Through initiatives and collaborations, the Heart of Illinois United brings together nonprofit organizations, schools, business, labor and government to address critical health and human care needs in central Illinois.

Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care

The vision of the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care is to end homelessness in Fulton, Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford Counties by ensuring access to permanent, safe and affordable housing.The vision of the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care (“CoC”) is to end homelessness in Fulton, Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford Counties (“CoC service area”) by ensuring access to permanent, safe and affordable housing. With comprehensive, coordinated services, individuals and families can maintain self-sufficiency and improve their quality of life.

Established in 1994, the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care is a united coalition of community systems including nonprofit and government organizations. With the implementation of performance measures by state and federal funding entities, the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care partnered with the Heart of Illinois United Way in 2016 to build a sustainable system that will significantly impact homelessness in central Illinois.


Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care Point-In-Time Count

HUD requires a point-in-time count of homeless persons who are living on the streets, places not meant for human habitation, emergency shelters and transitional housing.HUD requires a point-in-time count of homeless persons who are living on the streets, places not meant for human habitation, emergency shelters and transitional housing. In 2018, the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care reported 400 total homeless, of these:

  • 54% Male and 46% Female
  • 55% White, 36% Black, 6% Multiracial and 3% Asian or American Indian
  • 26% Under Age 18 (accompanied by an adult), 4% Ages 18-24, and 70% Over Age 24

Interim Shelter Model

Access to stable housing is the foundation upon which all other support, including health care, is built. While there is not a single solution to address homelessness, an interim shelter model that utilizes the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) “Housing First” approach prioritizes the basic need of shelter before other needs. Since late 2017, OSF HealthCare has collaborated with the Heart of Illinois United Way and the Continuum of Care to support an interim shelter model that integrates case management provided by Phoenix Community Development Services (formerly South Side Office of Concern) with homeless shelter services at The Salvation Army.

“The interim shelter program is a great example of two long term United Way agencies, The Salvation Army and Phoenix Community Development Services, working together to improve the lives of those in our community. Housing is healthcare and OSF HealthCare is grateful to be able have a role in this excellent collaborative effort,” said Robert L. Brandfass, Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer for OSF HealthCare as well as Chair of the Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care and a Heart of Illinois United Way Board Member.

With OSF HealthCare’s support, the percentage of individuals in central Illinois leaving interim shelter services and moving into permanent housing has doubled. With an additional interim shelter at Dream Center, homeless families and individuals are obtaining safe and stable housing at a faster rate while improving life skills and overall health.

The support he received not only improved his overall physical and mental health; it also helped Thomas connect to job training.

Over the last year, lives have been transformed by the interim shelter model including the life of Thomas who had spent eight years utilizing The Salvation Army’s shelter. Once Thomas began receiving case management services from Phoenix Community Development Services, he moved into his own apartment before Thanksgiving. The support he received not only improved his overall physical and mental health; it also helped Thomas connect to job training.

Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care Governing Board

Patricia J. Bash
Community Volunteer

Keith Black
Department of Veterans Affairs

Robert Brandfass
OSF HealthCare

Linda Butler
South Side Mission

Rachael Cansino
Advocates for Access

Karen Davis
Greater Peoria LISC

Melissa Eaton
Pekin Entitlement Jurisdiction

Brandi Gerber
Heartline & Heart House

Jeff A. Gress
Crittenton Centers

Dustin Hite
Imago Dei Church

Cara Keplar
Bob Michel VA Outpatient Clinic

Kirsten Largent
OSF HealthCare

Dan Philips
First United Methodist Church

Lisa Roeder
University of Illinois College of Medicine

Sara Runyon
Phoenix Community Development Services

Brenda Wilder
Children’s Home Association of Illinois

Calendar: Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care

Go to the Google Calendar for Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care…

Important Files: Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care

Go to the Google Drive folder for Heart of Illinois Homeless Continuum of Care…