How to Get Help
Find important information and resources in Lake County to help you, your family, or organization during this unprecedented time. We will continue to add more resources to this page as we learn about them. Download a printable list of a resources in Lake County.
If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow these steps to help protect yourself and other people in your home and community.
Call 211 to Get Connected to the Help You Need
If you need help finding any social service, including resources for finding food, healthcare, paying your utility bills, mental health services, etc., please reach out to United Way of Lake County’s free, confidential 211 service through any of the following:
- Call 211 from your phone
- Text your zip code to 898211
- Visit 211lakecounty.org
Breakfast & Lunch for Children
Even though schools are closed, many schools are still offering breakfast and lunch to feed the many children in Lake County who depend on the meals. View an interactive map in which you can type in your address and find the nearest school in your area serving breakfast/lunch. Click on any dot on the map to view the address and a link to more info for that school district.
Child Care Assistance Program
During the declared COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the children of individuals working in healthcare, human services, essential government services (such as corrections, law enforcement, fire department), and essential infrastructure are eligible to receive childcare through the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). A dedicated help line has been created so Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) can help connect essential workers families to emergency childcare.
- Call toll-free 888-228-1146
- Text 312-736-7390 Monday - Friday between 8:30 AM-5:00 PM
To find childcare in your area, go to https://emergencycare.inccrra.org/ and enter your zip code or select your county from the drop-down.
Northern Illinois Food Bank partners with feeding programs across 13 counties to serve people needing food. Use the locator map or download a printable list (English, Spanish) to find local food pantries or soup kitchens.
Loans for Lake County Businesses
U.S. Small Business Administration
If you own a small business, run a private non-profit, or are self-employed in Lake County facing financial hardship due to coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be eligible for a low-interest disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The application filing deadline is Dec. 21, 2020.
Apply online and receive additional disaster assistance information on the SBA website, or call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Small Business Emergency Loan Fund
Businesses located outside the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible to apply for low-interest loans of up to $50,000. Learn more about eligibility and how to apply.
Those that need assistance or have questions can schedule a free, confidential one-on-one virtual advising session. Visit www.clcillinois.edu/sbdc-itc to learn more.
Rent & Utility Assistance
The Lake County COVID Housing Relief Program (CHRP) provides rent and utility assistance for eligible households financially impacted by COVID-19. If you are a Lake County resident and need help paying rent or utility bills, please call 211. To learn more about the Lake County COVID Housing Relief Program, click here.
Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible.
ComEd is suspending disconnects for customers unable to pay their bills and waiving new late payments charges through at least June 1st. They will be working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and to identify energy assistance options to address specific needs. For information, please call 1-800-334-7661.
North Shore Gas
North Shore Gas is offering bill payment arrangement options and financial assistance. If you are having trouble paying your bill, call 866-556-6004 to discuss a payment plan or learn about financial assistance. It is also suspending disconnects for all customers, except in the case of natural gas leaks or unsafe conditions, and is waiving late payment charges.
Lake County Public Works
The Lake County Public Works Department has issued a moratorium on shutoffs and a cessation of late and penalty fees beginning 3/17/2020 until the state’s disaster proclamation has been lifted. Please contact email@example.com for more information.