prevention webinar.
· Foreclosure Prevention Webinar: February 18th from 6 to 7:30 pm. Register at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0dGfinROSuWNtlvfHclZlQ or visit https://nhschicago.org/learn/workshops/ for more information.
· Cook County has over $70 million in overpayments due to unclaimed exemptions and refunds. Let’s make sure we have claimed all appropriate exemptions and any overpayments out there. Visit https://www.cookcountypropertyinfo.com.
o Property taxes, for the 2020 tax year, will be due as normal with a 60 day grace period for late payment penalties per a recent Cook county ordinance.
§ First installment is due – March 2, 2021
§ Late payment charges begin to accrue – May 3, 2021
· Principle, Interest, Taxes, Insurance and Energy (PITIE) Review: NHS now offers free reviews of your monthly/annual spend on electric, gas, water and insurance. During the review, we also review your property tax history to identify any missed exemptions or refunds owed to you. This review can serve as a great tool to identify funds to help meet your current property tax obligations and stretch your monthly budget. Visit https://nhschicago.force.com/nhschicagocft/NWSHOP__CommunitiesSelfRegCPS, and choose “Homeowner Education” or call 773-329-4111 to open an account and schedule your free PITIE review.
Resident Assistance – Act Now!
· Senior Food Security – NHS Chicago receives a small supply of healthy pre-made meals for distribution through our block clubs and partners to seniors in the area. If you have a need or your block club wants to participate, please email me at [email protected] with the request. I will set up a time to discuss how we can work together to address the need or best use your assistance.
· Small Accessible Repairs for Seniors (SARFS)- This city program provides safety, security and accessibility improvements that help senior citizens to remain in their homes. Seniors aged 60+ who earn 80% or lower of the area medium income who reside in 1-4 unit structures are eligible. To find the delegate agency in your ward visit https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dcd/supp_info/independent_livinghrailagencies.html. For ease of reference, the agencies in and serving the Greater Chatham community are:
o Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation: Wards 17 and 21; 1159 W. 79th Street
§ Linda Johnson 773.483.3696; [email protected]; Fax: 773.483.3692
o NHS Chicago: Wards 6, 7, 8, 9 and 21 ; 639 E. 87th Street.
§ Gloria Moore 773.329.4123; [email protected]; Fax: 773.329.4120
Repair types are limited to minor repairs that may include, but are not limited to:
o Grab bars
o Lever faucets
o Door repairs
o Carbon monoxide detectors
o Smoke detectors
o Wheelchair ramps
· ComEd Bill Payment Assistance: Visit ComEd.com/Support or call 1-800-EDISON1 to learn about the numerous payment plans, grants, and deposit waivers.
o Residential Special Hardship Program – Grant up to $500 to income eligible customers
o Helping Hand Program – Grant up to $300 for most in need customers
o Deferred Payment Arrangement Plan
o Bill Assistance Program – Grant up to $500 for LIHEAP qualified residential customers
· Peoples Gas - https://www.wecenergygroup.com/home/message/pgl-covid-payment-relief.htm
o Suspension of new deposit assessment - Peoples Gas will not assess new deposits to new and existing residential customers until March 31, 2021
o Extended deferred payment arrangements - Residential customers who have fallen behind on their bills are eligible for an 18-month payment plan. This deferred payment arrangements is available with a 10% down payment until March 31, 2021.
o Bill Payment Assistance Program (BPAP) – LIHEAP and Share the Warmth (CEDA) customers in arrears are eligible for a grant of up to $500 to cover the past due amount.
· Emergency Heating Repair Program – Applications will be accepted until April 1. To be eligible, your household income cannot exceed 80% of AMI. The application packet can be found at https://www.chicago.gov/content/dam/city/depts/doh/rpr/2020-21_EHR_application_packet.pdf. This program is a first come, first served program. Act now!
· Water restoration and affordability assistance – Blacks in Green are assisting resident through their On Stop Utility Shut-On program. Visit https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfkzMNJACFCsLMOooEH_WInwd8-qAvAlFrVcsiGyaiO0is08g/viewform to sign up for assistance and learn more.
· Chicago Bungalow Association’s Energy Savers Program: The program offers “free weatherization services and installation of free energy-saving products to help increase comfort, lower utility bills, add value and extend the life of your home”. Homeowners living in a single family structure built at least 50 years ago in the city of Chicago, whose household income is not greater than 80% of the area median income are eligible. Visit https://www.chicagobungalow.org/apply to apply.
· Community Resource line: The Cook County Sheriff's Office Community Resource Center is available to provide a variety of community resources including:
Food access/Soup kitchen
Substance abuse treatment
Justice System-CCDOC/EM/Records/Clerks Office/Public Records
Utility bill assistance
To access this resource, call (773) 405-5116 or email [email protected].
