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We know that our community is most prosperous when people and families are financially stable with a job, safe housing and the ability to save. Together with our partners, our goal is to provide people and families with realistic solutions that increase their financial stability. This means ensuring people and families have access to opportunities and programs that help secure and maintain a job and housing, while also allowing them to begin building assets.

The Challenge

  • Between 2008 and 2012, 25.7 percent of households in McLean County were severely burdened by their rent, meaning at least half of household income was spent on housing.
  • 10 percent of families in McLean County make less than $25,000 per year.
  • Nearly 24,000 people in McLean County live at or below the Federal Poverty Level.

Our Response

We recognize that in order to ensure financial stability for someone, issues must often be addressed in a specific order and in a step-like manner. People and families must have sustaining-employment before they can obtain and maintain safe, affordable housing. Along with that, they must also have manageable debt and expenses before realistically increasing their savings and acquiring assets. With these steps in mind, local research identified the following areas critical to reaching financial stability.

  • People and families maximize the income supports they receive.
  • People and families obtain and maintain family-sustaining employment.
  • People and families obtain and maintain safe, affordable housing.
  • People and families have manageable debt and expenses.
  • People and families have the necessary financial assets to avoid financial crisis.

These outcomes and key indicators are used to evaluate the effectiveness of direct service programs and collective impact initiatives funded under the income area.

2017 Funded Programs

Employment Services - Western Avenue Community Center - $5,678

Full Day/Ext Day Program - Heartland Head Start - $15,948

Home Foreclosure - University of Illinois Extension - $12,151 

Housing and Homelessness Prevention - Prairie State Legal Services -$9,113

Housing Counseling Services Program - Mid Central Community Action - $23,300

Income Stability Program - Prairie State Legal Services - $6,904

Job Development Program - The Salvation Army - $3,562

Labyrinth - Labyrinth Outreach Services - $8,630

Learning and Leading Program - Project Oz - $6,394

MGH for Homeless Youth - Project Oz - $7,140

Supported Employment - Marcfirst - $18,537

Transitional Living - Project Oz - $7,313

Volunteer to Employment Program - YouthBuild McLean County - $35,164