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The 2018 Illinois Poverty Update

April 19, 2018

Heartland Alliance's Illinois Poverty Update indicates that millions of people in Illinois are experiencing poverty or are on the cusp. Rooted in inequity, poverty prevents people from meeting basic needs, improving their quality of life, and creates barriers to opportunities including quality education, stable employment, affordable housing and safe neighborhoods. The update sheds light on who is most likely to experience poverty in Illinois: Women, people of color, and children have the highest poverty rates.In addition to the Illinois Poverty Update, Heartland Alliance also released state legislative district poverty fact sheets.These releases are the first of a series Heartland Alliance is publishing on poverty in Illinois this year. Local- and county-level data books will be published this summer, and an in-depth exploration of the forces that contribute to gender-based poverty inequity will be released in the fall. 


Comment on USDA’s Notice of Proposed Rule regarding Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) Standardization of State Heating and Cooling Standard Utility Allowances.

December 3, 2019

On behalf of Heartland Alliance, we appreciate the opportunity to comment on USDA's Notice of Proposed Rule regarding Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) Standardization of State Heating and Cooling Standard Utility Allowances. The proposed rule would exacerbate the struggles many of people experiencing poverty and with low incomes have paying for costs of both food and utilities. It would have harmful impacts on health and well-being as well as on the economy. The proposed rule is deeply flawed and should be withdrawn.

Win-Win: Equipping Housing Providers to Open Doors to Housing for People With Criminal Records

July 12, 2019

In Illinois, nearly 5 million adults, 50% of the population, are estimated to have an arrest or conviction record. Housing is foundational for employment success, family stability, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, criminal history checks are a typical part of the housing application processes, and many people with records are declined housing opportunities they would otherwise be a good fit for, but for the criminal record.  Our goal for Win-Win was to develop user-friendly guidance about the use of criminal records in screening and housing applicants, and to provide recommendations that housing providers can adopt and adapt, in whole or in part, to increase housing opportunities for people with criminal records.  

Comments in Response to Proposed Rulemaking: Housing and Community Development Act of 1980: Verification of Eligible Status

July 9, 2019

On May 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a proposed rule that would prohibit mixed status families from living in public housing and other HUD assisted housing. Mixed status families are households that include both members who are eligible and ineligible for housing assistance based on their immigration status. HUD's proposed rule will force families of mixed immigration status to break up to receive housing assistance, to forego the assistance altogether, or face eviction from their homes.Heartland Alliance submitted official comments to the Department of Housing and Urban Development to oppose this harmful and cruel proposal that could lead to the eviction of over 100,000 people, including 55,000 children, from HUD assisted housing. 

Illinois and Chicago Region: Poverty, Income and Health Insurance (Fact Sheet)

September 13, 2018

Millions of people in Illinois experience poverty or are living on the brink. That societal position keeps opportunities out of reach and nearly guarantees worse outcomes in every quality of life domain—making ALL of us worse off.This fact sheet on poverty, income, and health insurance coverage in Illinois and the Chicago region, was created using the Census Bureau's release of local American Community Survey data.The poverty rate for the United States was 12.3% in 2017. There were 39.7 million people in poverty nationwide. The poverty rate is not significantly different from the pre-recession level of 12.5% in 2007. In 2017, 1.6 million Illinoisans were in poverty ─ a rate of 12.6%. Additionally, 2.0 million Illinoisans are near poor and economically insecure with incomes between 100% and 199% of the federal poverty threshold.

Requirements & Services for SNAP ABAWDs: Heartland Alliance Comments on USDA Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

April 9, 2018

These are Heartland Alliance's comments in response to the USDA's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) time limit. As these comments reflect, Heartland Alliance is deeply concerned by attempts to further restrict food assistance to the individuals whom we serve. SNAP is the country's most important anti-hunger program. We strongly support the goal of helping SNAP participants obtain and keep quality jobs that enable them to achieve economic security. However, we believe the restrictions suggested in the ANPRM would only result in more people losing their SNAP benefits, which will make it harder to achieve this goal. Furthermore, the questions posed in the ANPRM 1) appear to be based on the assumption that many SNAP participants simply do not want to work, which we know to be untrue and 2) overlook the reality that many individuals receiving nutrition assistance face multiple barriers to work that reflect personal challenges such as education or skills gaps and more insidious structural labor market barriers such as discrimination in the labor market.

Support SB3007: The Survivor Support and Trafficking Prevention Act

March 18, 2016

Foreign-born victims of trafficking, torture and other serious crimes are eligible to legalize their immigration status and obtain employment authorization but the process may take months or even years. During this time, when a victim is leaving their trafficking situation or seeking safety, they are highly vulnerable to further exploitation and harm.Victims of trafficking, torture and other serious crimes desperately need a safe place to live, adequate food, immediate attention to their physical and mental health needs, and an opportunity to stabilize their lives as they cooperate with law enforcement, adjust their immigration status, and obtain work authorization.

The Heroin Crisis Act: What You Need to Know about the New Law

November 16, 2015

The Heroin Crisis Act aims to address the heroin epidemic in Illinois through improved access to treatment and expanded overdose prevention activities. Expanded Medicaid benefits for medications that treat substance use disorders, increased access to Naloxone that prevent overdose, and numerous other provisions represent a big step forward in saving lives and effectively treating addiction. It will take time to implement all the provisions of the law, but stakeholders and public officials are working on it now. This fact sheet breaks down the multifaceted law with a focus on what healthcare providers and those who might be struggling with addiction need to know.

Support SB 1847 Fact Sheet

April 6, 2015

Fact Sheet on Illinois SB 1847

2015 Policy Priorities

March 11, 2015

Overview of the 2015 policy priorities for the policy and advocacy team at Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights. Heartland Alliance advocates for policies and programs that help end poverty and create opportunity. A strong and sustainable state budget is central to that effort. We support revenue solutions to advance a sustainable state budget, as well as policies that value work, enable Illinoisans to care for their families, and expand justice and opportunity.

Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty Annual Report 2014

September 18, 2014

It has been 6 years since the State of Illinois formed the Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty to help reduce poverty throughout Illinois. In 2010 the Commission issued its recommended strategy in Building a Pathway to Dignity & Work and has since been monitoring Illinois's progress toward the goal of cutting extreme poverty in half. In this 2014 Annual Report, the Commission provides an analysis of progress toward that goal over the past year and recommendations for 2015.

Asset Building & Financial Security; Education; Employment; Healthcare; Housing & Homelessness; Human Rights & Justice; Hunger & Nutrition; Poverty; Safety Net & Human Services

Restoration of Adult Dental in the State's Medicaid Program

March 25, 2014

HB1516 SA2 Fact SheetTraditionally Illinois covered non-emergency adult dental services in Medicaid. However, Illinois eliminated these services as a Medicaid benefit for most adults in the Save Medicaid Access & Resources Together (SMART) Act, public act 097-0689 in 2012. HB1516 SA2 would fully restore preventive dental services (such as filling cavities and root canals) for adults under Medicaid.


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