Cook County Announces Open Call for Organizations that Provide Housing Services and Wraparound Support to Housing Insecure Residents

Cook County Justice Advisory Council to Host Information Session on the Opportunity

COOK COUNTY, IL — Today, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the Cook County Justice Advisory Council (JAC) announced a request for qualifications (RFQ) for community-based organizations that provide housing services and an array of wraparound support services for individuals facing housing insecurity, including those with criminal justice system involvement.

“Supportive housing options are a critical need across the country and here in Cook County, particularly for our most vulnerable residents,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Cook County agencies including the Justice Advisory Council are working to expand and strengthen our partnerships with community-based housing providers. We are doing so with a commitment to increase access to supportive housing options and services that unlock positive outcomes for individuals and strengthen our communities.”

The overarching goal of Housing Services and Wraparound Supports (HSWS) initiative is to reduce community violence and prevent recidivism by enhancing housing options and additional supports for individuals, including those with criminal justice system involvement. HSWS will be managed by the Cook County Justice Advisory Council (JAC), the agency that oversees the County’s initiatives and investments connected to community safety, reentry and justice reform.

“Safe, stable housing is key to helping residents avoid contact with our justice system and live safe healthy lives,” said Avik Das Executive Director of the JAC. “Housing insecurity is incredibly destabilizing, and we cannot downplay the importance of housing for individuals who may be experiencing other risk factors or navigating challenging periods such as returning home from incarceration. The Housing Services and Wraparound Supports initiative will allow us to expand our network of community-based service providers and offer more comprehensive housing and support options to individuals on a broad continuum of need.”

All applicants must provide housing services. In addition to housing services, the initiative will fund wraparound services and supports that fall under five categories:

  1. Case Management Services, including navigator supports for access to services;
  2. Legal Services, including connection to legal aid; 
  3. Employment Supports, including linkages to employer partners; 
  4. Healthcare Services, including assistance obtaining County Care; and
  5. Educational Supports, including education and training programs.

“Working with community, we continuously hear about the barriers to finding stable housing options for justice involved residents and those with a criminal record,” said Nikki Muñoz, Reentry Services Manager for the JAC. “The combination of housing services and individualized, wraparound support allows people to navigate challenges and access opportunities that lead to stability and success. The level of need for these services is great and we are excited to be laying the groundwork to partner with organizations who are doing this critical work in communities across Cook County.”

The HSWS request for qualification is limited to organizations with a current nonprofit (501c3 or 501c4) designation. To be eligible, organizations must provide housing services directly to residents and may provide additional wraparound services or offer services through established partnerships. 

A virtual information session covering all eligibility requirements and the application process will be held on Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at 1:00pm. Register here.

Organizations that offer eligible services and seek to partner with Cook County will respond to a formal request for qualifications (RFQ) which will be published on the Justice Advisory Council’s Grants website on Monday, June 3, 2024. The deadline to respond to the RFQ is Monday, July 1, 2024 at 5:00pm.

Recidivism is a significant issue in Illinois, with nearly 40% of previously incarcerated people returning to prison within three years. Housing is a persistent challenge for this population. In Chicago, approximately 60% of unsheltered people report being previously incarcerated in jail or prison.

For more information on Cook County’s housing policy priorities and current housing projects, please see the Cook County Housing Policy Brief.




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