Income

COVID-19 Relief Fund boosts access to technology

Champaign County COVID-19 Relief Fund grants $22,750 to improve access to technology

Local organizations are swiftly pivoting their programming to virtual formats and serving our community in new ways. The Champaign County COVID-19 Relief Fund awarded four grants to increase access to technology.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the pivotal role technology plays in the community’s daily life. 

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Support Families Struggling to Get By

Local families need your help

For some families in Champaign County, the recent COVID-19 outbreak has made it even harder to take care of basic needs. Before the outbreak reached our community, 24% percent to families lived paycheck to paycheck while hovering just above the poverty line, according to a report from United Way’s ALICE Project. When you add in families living in poverty, 44% of families struggle.

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Need assistance due to Coronavirus pandemic? Here's where to get help.

The coronavirus continues to impact our Champaign County community. Our hearts are with those who have lost their jobs or seen a reduction in hours due to COVID-19. 

The State of Illinois and our Champaign County municipalities are responding to the economic hardships related to COVID-19 closures. We anticipate a federal announcement of relief as well. 

The situation is constantly evolving, and new resources are being announced daily. Here are some resources available to you now.

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ALICE in Champaign County

Who is ALICE?

ALICE, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, is a new way of defining and understanding the struggles of households that earn above the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford a bare-bones household budget.

For far too many families, the cost of living outpaces what they earn. These households struggle to manage even their most basic needs - housing, food, transportation, child care, health care, and necessary technology.

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Filing Taxes: Not Fun, But Not Hard with MyFreeTaxes.com

No one loves filing taxes, right?

But this year, it’s easier than ever for simple returns if you use MyFreeTaxes.com.

MyFreeTaxes® is a long-standing partnership of United Way and H&R Block, which provides the software. Anyone of any income level can file simple returns for free. That means simple federal and up to three state tax returns – without spending any money in tax preparation fees.

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Overnight Shelters Combine Efforts

C-U at Home and Austin’s Place are pleased to announce they intend to combine their services. Both organizations currently offer overnight winter shelter for people experiencing homelessness – C-U at Home serves men, and Austin’s Place serves women. The expanded shelter, which will operate out of C-U at Home’s facility at 70 E. Washington St in Champaign, will provide overnight shelter year-round beginning November 1, 2020. 

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Chase's Job

 For a building to be stable in the long run, it needs a solid foundation. The same is true for our children.


Chase* is a 14 year old student. He’s part of Cunningham Children’s Home’s Vocational Education Program. Cunningham is a safe place where children and adolescents with serious emotional and behavioral disabilities can heal, learn, and grow.

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Poverty Simulations Open Eyes, Hearts

Disclaimer: United Way no longer offers poverty simulations. We are leaving this article up for historical purposes.

May 31, 2013

 Each year United Way of Champaign County hosts a Poverty Simulation for the members of our Emerging Community Leaders (ECL) class. Comprised of young professionals, this group has joined ECL seeking to learn about the local community and to volunteer their time.

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