CHICAGO – The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color across the country, and cases continue to rise among the state’s African-American residents. To help prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has planned a series of initiatives to increase awareness of state relief and aid available to African American communities in both Chicago and other parts of the state that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has planned several initiatives to increase awareness of relief and aid available to Black communities across Chicago and other parts of the state that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.IDHS activated a Mobile Health Unit will be located in the parking lot of the Far South Community Development Corp. in West Pullman on Election Day. Attendees received a free health screening, flu shot, or COVID-19 test at no charge, and visitors will receive a complimentary COVID-19 prevention kit.

This initiative is the first of many events established to build pathways of hope that impact the lives and well-being of Illinois' Black community. IDHS asks community leaders to continue to learn and to communicate about the resources available to those in need in their communities.

Additional related efforts include:

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• Partnering with local community, health, and faith-based organizations to do regional outreach.
• Working with area hospitals, such as Lurie Children's Hospital, St. Bernard Hospital, and UChicago Medicine, along with other community health providers, that include TCA Health and Mobile Care Chicago. Each hospital and health provider will use mobile units to provide vital information, access to services, and essential health items such as masks and hand sanitizer to communities in need.
• Utilizing a multi-channel media approach and modern technology to communicate critical information, COVID-19 prevention tactics, and create awareness about free resources available to families in need.

"While COVID-19 public health and economic crisis has affected everyone across the board, there are particular and unique needs and circumstances impacting the Black community," said IDHS Secretary, Grace Hou. "In this regard, it is imperative that we employ specific testing and preventative tactics and measures that will resonate and be most effective.”

The IDHS is committed to being known, seen, trusted, and a strong ally in Illinois' Black community.

About the IDHS:
The Department of Human Services is Illinois' largest state agency, with more than 13,000 employees. The IDHS was formed to provide residents with streamlined access to integrated services, to help them to achieve economic independence, and others who face multiple challenges to self-sufficiency. The IDHS is proud of its diversity, efficiency, and the services that the agency and its community partners provide to Illinois citizens.

Full information regarding the IDHS is available at

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