Underwood Successful in Securing $1.5 Million for Projects to Improve Education, Health Care, and Foster Youth Priorities the 14th District
WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) announced that $1.5 million in federal investments for education, health care, and youth projects for the people of the 14th District of Illinois have advanced in the House of Representatives. This is the result of Rep. Underwood’s advocacy to fund local projects to improve early education and college readiness, help foster youth and their advocates in the Kendall County, and support adults with disabilities and people with mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Once approved by the House Appropriations Committee, the projects will advance to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
“Investments in education, health care, and foster youth are absolutely critical to the well-being of our community. I’m pleased to announce that $1.5 million for crucial projects I’ve fought for in Yorkville, DeKalb, Woodstock, St. Charles, and Crystal Lake has advanced in the House of Representatives. I’ll continue to push for federal investment in these projects and other key priorities to support Illinois students and improve the health of our families and communities,” said Underwood.
The following projects, formally called Community Project Funding (CPF) requests, advanced in the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies and the Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. CPF is a new initiative for Fiscal Year 2022 that allows Members of Congress to request direct funding for projects that benefit the communities they represent. Underwood submitted ten projects for consideration overall.
PROJECT SPONSOR: CASA Kendall County
LOCATION: 811 W John Street, Yorkville, Illinois 60560
AMOUNT FUNDED: $200,000
PURPOSE/JUSTIFICATION: This funding would be used for the purchase and development of a “CASA Clubhouse, a multiuse space serving families involved with the foster care system and their advocates. The Clubhouse is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds because it will be used as a free, safe location for families to meet on court-ordered visitation. The space will also be used to store donated resources for families and as the permanent advocacy office for CASA of Kendall County. Currently, there is not a single facility in Kendall County dedicated to this need, while CASA reports that the number of children in care in the County doubled from 2019 to 2020.
PROJECT SPONSOR: DeKalb County Regional Office of Education
LOCATION: 2500 N. Annie Glidden Rd., Suite C, DeKalb, IL 60115
AMOUNT FUNDED: $150,000
PURPOSE/JUSTIFICATION: This funding would be used to expand the work of the DeKalb County Kindergarten Readiness Collaborative and Basics DeKalb County, a county-wide initiative to increase access to quality early learning opportunities. This project is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds because it would provide targeted supports to parents in the communities of Sandwich, Sycamore, and Hinckley through culturally and developmentally appropriate materials, coaching, and peer mentoring. The purpose of this project is to reduce kindergarten-readiness gaps by helping the parents better support the social, emotional, and cognitive development of their children.
PROJECT SPONSOR: Independence Health & Therapy
LOCATION: 2028 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock, IL 60098
AMOUNT FUNDED: $60,000
PURPOSE/JUSTIFICATION: Independence Health & Therapy requests funding to purchase an electronic medical record (EMR) database system for their Adult Day program and a separate and distinct EMR for their Behavioral Health program. The Adult Day and Memory Care program is the only such program in McHenry County and seeks to promote independence and improve the quality of life for adults and their family. The intent of the Behavioral Health Program is to provide behavioral health services, within an outpatient community setting, to the greater McHenry County area, including traditional individual counseling, psychiatry services, preventative services, and community supportive services. Appropriate technology improves the delivery of services and agency operations.
PROJECT SPONSOR: Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office
LOCATION: 37W777 Route 38, Suite 300, St. Charles, IL 60175
AMOUNT FUNDED: $350,000
PURPOSE/JUSTIFICATION: The Kane County State's Attorney has indicated a desire to establish a pre-arrest diversion initiative based on the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) model. The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office has started to establish relationships with community-based agencies and mental and behavioral health service providers throughout Kane County, in addition to an early collaboration with the Elgin Police Department, which has created a Collaborative Crisis Services Unit (CCSU) in part to participate in pre-arrest diversion.
The funding for this project would allow the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office to hire three case managers and a community engagement coordinator, as well as secure operations funds and service dollars. The objectives of this initiative are to improve public safety, reduce the number of people entering the criminal legal system, eliminate racial disparities in the criminal legal system, create sustainability for the initiative by reinvesting systems savings, and improve police-community relations – making it an appropriate use of taxpayer funds. The core activity would be effective, harm-reduction, non-coercive case management of low-level nonviolent offenders.
PROJECT SPONSOR: McHenry County College
LOCATION: 8900 US Highway 14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012
AMOUNT FUNDED: $825,000
PURPOSE/JUSTIFICATION: This funding would be used to expand McHenry County College’s existing dual credit/dual degree program in partnership with all 15 public high schools in McHenry County. It is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds because it will fund additional graduate education for high school instructors, qualifying more instructors to teach college courses at their high school and making dual credit and dual degree programs available to many more students. The funding would also be used to help underwrite the cost of college tuition, fees, and course materials for students with demonstrated need.
Additional information on Underwood-sponsored projects in the 14th District selected for Community Projects Funding (CPF) through the Committee on Appropriations can be found here.