· Job Search Assistance: NHS Chicago is pleased to announce a partnership with Next Job thanks to our partners at Fifth Third Bank. Whether you have experienced a job loss due to the pandemic or the pandemic helped you realize you needed a change, Next Job can help you identify your strengths, fine tune your resume and polish those interviewing skills, all at no cost to you! Contact me at [email protected] to participate.
o While we are delighted to see the men of our communities uniting to help residents feel more secure at the gas pump, we want to emphasize the importance of safety in all that we do. Attached, is the Safe Pump fact sheet. Please review the document and make sure all who are participating in this initiative understand the intent and scope of the program. The safety of our community is our priority. This includes you!
Resident Business Owners’ Corner – Phase IV, Tier 2 Mitigation Level: visit https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/covid-19/home/reopening-chicago.html for current capacity guidelines
· Cook County Disparity Study – Did you know Cook County/Cook County Health and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (“MWRD”) are conducting disparity studies to examine whether minorities and women have equal access to contracting opportunities. If your firm currently works with or has tried to bid on contracts for these agencies as a prime contractor, subcontractor, or supplier, Colette Holt & Associates (“CHA”) would like to hear from you. Your participation is vital for the continuous improvement of the biding and contracting policies/processes to increase access for underrepresented populations. The survey process will kick off this spring with electronic survey, focus groups, and open comment formats.
o Visit http://cookcounty.disparity-study.com/ and http://mwrd.disparity-study.com/ to learn more about the survey and comment process.
· New Round of PPP – The Payroll Protection Program application window is open! If you missed Chatham Business Association’s webinars today, attached are fact sheets Providence Bank is making available to our community businesses and nonprofits to provide more clarity about the process. Help is available from a number of resources within the community. Below are just a sample
o Providence Bank: https://www.providence.bank/paycheck-protection-program/
o Seaway Self Help: https://www.self-helpfcu.org/business/loans/paycheck-protection-program-loans
o Chatham Business Association: cbaworks.org
· ComEd assistance:
o Small Business Assistance Program – Applications opened December 16th. The one-time grant, up to $2,000, is used for past balances and requires establishment of a payment plan for the remaining balance. Call 1-877-426-6331 to apply. Eligibility:
§ Have an active ComEd service account (includes customers disconnected within the past 30 days).
§ Use less than 400 kilowatts (kWs) of peak demand. This includes customers who are 0-100kW, 100-400kW or watt hour. To confirm the amount of kWs your business uses, reference your ComEd bill (see sample bill).
§ Have a past balance, per the bill due date.
§ Have not received Nonprofit Special Hardship grants in 2020.
o Nonprofit Special Hardship program - $2000 grant for nonprofits who have fallen behind on their bill. To apply, visit https://www.nonreshardship.com/. Eligibility requirement:
§ The applicant must be a registered Not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) corporation that does not discriminate based on religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.
§ Demonstrate a significant financial hardship for the organization within the last year.
§ Must complete the program application and supply all of the required information to demonstrate program eligibility.
· Tock Reservation Service – Remember, Tock is offering a free set-up and six-month subscription to Tock Plus Lite for restaurants and bars without a reservation system in areas of the city below 60% of the Area Median Income. For more information, please visit: www.exploretock.com/join/get-started. Our communities do meet the AMI eligibility requirements.
· Testing sites - If you are unable to get tested by your medical provider, here are some options for getting tested. Please note: The city will be closing testing site from Friday, February 12th and Monday, February 15th in observance of Lincoln and President’s day.
o City Testing sites: Visit https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/sites/covid-19/home/testing.html. You can pre-register for a testing appointment at https://curative.com/search#10/41.8088/-87.6577.
o IDPH Testing sites: Visit http://www.dph.illinois.gov/testing. The Auburn Gresham testing site is located in the Foreman Mills parking lot, 122 W. 79th Street.
o Walgreens Drive Thru testing sites: Visit https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing to complete the screening and secure an appointment.
· Vaccine update: On January 25th, the city of Chicago moved to phase 1B of the vaccination plan. 1A participants are still eligible for vaccination in phase 1B. The city has partnered with Zoc Doc to facilitate Vaccination appointment setting. The link to the Zoc Doc site is https://www.zocdoc.com/vaccine
Remember to let us know what’s happening on your block. Send us your upcoming events
Tiffany Smith, Neighborhood Strategy
NHS Chicago | 639 East 87th Street, Chicago, IL 60619
(Office 773.329.4073 | * [email protected] | nhschicago.org |
We are all in this together. Support your neighbors struggling to make their house payment due to COVID-19. Donate to NHS today.
Do you need help making rent or mortgage payments due to COVID-19 income loss? Apply for an Emergency Housing Assistance Grant. Click here to apply or call 800-831-7949.
Join NHS Chicago and the Greater Chatham Initiative for a free Zoom webinar about carjacking safety.