ECDA Annual Public Service Program Will Begin Accepting Applications in December


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KANKAKEE, Ill. (December 1, 2021) – For over 20 years, the Public Service Program has been administered by the City of Kankakee to fund local not-for-profit agencies providing services to low-to-moderate income persons in the City of Kankakee.

The application process begins on December 6, 2021 and closes on January 14, 2022.  A letter of intent from each applicant is due by 4:00 pm on December 17, 2021 to be eligible for funding. Applications can be picked up in person through a scheduled appointment by calling the Program Services Coordinator, Jan Gathing, at (815) 933-0506.To request an application digitally please email Jan Gathing at This program is funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program that the Economic and Community Development Agency (ECDA) administers.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our community! We hope to see several agencies at our workshop on Thursday, December 9th at 1pm in the Kankakee Public Library Auditorium so we can help answer any questions they may have about the application process,” said Jan Gathing, the Public Service Administrator and Assistant Program Manager for ECDA. Gathing works with applicants during the application process and monitors each social service agency’s program to ensure needs are being met across the City.  

Last year the following programs received funding:

  • Catholic Charities for transitional housing, furnishings, and utilities
  • Kankakee Eastside Junior Football League for equipment, uniforms, and insurance
  • Options for homeless prevention and Portable Ramp Program
  • Spanish Community Center for emergency assistance such as utilities, food, rental, and school supplies

An informational session will be available for those agencies who want to know more about the application process on Thursday, December 9th at 1pm in the Kankakee Public Library’s Auditorium on the fourth floor. For more information, please contact the ECDA office at (815) 933-0506 or email

“I encourage all social service agencies who are providing services such as rental assistance, health assistance, senior services, child care, or public safety to apply for funding through this program”, says director Barbi Brewer-Watson.  “The informational session will help answer questions and set expectations for potential applicants, so please consider attending the event on Dec. 9th.”

The Community Development Block Grant is part of a five-year strategic plan followed by annual action plans by the City of Kankakee to develop viable urban communities by providing “decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.”

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is the principal federal program providing grants to states, cities, and towns to devise neighborhood approaches that will improve the physical, economic, and social conditions in communities.

“I am certain that these funds will provide necessary assistance to the residents of the City of Kankakee, businesses and organizations that serve the most vulnerable in our community,” said Mayor Chris W. Curtis. “I greatly appreciate our federal delegation for helping to bring these funds to fruition, as they will absolutely bring much-needed relief to our community.”

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