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Chicago Urban League Launches COVID-19 Community Help Center

The Chicago Urban League is launching a COVID-19 Community Help Center to assist small business owners, homeowners, job seekers, students and families in managing through and recovering from negative impacts of the pandemic. The Help Center will begin offering some services immediately. Others will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

The COVID-19 Community Help Center will draw on the League’s existing expertise in housing and financial counseling, workforce development, entrepreneurship support, and educational enrichment to tailor assistance to addressing hardships stemming from the virus.

“We serve thousands of Chicago residents a year, and we know that many of them are struggling now,” said Chicago Urban League President & CEO Karen Freeman-Wilson. “We are also keenly aware that African-American communities, which already face longstanding economic, educational and social inequity, have been among the hardest hit by this pandemic.”

“Our COVID-19 Community Help Center will help individuals navigate through processes to obtain immediate relief, as well as prepare for longer-term consequences that we anticipate will result from time lost in the workforce, in the classroom, and operating their businesses at full capacity,” Freeman-Wilson added.

The COVID-19 Community Help Center is open to all Chicago-area residents and will offer services via phone and Internet-based platforms during the City of Chicago’s stay-at-home order. The Help Center will provide onsite services when it is safe to do so.

The Help Center is accessible through a dedicated website,, and will include the following resources and assistance that are available immediately:

  • Support for Small Business Owners
    • Assistance with applying for COVID-19 financial relief
    • Referral to alternative funding sources for those who do not qualify for federal, state or municipal relief
    • Credit counseling
    • Procurement opportunities and technical assistance
    • One-on-One coaching
  • Support for Job Seekers
    • Job search assistance and placement
    • Career coaching
    • Credit and budget counseling
    • Workforce preparation
    • Assistance with interview apparel
    • Connection to community resources
  • Support for Students, Youth and Families
    • Tutoring
    • STEAM educational enhancement through summer programming
    • Crisis support and management through social emotional learning
    • College access
    • Career support
    • Resources and referrals
  • Support for Homeowners and Renters (The Chicago Urban League is a HUD-certified housing counseling agency.)
    • Rental assistance supported by a certified rental counselor
    • First-time homebuyer counseling
    • Foreclosure prevention counseling
    • Credit counseling
  • Support for Emerging Leaders
    • Dedicated LinkedIn group for African American professionals to share experiences, insights and questions on leading through the pandemic (Join the group)

Other Help Center components that are still in development include:

  • Support for Health and Wellness
    • Virtual health sessions and seminars delivered in partnership with health professionals
    • Wellness checks
    • Healthcare Advocate Program
  • Support for Emerging Leaders
    • Crisis leadership webinars and workshops

To request assistance through the Chicago Urban League’s COVID-19 Community Help Center:

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