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.
You can also visit our COVID-19 Testing page to learn more about getting tested for COVID-19 in Lake County. COVID-19 testing and treatment is available to all Illinois residents, including those without insurance. Testing and treatment do not count towards Public Charge. Reach the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights by texting “HC4ALL” to 52886.
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
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses. You may qualify for assistance if:
- You are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who paid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020, and
- The funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the United States, territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line number is 844-684-6333. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. No applications will be accepted online. If you had COVID-19 funeral expenses, we encourage you to keep and gather documentation. More information can be found on FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance and FAQ pages.
Individuals co-quarantined or isolated with an abuser can contact the following services:
A Safe Place
A Safe Place is the sole provider of services exclusively addressing domestic violence and human trafficking in Lake County, Illinois.
- A Safe Place 24-Hour Help Line: (847) 249-4450
- Toll-Free Help Line: 1-800-600-SAFE
- TTY: (847) 249-6557
- Visit asafeplaceforhelp.org
Illinois Domestic Violence Helpline
- Call 1-877-TO END DV or 877-863-6338
- TTY: 1-877-863-6339
National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Call 1-800-799-7233
- Chat at thehotline.org
The Northern Illinois Food Bank maintains a list of mobile food pantries and pop-up food markets planned for Lake County. Families in need of food are invited to attend any of the markets to receive free groceries. No ID or registration is required. For a complete calendar, visit solve hunger today.
Northern Illinois Food Bank also 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.
The “Get Hired Illinois” portal connects job seekers and employers across the state.
Also, see the Job Center of Lake County website for opportunities.
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.
Mental Health Services
Crisis Care Program
The Lake County Health Department’s Crisis Care Program has a free, confidential hotline staffed by professional counselors for those experiencing a mental health crisis or substance use issue. Services are available 24/7 to anyone. Call (847) 377-8088 or walk in to 3002 Grand Avenue, Waukegan. People can also get connected to this line by calling 211.
Illinois Call4Calm is a free emotional support text line for Illinois residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19. To speak with a local mental health professional, text “TALK” or “HABLAR” (for Spanish) to 552020.
Public Benefit Programs
People can apply for public benefit programs including healthcare (Medicaid), food (SNAP), and cash assistance at ABE, the State of Illinois' Application for Benefits Eligibility. The state also launched the IDHS Help is Here toll-free line at 1-833-2-FIND-HELP to assist with public benefit applications.
Rent & Utility Assistance
Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program (FERA)
Are you unable to afford your housing costs in Lake County because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? If so, you can get help paying your rent and utility bills. The Lake County Federal Emergency Rental Assistance (FERA) Program provides rent and utility assistance for eligible households financially impacted by COVID-19. To learn more, click here.
Residential customers: ComEd offers several different programs for individuals and small businesses experiencing financial hardship to receive assistance with their electric bill payments. To learn more, visit ComEd.com/Support or contact ComEd's customer care team at 1-800-EDISON-1 (1-800-334- 7661), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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.
Free or Low Cost Internet
Many providers and programs are offering free or low cost internet. Click here to learn more.