Askren: Relief fund to help area residents

2020-04-19 | Commercial-News

April 19-- Apr. 19--Good Sunday morning, everyone!

It is time for us to get down to business. Since March, our office has been working to create, and then fund, a COVID-19 Relief Fund for any resident in our coverage area who has lost wages or employment due to the COVID-19. Our coverage area is all of Vermilion County in Illinois and Fountain and Warren counties in Indiana.

We have been assured by Ameren Illinois, Aqua Illinois and the Danville Sanitary District that there will be no shut offs or late fees applied to any accounts at this time. We also know that no evictions or foreclosures can take place during this crisis.

Danville Township and Salvation Army Food Panties are still open, and individuals or families can get food at both locations once a month. The Danville Family YMCA is offering meals to kids and teens under age 18 every day of the work week from 4-5 p.m. Danville District 118 is giving out food to its students every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon at Danville High School, as well as partnering with the Witzel's McDonald's at their three locations in Danville.

We aren't going to fully know the impact this pandemic is going to have on our community until several months from now, but we are going to do what we can for our residents right now. So here are our guidelines to the relief fund, please share it with those you know need help.


Vermilion County in Illinois, and Fountain and Warren counties in Indiana residents who have lost wages or employment due to the global pandemic could receive a one-time payment of $500 for housing assistance and a monthly allowance for food. All applicants are required to show proof of unemployment due to the COVID-19.

Vermilion County residents can call to apply at:

--City of Danville -- 431-2280

--Love INC -- 442-5683

--United Way of Danville Area, Inc. -- (217) 442-3512

Fountain and Warren County residents can call to apply at:

--Community Action Program of Western Indiana -- (765) 793-4881 or visit

For all individuals who have applied for unemployment, whether accepted or rejected:

--$75 for each verifiable household member for food assistance

--A one-time payment of $500 toward a verifiable rental/mortgage payment

--Grant funding guidelines for housing assistance: A person must live in the aforementioned counties; no renters who have subsidized housing vouchers; renters/homeowners with earned income prior to stay-at-home order; renters/homeowners who do not qualify for unemployment insurance; income up to 250 percent of federal poverty level guidelines.

Applications for assistance will all be done remotely. Applicants will have to send, via email or text, a picture of their valid ID and unemployment acceptance/rejection letter.

Remember we are all in this together. No one is immune to this pandemic. We can take what was meant to harm us and make our community a better, stronger and more hopeful community by LIVING UNITED.

Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live United.

Sherri M. Askren is president of United Way of Danville Area, Inc., 28 W. North St., Danville, IL 61832. Phone, 442-3512