City to Use $5M in Private Funds to Help Chicagoans Left Out of Federal Coronavirus Relief

A lone pedestrian crosses the street in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood in May.  (WTTW News)A lone pedestrian crosses the street in Chicago’s Roseland neighborhood in May. (WTTW News)

Chicagoans who did not get financial help from the federal government during the coronavirus pandemic can apply for $1,000 grants from the city, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday.

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Officials will fund 300,000 grants with $1 million from the Open Society Foundation, which was founded by billionaire and philanthropist George Soros, and $4 million from an anonymous donor through the foundation, according to the mayor’s office.

The Chicago Resiliency Fund will be administered by The Resurrection Project, and applications will open on June 22 and be available online.

Undocumented immigrants were not eligible for the $1,200 checks for adults and $500 per child, and mixed-status families were also excluded from the relief package designed to ease the sting of the economic crash caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We have to be strong and united as a city and leave no one behind,” said Lightfoot, who signed an executive order April 7 to reassure undocumented immigrants living in Chicago that they will not be left behind as the city works to ease the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

To be eligible for the Chicago fund, applicants must be residents of Chicago and not gotten a check from the federal government, said Raul Raymundo, CEO of the Resurrection Project.

“We know $1,000 may not go a long way, but it certainly will help in these troubling times so families can stay in their home, put food on the table and pay their utility bills,” Raymundo said.

In April, the City Council’s Latino Caucus urged Lightfoot to establish a relief fund dedicated to undocumented immigrants.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]


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