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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.  

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.

Report on the Implementation and Early Outcomes of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership’s Career Connect Project

June 12, 2018

In July 2012, the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) was awarded a three-yearWorkforce Innovation Fund (WIF) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. The purpose of The Partnership's WIF project was to design, implement, and test an integrated workforce management information system (MIS), later named Career Connect, that:- Contains comprehensive and useful program- and customer-specific measures acrossfunding streams- Supports varied reporting capabilities; and- Provides the information necessary to adequately serve the needs of the workforce system'scustomers.The functional goal for the project is to have all Cook County workforce providers that receiveWorkforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I funds (delegate agencies) using CareerConnect as their data system of record. This included 49 delegate agencies when the project beganand 53 by the time Career Connect was fully implemented in June 2017. Additionally, the goal is toinvite non-WIOA workforce providers to also use the system, though The Partnership cannot mandate its use for non-WIOA providers.In the following study, we:- Assess whether Career Connect achieved its desired outcomes;- Document the context and operations of Career Connect's design;- Assess the degree to which it was implemented as designed; and- Evaluate stakeholder participation.

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. 

Supporting Job-Seekers Experiencing Homelessness: Best Practices for CoC & Workforce Board Engagement

September 17, 2016

The slides are from a presentation given at the Michigan Summit to End Homelessness in September 2016.

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

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.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014: A Preliminary Analysis

July 9, 2014

A preliminary analysis of provisions contained in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014 related to employment, training, education, supports, and prioritization of workforce services for adults and youth with barriers to employment.

Time is of the Essence: What the past 500 years means for the future of Black Male Achievement

June 18, 2014

This timeline seeks to shed light on how 500 years of slavery, discrimination and disenfranchisement has contributed to the current employment and economic crisis faced by African American men in the United States. In 2012, there were almost 6 million African American men and youth unemployed or not actively seeking work. Of this number, nearly 3.5 million were low income - below 200% of the federal threshold. From the 1960's until today, unemployment rates for black men have been 2 to 2.5 times the white unemployment rate. At the height of the Great Recession, the unemployment rate for black men peaked at 14%, which was nearly double the national average of 6.6% and higher than the national average during the great depression. As of May 2014, there were 717,000 unemployed black youth between the ages of 16-24 in the United States. Recognizing the implications of the historical, social, and political factors and decisions that have contributed to the current employment crisis faced by African American men and youth is critical to shaping future policy.

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.

The Workforce Investment Act: Homeless System Innovation & Recommendations

February 24, 2014

An overview of the United States' federally funded workforce system, examples of workforce and homeless system collaboration, and recommendations for meeting the employment interests and needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness.