SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — As winter rolls into Illinois, the state is increasing its funding for emergency shelters.

The Illinois Department of Human Services announced in a news release Thursday they are funding an extra $5 million in state funds to expand emergency housing ahead of colder weather.

“Shelter is not a privilege—it’s a right,” Governor JB Pritzker said. “With the winter season well underway and snowy days on our horizon, we are investing $5 million to ensure that no Illinoisan goes without the shelter they need to stay warm, safe, and healthy.”

According to IDHS officials, most of the fund will expand existing Emergency and Transitional Housing Programs contracts.

“Addressing this crisis requires a combination of short-term and long-term initiatives, and today’s announcement is an immediate and necessary step to help those experiencing homelessness,” Grace B. Hou, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services, said. “The goal of today’s increase in funding is to expand capacity to serve more households this winter and meet the anticipated demand.”

Several emergency shelters close to the Chicago-area are already full, according to the news release. One advocate said there’s a long-term shortage of 4,000 emergency shelter beds across the state.

“The additional state funding that IDHS is providing will help emergency shelter providers serve additional people at a time when most all of the federal government resources that housed people during the COVID-19 pandemic have been exhausted, but the need for agencies serving people without a home has not lessened,” Bob Palmer, the Policy Director for Housing Action Illinois, said.

IDHS has help for people needing emergency housing on their website. They also advise people looking for emergency shelter to call 1-833-2-FIND-HELP or to text SHELTER to 55-2020.