COVID-19 Relief Grant Update

The City’s COVID-19 relief programs have made a meaningful impact in the community. This past summer, the City received a special allocation of Community Development Block Grant funds through the federal CARES Act to be used to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. After a thorough analysis of needs and community collaboration, subrecipient agreements with five partner agencies were executed in July 2020 with services beginning immediately. In total, $791,495 was awarded to non-profit organizations for public service programming and the City’s Small Business Incentive Program to provide business relief assistance.

COVID-19 Relief Programs (CDBG and CDBG-CV Round One)

Partner Agency



Expended Through 12/1/2020

City of Champaign Township

Short Term Rent and Mortgage Assistance







C-U at Home

Emergency Overnight Homeless Shelter





First Followers

Welcome Home Re-Entry Program





United Way of Champaign County

Short-Term Food Stability Program



Champaign Park District

Youth Programming



NSD, Planning & Development, ECHO

Small Business Incentive Program








In total to December 1, almost $650,000 of the grant funds have been expended to assist over 350 beneficiaries. A few highlights of the public service programs include: rent or mortgage assistance for households that have lost income due to COVID-19; year-round emergency shelter for single men and women, which did not exist in our community prior to the pandemic; and a complete new design of delivery of youth programming, which is typically provided in large in person groups, primarily in the summer.

First Followers, a new City CDBG subrecipient, implemented a new program for people released from prison due to the coronavirus. The program provides support with the challenges of transitioning from incarceration to home, a task that is already difficult, but even more burdensome during a pandemic. James Kilgore, Director of Advocacy at First Followers, recently shared that they have had success with finding housing for their program participants with the assistance of the City’s funding. He stated, “This is really amazing for us to have access to these resources and it has helped with our relationships with landlords in the long run.”