ILLINOIS (WCIA) — The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) will temporarily close 11 of their Family Community Resource Centers to the public.
In a release, officials said the closure will start April 16. This affects centers in cities like Springfield and Champaign. Recently, three other centers had been temporarily closed.
They said this is out of caution for COVID-19. “The coronavirus calls upon IDHS and all of us to address difficult and unprecedented questions,” said John Bouman. “There are strong competing priorities. It is essential to try to balance the safety of people needing assistance, the workers who serve them, and the general public in the effort to control the spread of the virus. It is also essential to get vital services to people with heightened needs in this difficult time.” He continued to say their plan finds the balance to address those concerns.
Since March, customers have been urged to stay home unless they absolutely needed to go out. IDHS found foot traffic to be plummeting in their local offices. Officials said their online/ telephone applications for first time medical or food benefits, with nearly 30,000 people applying each week compared to their usual 10,000 weekly applications.
Customers are encouraged to apply for their benefits and manage them online and call the IDHS “Help is Here” line at 10833-2-FIND-HELP. Clients and employees will be updated when offices reopen.