Winter housing and food resources for Champaign County residents

Local News

Miguel Reider walks near a traffic jam caused by vehicles stuck on a hill during a snowstorm, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, in Towson, Md. Reider and friend Tim Winter, who live down the street, walked up to help push motorists up the incline. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Officials of the City of Urbana just recently released a list of quick references to winter housing and food resources for people living in Champaign County.


Emergency Shelter for Families with children: To inquire about the Emergency Shelter for Families (ESF), people can send an email to or call (217) 328-3313.
Families with Urbana School Children: Cunningham Township runs an emergency shelter program for families with children enrolled in Urbana School District or who have children staying overnight at Crisis Nursery who have no other place that they can stay.
Crisis Nursery: Crisis Nursery is the only emergency-based child care facility open 24 hours, 365 days a year serving ages birth through six. It is open for the entire community to access with no fees or income eligibility. Families who may be experiencing a crisis can call (217) 337-2730 to begin the process of scheduling care for their child/children. 
Regional Office of Education: This is a resource for homeless families with children and youth who are of school age. People can call (217) 893-3219 anytime between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.


Daily Bread Soup Kitchen – 116 N. First Street: They provide meals to go from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for 7 days a week. To get more information, call (217) 356-7687 or visit
Canteen Run: A mobile truck that offers food, drinks and blankets to those on the streets on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Contact Barb Davies or Jason Fisher at or with any questions or concerns.
The Jubilee Café: This is located in the basement of the Community United Church of Christ on Sixth Street. It provides fresh, home-cooked meals every Monday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. to college students, as well as local residents, who struggle with food insecurity.
– For a list of food pantry and soup kitchen locations, dates and hours, call 211 (or 1-888-865-9903).

General Services

Courage Connection: Individuals or families fleeing domestic violence should contact Courage Connection’s Domestic Violence hotline, which is open 24/7 at 1-877-384-4390. To reach a mental health professional free of charge, please text TALK to 552020 for English service and text HABLAR to 552020 for Spanish service.
The Phoenix Daytime Drop-In Center: It provides a year-round drop-in center and winter daytime warming site for those in our community that need a place. Hours of operation include Monday-Friday from noon-5:00 p.m.. For more information, please contact the Phoenix at (217) 819-4569 or visit

The Salvation Army Stepping Stone Program and Daytime Warming Center: This transitional Housing Program will house men, women and families who present as homeless and who commit to working the program.

Additional Daytime warming options are The Phoenix, public buildings such as libraries, municipal (city, state and federal) buildings during normal business hours.

Additional resources

Cunningham Township – for Urbana residents: This provides General Assistance for those out of work or disabled seeking SSI, Rental Assistance for homeless needing move-in assistance or those facing evictions and food panty deliveries. Apply for help online, call (217) 384-4144, email or visit in-person location at 205 W. Green Street. They are open from 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-4:30p.m.

City of Champaign Township: General Assistance/Transitional Assistance (GATA) for individual clients without dependents. For more information, please contact Dawn at (217) 403-6124.

Emergency Rental Assistance: This is for households that are having a past due rent balance and have either a landlord’s notice to vacate, a court-ordered eviction or are moving into the City of Champaign Township limits and need assistance with a deposit. For more information, please contact Bailee at (217) 403-6124. 

Lifeline Free Phone Service: This is a free phone service for low-income residents with a social security number. People can use one of these to apply: tax return, pay stubs, SSI letter, unemployment letter SNAP, Medicaid, housing voucher or General Assistance letter.  Apply through the carriers:
– Virgin: or call 1-888 321-5880 – free phone provided
– Access: or call 1-888-900-5899 – free phone provided
– Safe Link: or call 800-723-3546. Must have your own phone – such as a Trac Phone.

For more details about these resources, please visit the City of Urbana’s website.

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