Poverty has a great impact in our communities.

At an essential level, every parent wants to provide for their children- food, clothing and shelter. For those recently unemployed or the more than 800K people living below the federal poverty line in Cook County, surviving with less than $1,600 a month, these basic needs are a challenge. Coupled with a multitude of concerns based on education, employment, community violence exposure, health, and the complicated structures of low-income housing, this is the standard backdrop for our client’s lives.

When a client walks into one of our offices, our focus is to provide a level of support that creates resilience.

Resilience: the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress.-The American Psychological Association.

CEDA, as an organization, is working to place itself as a foundational stepping stones in that process.












It is at the core of our mission as a Community Action Agency in the Chicagoland area, that we maintain a service delivery model that includes the numerous community partnerships we have. We are always looking for ways and resources to reach our customers to engage with them. Our connection to the community heartbeat is critical. This leads us into innovative program designs.

Recently showcased in our modified services in response to COVID-19, our Energy Services program began taking applications over the phone.











We set our goals with the customer, our staff, and our partners safety in mind and executed to provide the opportunity for customers to complete applications over the phone. This modified resource is allowing our customers during this time of crisis and pandemic to receive the assistance they need to continue to sustain these essential services while highlighting our evolution to do whatever it takes to meet our communities’ basic needs.

Understanding our clients,-these individuals, parents, their children, seniors, and more-  we have been able to utilize clear communication practices to consistently provide these types of program updates. When building resilience, this model is key.  Continuing to work in our communities and placing value on our client’s opinions and responses have allowed them to maintain a positive perspective. When faced with challenges it is most important that they understand they are not alone.

CEDA, with greater purpose, is here for our communities.

We are committed to facing the effects of poverty with our clients and fighting with them in reviving the vision of the future we all have in mind, of safe, healthy and thriving communities.

We come to you, as our community, to take a few moments to read our Strategic Plan and share your feedback as the needs of our communities are only magnified during this time.


2 thoughts on “Building Resilience in Our Clients and Communities

  1. I am hoping to find an apartment or possibly room in a home for my son whom is paying
    $900 for current rent ($550 SSI and $350
    my assistance). I am a retiring 72-year-old
    who is finding this supplement to my son’s expenses difficult on my fixed income.
    Also I am moving to McHenry County so
    would prefer my son to be closer in North to Northwest Cook County or Southern Lake County, IL. Can you help us?

  2. submitted 2020 September 9 at https://www.nwshc.org/contact:

    I’ve revisited your website. It now says that Northwest Housing closed its LIHEAP application process to new clients.

    I started the LIHEAP process before you closed your intake. Please follow through and schedule an application appointment for me.

    I filled out the online intake form 7 days ago, on Wednesday 2020 September 2. I also called the phone # and sent an email to make an appointment, because your website isn’t as clear as it could be. I received responses by phone and email the same day from two different women. Both women scolded me. Neither woman scheduled an appointment.

    On Thursday 2020 September 3, a woman left a voice mail. I didn’t receive a voice mail alert until Monday 2020 September 7. If my phone screen notified me that I missed her call, I dialed the number; and a man answered. He said he didn’t call me.

    The September 3 voice mail gave me an area code 708 number; and I left two messages the evening of 2020 September 7. Again, I said I want an appointment to apply for LIHEAP. I also said the person who called back should specify the day and time of the appointment in a voice mail if I don’t answer the phone.

    I learned from the Illinois Commerce Commission website that the 2020 LIHEAP application start date was moved forward to July 27 from the October and September start dates in previous years. The Northwest Housing & CEDA websites withhold the July 27 date. Nor did Northwest Housing & CEDA notify me of the change, though I am in their records as a senior with a very low fixed income. Messages from two other seniors at the CEDA website indicate that I’m not the only victim.

    Therefore, I think CEDA and Northwest Housing have acted in a deceptive and discriminatory manner towards my demographic in the 2020 LIHEAP application process, even though we are priority beneficiaries.

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