Dear friends,

In these uncertain times, we all have a lot of questions. As your lawmaker, one of my most important jobs is providing you with useful, accurate information. 

I wanted to take a moment to share information on recently expanded childcare programs and what’s available for rent and mortgage assistance. Finally, there’s also a reminder we are all dealing with a lot of stress and it can take its toll. There’s a number below and additional information should you need it.

Together, we will come out of this situation stronger than before. 

Child care assistance

Essential workers in Illinois are now eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program.

The expansion includes nurses and doctors, supporting staff in hospitals, grocery store clerks and food producers. Most expenses of emergency childcare centers and homes will be covered. Emergency childcare centers will receive additional reimbursement rates above their usual pay rate. 

Childcare centers interested in re-opening as emergency child centers are able to apply for a permit through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. To apply, click here.

Home childcare providers do not need a permit and can serve up to six children.

For more information on assistance available at the Department of Human Services visit: and

Rent and debt resources

If you are experiencing problems with paying your rent or mortgage, or have other debt issues as a result of COVID-19, please continue reading, as this newsletter may be helpful to you and understanding your rights.

Many landlords are understanding, so I encourage you to contact your landlord first, if you haven’t already. However, here are some resources that could help, if you and your landlord can’t reach an agreement.

  • The state has put a moratorium on evictions (as well as utility disconnections) while Illinois’ Stay at Home Order is in place, which is currently set through April 30. However, you are still responsible for paying your rent and bills.
  • Debt collectors are not allowed to visit you in person during this time. They can still call, however.
  • Some local agencies are providing assistance to those who are struggling to pay rent. You are encouraged to contact your local homelessness prevention provider. They may be able to help bridge the gap if you need assistance to avoid homelessness or eviction.
  • To learn more about unemployment compensation, visit the Department of Employment Security’s website. It is experiencing heavier than usual traffic right now, so if it’s down when you try to visit, check back later.


Managing mental health

Many Illinoisans have spent weeks self-isolating during the coronavirus outbreak, and some are now feeling more stress and worry due to the constant unknown and lack of social interaction.

The West Suburban Cook County Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Health offers specialized resources for individuals who may need assistance through a crisis line. The number for the line is available 24 hours, seven days a week and can be reached at 708-524-2582. The hotline can direct you to a comprehensive suicide hotline, suicide intervention and prevention, and over-the-phone counseling.

Harmon also encourages residents to take simple steps to care for themselves, such as:

    • Connecting with friends and family online,

    • Keeping regular work hours while at home,

    • Preparing healthy meals,

    • Exercising regularly, and

    • Staying up to date with accurate information.


As always, please reach out to my office with questions and concerns. My staff is working remotely, but we are still answering calls and emails—contact us by calling 708-848-2002 or by visiting

Stay safe and healthy.


Senate President Don Harmon