Cunningham Township Supervisor's Office
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Since 1928, the Cunningham Township Supervisor’s Office (CTSO) has been funded by Urbana residents to serve low-income Urbana residents. We cultivate strong, trusted partnerships with other local governments, agencies, and funders to meet the basic needs of our participants. As a small office headed by elected Supervisor, Danielle Chynoweth, we are able move nimbly to provide a non-duplicated safety net for Urbana households dealing with the devastations of homelessness, joblessness, or disability. The Township is governed by the Cunningham Township Board.
CTSO operates these programs:
- Rental Assistance
Rental assistance supports low-income Urbana residents who are in the life-threatening circumstance of living without shelter or facing eviction with no options. Township can provide a household making at or below 150% of the poverty level up to $600 in payment to a landlord for permanent housing. This is a one-time assistance available to a household once in a 2-year period.
- General Assistance
General Assistance serves people living in Urbana who are part of very low-income households and have exhausted all other means of support. General Assistance is a monthly grant payable to applicants making less than $675 per month. The maximum amount is $265 per month which is sent to their verified Urbana address. Those who receive the grant must provide community service and/or pursue education and employment as directed by the office unless exempt due to a disability or medical issue. Application
- Transportation Assistance
Any Urbana resident who receives General Assistance is eligible for a free annual bus pass.
Any participant who needs additional services, such as disability, mental health, substance abuse, health care navigation, child care, education or other, is referred to the appropriate agency and follow up is provided to ensure they receive the support needed.
- Grants to local Social Service Agencies
Non-profit organizations seeking funds to operate social service programs benefitting Urbana residents are welcome to apply to the Consolidated Social Service Funding Pool funded by Cunningham Township and the City of Urbana. Funds may be used for both services to clients and program operating costs. Workshops about the program are typically held in March of each year with applications due in April, decisions in June and funding starting in July. Funding typically ranges from $1000-$30,000 per year with average grants of $6,000. In FY2018, 26 agencies were funded, 21 of them by Cunningham Township. Urbana provided $75,000 and Township $175,000 for a total of $250,000.
- Internship Program
CTSO offers a structured internship program with the following purposes: to provide formal and informal field experience to students and members of the community interested in the fields of Social Work, Urbana Planning, Non-Profit Administration, and Public Policy; to provide a conduit for local residents to collaborate with the Township on projects that are aligned with their interests or passions; to support Cunningham Township and its participants.
- Champaign County SOAR Initiative
In 2018, CTSO was selected by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to coordinate a multi-year initiative to train social service agencies in Champaign County in SOAR. SOAR is a process to help disabled residents who are homeless or at risk of homelessness apply for social security disability payments (SSI); typically SOAR applications are approved twice as often in half the time. CTSO helped train 14 case managers across 10 agencies who meet monthly as a cohort to support each other in the process.
- Public Education
CTSO seeks to address the roots of poverty– lack of employment, unequal distribution of wealth and income, and discrimination—through program development, policy change, and public education. We produce white papers and educate local leaders on the local conditions of poverty, discrimination, state of social services, and gaps in the safety net, advocating for systems change as needed.
In addition, our elected Supervisor Danielle Chynoweth, serves on the Champaign Urbana Public Health Board, by statute, and Housing Authority of Champaign County, by appointment by the City of Urbana.
Applications can be turned in during office hours: Mon-Thursday 8:30am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:30pm and Fridays 1:00pm-4:30pm.
Within 2 weeks of the date an application is received, an intake appointment is set. We make decisions on applications within 30 days of the date we receive them. Missing documents or information may cause a denial or need to re-apply. Applicants have the right to appeal decisions by the Supervisor and be given a fair hearing by the Champaign County Public Aid Committee.