Section 120.110  Program Types-Description


a)         General Program Purposes – The Grantee will use the Community Services Block Grant available through the State of Illinois for purposes as described under Section 676  of the Act (42 USC 9908).


b)         Program Priorities – The Department's priorities parallel those of the Act, and fall into the following categories:


1)         Economic Development – Reflecting the importance of a community's economic viability for the poor, the Department has placed its highest CSBG priority on job creating economic development programs which result in the employment and self-sufficiency of low-income persons.  Each CAA designs and operates an individualized economic development program.  At least 10 percent of each CAA's annual CSBG funding is allocated for economic development/job creation activities.  Most CAAs operate a loan program through which below market rate loans are made for business expansion and start-up which results in the hiring of low-income persons.  Various other job-creating activities are undertaken, including self-employment training.


2)         Education – Recognizing the importance of education in breaking the cycle of poverty, priority is given to education programs which are designed to increase the capability of the poor to function productively in society. A broad spectrum of educational assistance is provided through the CSBG program.  Specific examples include:  workplace orientation, vocational skills training, family planning education, cultural opportunities for disadvantaged children, energy conservation education, post-secondary education scholarships, GED assistance for high school dropouts, adult and youth literacy training and nutrition education for single parents and the elderly.


3)         Income Management – Counseling and instructing low income individuals and families in the management of their income is an acceptable program activity.  This could take the form of addressing consumer education issues, assistance in preparation of federal and State income tax reports, and the provision of workshops on income savings measures.  Many CAAs offer programs to encourage better use of available income.  A majority of this assistance is in the form of family budget counseling.  Information also is provided through workshops or brochures on such topics as financial management, credit, income taxes and Social Security.


4)         Housing – The primary housing activities include aid to renters seeking a residence, landlord/tenant rights education and arbitration, information about purchasing/financing a home, packaging housing and housing rehabilitation loans and providing for minor energy efficiency or health and safety related home repair.  These activities may be linked with other housing related assistance in the community, such as the Energy Assistance and Weatherization programs.


5)         Emergency Assistance – Recognizing that crisis situations (some life threatening) frequently occur within the low income population, priority is given to programs that intervene for purposes of alleviating the crisis situation.  Most CAAs maintain clothes closets and food pantries, many of them in conjunction with other community groups and local churches.  Some agencies provide redeemable vouchers or grants to clients that enable them to meet immediate and urgent family needs such as health services, nutritious food, housing, employment-related assistance, day care, medical services and transportation.


6)         Nutrition – Poor nutrition and/or lack of proper diet are often synonymous with the effects of poverty.  Activities designed to increase eligible clients' awareness of proper diet and food preparation is a concern to the total community.  CSBG funding is a primary resource for leveraging and providing nutritional assistance.  Typical programs include:  federal surplus food distribution, community gardening projects, food banks, senior citizen and youth feeding projects, Christmas food packages and assistance in accessing food stamps, WIC and other nutrition-related programs.  These activities may include the storing and distribution of surplus United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) agricultural commodities; preparation and service of hot meals; food baskets; and programs designed to prevent malnutrition.


7)         Linkages – CSBG funding regularly supports extensive outreach, information and referral services, transportation services, youth recreation and self-sufficiency programs for low-income citizens.


8)         Self-Sufficiency – Many CAAs provide for comprehensive family case management programs that promote, empower and nurture family members toward self-sufficiency.


9)         Health – CAAs provide many health related activities in the form of transportation to medical services, medical/dental screening, immunization, drug and alcohol abuse prevention and other services which promote good health.


10)         Community Involvement – CAAs conduct programs to encourage and facilitate low-income clients to achieve greater participation in the affairs of their communities, including the development of local partnerships with law enforcement agencies, schools, housing authorities and private sector businesses, clubs and other community organizations.


11)         Youth Development Programs – CAAs conduct programs that support the primary role of the family in youth development and the prevention of youth problems and youth crime.  Additionally, programs such as after school child care and linking grade school students with senior mentors and tutors are targeted to preteen youth.


(Source:  Amended at 27 Ill. Reg. 7986, effective April 28, 2003)