Finding Community Resources


tired woman holding baby

This guide will introduce you community resources for parents and families. Many communities offer a variety of resources to help families find child care, financial assistance, medical/dental/mental health care, food & nutrition services, and housing. Each community is unique, so not all services will look the same.

Child Care

Financial Assistance

  • Application for Benefits Eligibility in Illinois – Use this site to apply for and manage your healthcare, food, and cash assistance benefits.
  • Help for Illinois Families – Use this site to apply for financial assistance for energy bills, rental assistance, temporary shelter and more.
  • Utility Bill Assistance – This web page  from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provides information about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in Illinois and a list of Community Action Agencies that administer the program.

Medical / Dental / Mental Health

Food / Nutrition

  • Map of Food Banks in Illinois – This graphic map from Feeding Illinois shows the coverage areas of Illinois Food Banks by County.
  • Food Connections – The IDHS Food Connections directory lists agencies that provide supplemental food, emergency meal, and other feeding programs. Listings are by region and county.
  • Summer Food Program – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) provides listings of Summer Food Service Program sites where children can receive a nutritious meal when school is not in session. Click on “Find a Summer Meals Site”.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) In Illinois – This link provides information on eligibility and the application process for the SNAP benefits program in Illinois.
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) – The Women, Infants, and Children program provides supplemental nutrition resources, including infant formula or breastfeeding supports through supplemental food and breast pumps to infants and children under age five and pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding mothers.

Housing Resources

  • Illinois Housing Search – This web site provides an online search for affordable housing in Illinois. In addition, it provides detailed information and links to housing resources, helpful tools for renters such as an affordability calculator, rental checklist, and information about renter rights and responsibilities.
  • Continuum of Care Agencies – This link provides a listing of Illinois Continuum of Care Agencies that can help to find affordable housing in local communities.
  • Emergency and Transitional Housing in Illinois – This IDHS web page provides a description of emergency and transitional housing services as well as a directory of emergency and transitional housing centers located in the State of Illinois.