Trouble Paying Water Bill? Park Forest Launches Community Cares Fund

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Park Forest residents having difficulty paying their water bill may be able to tap into a new village fund aimed at providing some relief during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new Park Forest Community Cares fund allows residents recently unemployed or underemployed to apply for financial assistance.

Social service agency Respond Now will partner with the village on the program by reviewing applications and screening applicants. Eligibility is restricted to Park Forest residents who can show proof of recent financial hardship.

If approved, a credit of up to $200 will be applied toward an applicant’s water bill.

Park Forest board members in May began discussions on how to provide relief to residents feeling the pinch due to the coronavirus pandemic which at its height saw unemployment near 15 percent – the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression. Board members unanimously voted to freeze Park Forest water rates for the 2020-21 fiscal year which were set to increase by five percent.

In addition to the water rate freeze, Park Forest Trustee Maya Hardy encouraged the village to take an additional steps by implementing a new fund to aid residents recently out of work, or on reduced hours.

“This water bill can be very challenging,” Hardy said. “I’m willing to fold up my sleeves and look into this and hopefully get this started.”

Applications are now being accepted for the new Park Forest Community Cares Fund. Those who receive assistance through the fund are not eligible for repeat assistance for two years.

Those interested in contributing to the Park Forest Community Cares Fund to help a family in need can make one-time donations by clicking on the link below.

For more information, or to inquire on the possibility of receiving assistance through the fund, call 708-755-4357 or visit villageofparkforest.com/communitycaresfund.

In addition to creating the new fund to aid residents currently experiencing economic hardship, Park Forest board members also slashed $2.3 million from the village’s 2020-21 budget in response to the coronavirus.

Background

In the spring of 2020, in response to the coronavirus, Park Forest board members unanimously voted to freeze water rates in effort to assist residents who may be experiencing financial difficulty. Board members also laid groundwork for the establishment of a special fund to aid residents who may have fallen behind on their Park Forest utility bill. In July of 2020, the Park Forest Community Cares Fund was officially launched.

About the Park Forest Community Cares Fund

The Park Forest Community Cares Fund is a partnership between the Village of Park Forest and Respond Now. Through the program, Park Forest residents experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus may be eligible for a one time credit to their Park Forest utility bill account. 

Eligibility

To qualify for assistance, an applicant must:

  • Be a Park Forest resident who is head of household
  • Be able to show proof of financial hardship
  • Contact Respond Now at 708-755-4357
  • If qualified, complete the application provided by Respond Now
  • Once approved, Respond Now will work with the Village of Park Forest on crediting your account

How to Donate

Park Forest residents interested in donating to the Park Forest Community Cares Fund may make a contribution by clicking on the below link and selecting PF Community Cares found under Payment Type. 

Donate Now

This is news from the Village of Park Forest.