URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Thousands of dollars are on the way to Champaign County to help hundreds of asylum seekers. Urbana, Champaign and three non-profits are getting nearly $250,000 from the Illinois Department of Human Services.

The New American Center, the Refugee Center and Cunningham Township are getting some of that money. Breaden Belcher, Urbana’s interim grant division manager, knows these places have been advocating for and supporting asylum seekers for a long time.

The first-of-its-kind grant will help cover the cost of food, housing and legal expenses for those who need it.

“This grant will be supporting housing assistance, case management, rental assistance, things of that nature,” Belcher said. “As well as legal support, providing access to legal representation and legal counsel for asylum seekers coming into the community.”

The grant will help about 300 asylum seekers who live in Champaign County after leaving places like Central and South America as well as the Middle East.