Since 1928,Cunningham Township Supervisor's Office has been empowered 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 low-income Urbana residents. 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. Our funds come from a combination of property taxes, grants, private donations, and social security reimbursements. The Township contracts and funds are overseen by the Cunningham Township Board.
Cunningham Township Supervisor's Office Programs:
- Rental Assistance
Rental assistance supports low-income Urbana residents who are in the life-threatening circumstance of living without shelter or facing eviction. Township can provide a household making at or below 200% of the poverty level support to a landlord for permanent housing. Rental assistance is available to a household once in a 2-year period. Read more and apply.
- 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 $600 per month ($1200 for a married couple). The maximum amount is $300 per month which is sent to their verified Urbana address or picked up if they lack an address. Those who receive the grant must work and/or pursue education and employment as directed by the office unless exempt due to a disability or medical issue.
Read more and apply.
- Transportation Assistance
Any Urbana resident who receives General Assistance is eligible for a free annual bus pass.
- Utility, Food, and other forms of Assistance
Thanks to private donors, CTSO is able stop water and power shut offs, deliver prepared meals and food pantry supplies to hungry residents, and help homeless residents furnish their apartments.
CTSO supports all our participants in applying for any available subsidized housing opportunity. Any participant who needs additional services to support their disability, mental health, substance abuse issue, food security, health care, 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.
- 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.
- Support with Disability (SSI/SSDI) Applications
We can help General Assistance participants with disabilities apply for social security benefits, thanks to our trained case managers who coordinate the gathering of medical records, application submission, and tracking.
In 2018, CTSO was selected by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 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 ; typically SOAR applications are approved twice as often in half the time. CTSO helped train 14 case managers across 10 agencies who meet 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. See our reports.
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 mailed, emailed, or dropped off during office hours: Mon-Thursday 8:30am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:30pm and Fridays 1:00pm-4:30pm.
NOTE: Due to public health concerns, applicants will be asked to email paperwork or drop off paperwork in the mail slot in the door.
Within 2-3 weeks of the date a complete application is received, we will issue a decision. We will contact applicants with any questions. Please make sure we have a way to reach you via phone, text or email. 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.