Bridge Communities in the Community
Bridge Communities proactively works with and supports local and statewide community advocates on issues relating to homelessness and affordable housing to create solutions to the issues faced by extremely low, low and moderate income residents.
Founding member of the DuPage County Homeless Continuum of Care (CoC), which comprises more than 50 countywide organizations working together to create solutions to the issues faced by extremely low to low income residents and to maintain a seamless network of community resources for DuPage County homeless population.
DuPage County Homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) committee involvement includes: Needs Assessment Committee, One Night Street Count Committee, HMIS Committee and Community Services Block Grant Committee.
Membership with Housing Action Illinois, which works to educate policy makers and build affordable housing inventory at the local, state and national levels.
Take Action in Your Community
Go to Housing Action Illinois, www.housingactionil.org, to learn more about how you can help homeless families in Illinois.
Go to Mid-American Institute on Poverty of Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, www.heartlandalliance.org, to learn about poverty and homelessness in DuPage and other collar counties.
Proposed Initiatives for State Action on Affordable Housing as Presented by Housing Action Illinois
State Budget Advocacy: Restore Homeless Prevention funding to $6 million in the fiscal year 2015 state budget. Fiscal year 2014 funding is $4 million, far less than the $11 million available in FY08. Illinois’ homeless prevention program provides one-time rental and utility assistance, which has allowed nearly 100,000 families to remain in their homes. This funding prevents families from entering the more costly emergency shelter system. Restoring funding to $6 million will prevent homelessness for more than 6,900 households. Ninety percent of households stay housed after using homeless prevention funds. Goals also include the increase of Supportive Housing Services funding to $30.1 million, a $2.3 million increase, and protect funding for the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
A Better Illinois Campaign: Support a Constitutional Amendment to allow for a fair income tax. Click here to contact the campaign.
State Legislation: Extend and improve Housing Opportunity Tax Incentive. Passed in 2003 and implemented in 2004, this provides an incentive for property owners in “opportunity areas” to rent a portion of their apartments to households using Housing Choice Vouchers (HCVs). The program sunsets in tax year 2014. Goals are to extend the program and improve the effectiveness of the incentive. Click here to see the bill status for HB 5538.
State Legislation: Create the Fair Tenant Screening Act, thereby establishing basic consumer protections for residential tenant applicants. Click here to see the status of HB 4778.
"As a mentor, I feel that I have received more than I have given...the goal of a mentor might be to help families find resources to further their education, get out of debt, and plan for the future, but one soon realizes that it is the social and emotional support that is most essential. Being a mentor has taught me patience, compassion, and perseverance. It has changed my definition of success and increased my gratitude toward family, friends and God."