Champaign County Community Coalition

On May 8, 2024, the Champaign County Community Coalition held its monthly meeting. As a follow up to last month’s meeting, where local students were given the opportunity to share their struggles in finding activities to participate in throughout the community, a guide was created to use when planning activities based on what students suggested. This will make it easier for youth to engage with the community in ways that they may not have considered.

The Housing Authority of Champaign County presented general information about their organization. This included the services they offer, populations served, and the SHIFT program which is aimed at support for a successful exit from voucher assistance. The University of Illinois Chancellor’s Compact gave an overview of their focus areas and timeline of activities since 2023. They were also able to share updates regarding upcoming programming and grant opportunities.

Two very emotional presentations occurred this month that had the whole meeting in tears. “A Cry for You” is a non-profit organization that offers a support system for parents and families experiencing grief. They were able to provide information regarding their program and how they support families who have experienced losing a loved one to gun violence. They also shared with participants the opportunity to support their Sons in Heaven Gala on Tuesday, October 5th from 5 – 9 PM at the IHotel. In addition, the Sheehan Family presented about an initiatives born out of the loss of their son in a tragic house fire. In partnership with the Champaign Fire Department, they will be hosting the Christian Sheehan Smoke Alarm Blitz on Saturday, May 18th from 8 AM – 12 PM at the Douglass Community Center. This annual smoke alarm blitz has provided over 1000 smoke alarms to families.

The information sharing portion of the meeting consisted of brief updates regarding programming and job opportunities from Stop the Violence, Black Mental Health and Wellness Part 2 – The Work Continues, Don Moyers Boys and Girls Club – Champaign County Mental Health Board Summer Initiatives, and Champaign County Probation and Court Services.