The formation of the Chicago Resiliency Fund is to help those who may not have qualified for stimulus funds under the federal CARES Act, whether it's because of their immigration status or because they are claimed as dependents on someone else's tax return.
Mayor Lightfoot said what makes the fund unique is its intention to be as inclusive as possible.
The city is partnering with Pilsen's Resurrection Project and private donors, including the Open Society Project, to provide $1,000 per-household for those excluded from the federal stimulus bill for COVID-19 relief. None of the funds are coming from the city.
The Resurrection Project and at least two dozen other community organizations will distribute the money.
"Families will be able to call one of the organizations that will be listed on the site as of June 22," said Erendira Rendon, of the Resurrection Project. "And families can apply one per family. As long as they qualify, they will receive a check via mail for $1,000."
Rendon said the funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Applicants must provide proof of Chicago residency, proof of income and have not received a federal stimulus check.
"It would help me a lot," said Rivia Coker. "I know a lot of people have got it, but I haven't received it. I've been waiting."
"This fund serves as a critical resource for the thousands of Chicagoans who so sorely need support and relief from the impact of COVID-19, but are unable to receive it through the federal government's own stimulus channels," said Mayor Lightfoot. "As part of my fight to mitigate the effects of economic hardship and poverty in Chicago, I know that what people struggling right now need is money, and this fund will get them just that to make ends meet. I applaud The Resurrection Project and the Open Society Foundations for taking such bold action for our communities, especially during this time of unprecedented need. We will get through this crisis together, and I look forward to continuing our shared mission to revitalize our neighborhoods and ensure every resident has access to all the opportunities our great city has to offer."
The fund will benefit undocumented residents, mixed-status families, dependent adults and returning residents.
The initial $5 million from the fund will benefit 5,000 families.
"We are very aware that the need is great and that this is not going to reach everybody, but it will reach some folks and for those families, it will make a huge difference," Rendon said.
"The COVID-19 crisis has families across our communities fighting for their health, economic well-being, and lives. Thousands of families are struggling financially as a result of not receiving any Federal stimulus funds. Now, more than ever it is critical to protect the safety, health, and economic well-being of all residents. We applaud Mayor Lightfoot and the City of Chicago for standing with all communities to support financially burdened individuals and families during this national emergency regardless of immigration status," said Raul Raymundo, CEO of The Resurrection Project.
The city is hoping to build on the initial $5 million dollar investment, calling on individuals and corporations to donate, so that more families in need may be helped.
People can donate to the fund at resurrectionproject.org/chicagofund. People can apply for these funds as of June 22, online or by phone. For more information, visit resurrectionproject.org/chicagofund.