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PARK FOREST – To help residents pay their electric bills during times of economic hardship, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging residents to apply for aid through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

“With many Illinoisans facing income losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, families across the state are struggling to keep the lights on,” Joyce said. “Residents who need help paying their utility bills should take advantage of the LIHEAP program to relieve some of that financial burden.”

LIHEAP helps eligible low-income households and senior citizens afford home energy services, including heating, gas, propane and electricity. Enrollment for LIHEAP is currently underway and will continue through June 2021. Joyce is urging seniors and households in need of assistance, especially those with disconnection notices or high past-due balances, to apply online as soon as possible.

“It’s important for people to know there is assistance available,” Joyce said. “As we continue to navigate this pandemic, this program could help low-income families and seniors keep their utilities running.”

To find a local administering agency near you, visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website.

Category: Information

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PARK FOREST – Following a destructive storm that blew through northern Illinois Monday night, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is urging storm victims without power to visit local cooling centers and seek food assistance if needed.

“Crews have been working nonstop to restore power to the areas hit hardest by Monday’s storm,” Joyce said. “If you lost power and are in need of a place to cool off, please take advantage of a public local cooling center.”

The following locations are available as cooling centers:

  • Bourbonnais Public Library: 250 W. John Casey Rd., Bourbonnais
  • Bradley Public Library: 296 N. Fulton Ave., Bradley
  • Bradley Village Building: 147 S. Michigan Avenue, Bradley
  • Department Of Human Services: 285 N. Schuyler Ave., Kankakee
  • Frankfort Village Hall: 432 W. Nebraska Street, Frankfort
  • Kankakee County Building: 189 E. Court St., Kankakee
  • Kankakee Public Library: 201 E. Merchant St., Kankakee
  • Northfield Square Mall: 1600 N. State Rt. 50., Bourbonnais
  • Pembroke Township Senior Center: 40119 S. Wheeler Rd., Pembroke
  • The Salvation Army: 148 N Harrison Ave, Kankakee
  • United Way Kankakee County: 200 E. Court St #500, Kankakee
  • Village Hall/Church of the Cross: 13043 E. 2260S. Rd., Pembroke
  • Village Hall: 105 W. Washington St., Momence

All cooling centers will operate in compliance with the state’s public health guidelines.

Joyce is also encouraging families and individuals in need of food assistance to visit a distribution site near them.

“Without electricity, people are unable to keep their food cold and are often forced to throw out their perishables,” Joyce said. “Households that are still without power should visit their local food pantry for a fresh, nutritious meal.”

These area organizations are offering food assistance:

  • Bloom Township: 425 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights
  • Center of Hope: 395 N. Schuyler Ave., Kankakee
  • First Baptist Church of Park Forest: 80 N. Orchard Dr., Park Forest
  • Kankakee County Community Service: 657 E. Court St., Kankakee
  • Salvation Army Kankakee: 148 N. Harrison Ave., Kankakee
  • St. Irenaeus Catholic Church: 78 Cherry St., Park Forest

Anyone that needs additional assistance can contact Joyce’s office at 708-756-0882 or visit SenatorPatrickJoyce.com.

Category: Information

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PARK FOREST – In an effort to provide financial and technical support to the dairy industry in Illinois, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is urging dairy farmers and businesses apply for grants through the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA).

“Every dairy farmer should look at this grant opportunity,” Joyce, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee said. “These grants are designed to help dairy producers and processors expand, while promoting more entrepreneurial efforts.”

DBIA, a joint effort coordinated by the Center for Dairy Research and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, was designed to support and promote the diversification and addition of value-added products to the Midwest dairy industry.

Goals of the program include increasing on-farm diversification, creating value-added dairy products like specialty cheeses, and expanding export opportunities for farm-scale and processor dairy products.

The grant application period is now open. A total of $220,000 in funds is available, with individual projects eligible for up to $20,000 each. The deadline to complete and return applications is Aug. 14. Selected producers and business owners will be notified Sept. 4.

For questions or additional information, call DBIA at 608-265-1491 or visit https://turbo.cdr.wisc.edu/dairy-business-innovation-alliance/.

Category: Information

counseling 080420PARK FOREST — With pandemic-related stress weighing heavily on many Illinoisans, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging residents to explore to the Illinois Department of Human Services’ new mental health programs.

“The additional stressors people are facing caused by the pandemic can be difficult to navigate with the uncertainty around us,” Joyce said. “Pandemic or not, we need to focus on people’s mental health, and these new programs will ensure there are resources available for those in need.”

IDHS introduced three new programs Monday to help Illinoisans struggling with mental health, developed in coordination with community mental health centers and nontraditional service providers across the state.

The first new program, the Living Room Program, is designed specifically for those in need of a crisis respite program to divert crises and break the cycle of psychiatric hospitalization. It provides a safe, inviting, home-like atmosphere where people can calmly process a crisis event while learning how to avoid a future crisis.

The Transitional Living Centers Program is a housing resource for people with mental illnesses who are in need of a place to stay while they work to find permanent housing.

Additionally, the Transitional Community Care and Support Programs offer assistance to current patients of state-operated psychiatric hospitals who are preparing to be discharged. It will include funding for non-traditional supports, such as cell phones, food, clothing, transportation and other resources that are necessary for individuals to succeed as they transition back into communities.

Individuals seeking help from the Living Room Program may be referred by first responders or medical professionals. Participants of the other two programs will be referred by IDHS and other providers. Anyone who thinks they may benefit from these programs should talk to their mental health provider.

For more information and to find additional mental health resources, click here.

Category: Information

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Springfield Office:
108A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217.782.7419

District Office:
270 Main St.
Park Forest, IL 60466
708.756.0882