ECDA Public Service Program Will Begin Accepting Applications in December


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KANKAKEE – For over 20 years, the Public Service Program has been administered by the City of Kankakee to fund local non-for-profit agencies providing services to low-to-moderate income persons in the City of Kankakee. The funds available for this round of public services are greater than they have been before due to the CARES Act.    

The application process begins on Monday, December 7, 2020 and closes on Friday, January 15, 2021. A letter of intent from each applicant is due by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 18, 2020 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, 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.

“Your community is our community and we’re here to help,” said Jan Gathing, the Public Service Administrator and Assistant Program Manager for the 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 – $12,040 for transitional housing furnishings and utilities

· Fortitude – $20,000 for shelter supplies

· Kankakee County Community Services Inc. (KCCSI) – $13,500 for the Senior Nutrition Program

· Options – $15,000 for the Portable Ramp Program and $8,000 for homeless prevention

An informational session will be available for agencies who want to know more about the application process. The date and time will be announced on the City’s website and social media pages. 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 Executive Director, Barbi Brewer-Watson. “We have over 200 thousand dollars to distribute throughout Kankakee to help meet the needs of our residents.”

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.”

“This funding will continue to support the work of  multiple agencies who diligently work to meet the needs of those in our community. Also, I am grateful for the partnership with state and federal leaders who were able to secure additional funding through the CARES Act.  I will continue to work with our local, state and federal leaders to access resources and advocate for direct aid to our city,” said Mayor Wells-Armstrong.

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