Fast4ward: Monthly updates from Illinois Partners for Human Service.

May 2024





Policy & Advocacy

Register Today for Our Virtual Panel on the FY25 Budget

After a long week and a protracted timeline, the legislature finally passed the FY25 State Budget.

It was a long and messy budget process, with some areas of human services seeing increases and others experiencing cuts.

To learn more about high impact health and human service budget decisions, join us for our FY25 Budget webinar. We will engage an expert budget and policy panel to discuss budget implications for various service areas and the health and human services workforce, key policy wins, and areas of continued advocacy.

Register for the budget webinar

$5.25 Million Appropriated to the Human Service Professional Loan Repayment Program!

We are so excited to report this victory.

The funds for the Human Service Professional Loan Repayment Program will be given directly to frontline human service workers for loan repayment assistance, and provide an incentive to stay in community-based human service settings. More information to come as we now move into launching this program with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

THANK YOU to all of our coalition partners and frontline human service workers who have advocated for this important program over the past 3 years. Thank you to our advocacy partners at ICOY, bill sponsor Senator Laura Fine, and our dedicated partners at HFS and Deputy Governor Grace Hou.

This appropriation would not have been possible without the fierce and committed advocacy of Representative Lindsey LaPointe, who worked tirelessly to get this over the finish line. We are so grateful and so lucky to have such a dedicated chief sponsor for this important program! Thank you Rep. LaPointe for all you do to support our human service sector!


Events & Opportunities

Crafting Stories about Well-Being and Aging

Join Illinois Partners for Human Service for a virtual training on creating complete stories that lead with values, utilize a systems lens, and center the human experience in narratives around aging.

Human service programs use stories in numerous ways, but in order to ensure that messages are clear and strong, they must be delivered in a consistent manner that aligns with our core principles. This training, “Crafting Stories About Well-Being and Aging,” will outline the components of a well-framed story arc for human services and aging, describe communication strategies for constructive storytelling, and provide examples of stories often told in the field of human services.

This is the third and final session in a series of virtual trainings on Reframing Aging. Technical assistance is available after each training session to answer questions, address challenges, or assist participants with new communication materials.

The training will be held Thursday, June 13, 1-3pm. Register for the training

All are welcome. You need not have attended sessions or two to register for this workshop.

Breaking the Binary: Unraveling Gender, Race, and Colonialism

This workshop is an introduction to the past and present connections between race, colonialism, and the gender binary.

Participants will discuss, reflect on, and learn about sex and gender through the lens of race and imperialism, analyzing how racial hierarchies have evolved through gender norms.

Malcolm Shanks, a Senior Affiliate Trainer, and former Race Forward staffer, will facilitate this workshop.

The virtual workshop will be held Wednesday, June 12, 11am to 2pm.

Learn more about the workshop, cost and register

New Research Report: “Black Homelessness in Illinois: Structural Drivers of Inequality”

The Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy (IRRPP) at the University of Illinois at Chicago recently released a new research report focused on factors driving racial disparities in Black homelessness in Illinois.

“Black Homelessness in Illinois: Structural Drivers of Inequality” explores the legacy of systemic racism, poverty, and lack of affordable housing.

The report’s findings prompted Governor J.B. Pritzker to announce his new budget would include an extra $50 million toward state efforts to end homelessness.

You can read the full Black Homelessness report and view an interview with one of the researchers, advocates and Christine Haley, the State of Illinois’ chief homelessness officer, both on WTTW.

Illinois Family Caregiver Coalition Releases “Caregiver Stories”

Illinois Partners is a proud member of the Illinois Family Caregiver Coalition, a statewide coalition working together to support unpaid and informal caregivers.

In April, the coalition released “Caregiver Stories”, a report highlighting the challenges unpaid family caregivers face, and the impact critical Federal and State funding has made on their lives.

You can read the full caregiver report, including the opening letter, on the coalition’s website.


The More You Know

Take Our Annual Coalition Partner Engagement Survey

Illinois Partners is seeking your feedback on priorities for research, trainings, and advocacy for the 2025 Fiscal Year.

We are looking to our coalition partners, as well as other health and human service stakeholders, to inform this process and provide feedback.

This survey is anonymous and should take less than 7 minutes to complete. Take the survey

Updated Southern Illinois Community Resource Guide

This month, our coalition partner Arrowleaf released the fifth edition of the Southern Illinois Community Resource Guide.

The comprehensive guide includes location and contact information for a variety of resources including Emergency and Crisis Services, Public Health Department Locations, Mental Health Treatment, Substance Use Treatment, Substance Use Support Groups, Emergency Shelters and Domestic Violence Services, Medical Services, Clothing and Food Services, Transportation Services, Drug Disposal Locations and much more.

Download the guide

Asian American Action Day 2024

On May 1, hundreds of Asian American community leaders including many of our coalition partners kicked off Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a rally at the Illinois State Capitol.

The rally featured community testimonies calling on lawmakers to pass the Language Equity and Access Act (SB3762), fully fund immigrant services, create progressive revenue streams to generate new funding solutions for the state, and invest in the implementation of K-12 inclusive history requirements.

The annual Asian American Action Day is organized by members of the Pan Asian Voter Empowerment (PAVE) Coalition. You can view the full list of organizations, photos and video from the rally on the Asian American Advancing Justice Chicago Facebook page.


Special Feature

Cosette Ayele Joins Panel Discussion on Promoting Policy Alignment to Combat Systemic Racism

In 2023, the Chicago Jobs Council launched their Anti-Racist Workforce Development Framework and Guide and began hosting Community of Practice conversations to further support anti-racism in policy and workforce development overall.

On May 22, Illinois Partners’ Director of Advocacy and Workforce Initiatives, Cosette Ayele, spoke on a panel about our Workforce Roundtables and the Health and Human Services Coalition and shared her personal experiences about how coalition-building can dismantle systemic racism.

Cosette was joined by Tamar Frolichstein-Appel of Upwardly Global and Chris Warden at Women Employed. The conversation was facilitated by Jacob Sitati from the Chicago Jobs Council.