Emergency Services Guide

Emergency Services


Compiled by United Way of Champaign County 

This guide has been produced as a quick reference to winter housing and food resources. It is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all services in our community. Community resources are subject to change.

For the most current information, always call 2-1-1.

Centralized Intake for Homeless (CIH) Walk-In Assessments
If you are experiencing homelessness and live in Champaign County, CIH may be able to connect you to a homeless assistance program that can help.
You are strongly encouraged to bring: 

  • Verification of your homeless situation (for example, a letter from someone like a case manager or friend stating where you are currently sleeping; it must include the date and their contact information)
  • Photo ID
  • Social Security card(s)
  • Birth certificate of minor child(ren)
  • Disability verification (if applicable)

When a homeless assistance program has a vacancy and you are the next eligible household based on the prioritization established by the Continuum of Service Providers to the Homeless, you will be referred to the homeless assistance program. Each homeless assistance program has individual and specific eligibility requirements.


  • The Phoenix Drop-in Center 70 E. Washington Street, Champaign Tuesdays 12–4 p.m.
  • Illinois workNet Center 1307 N. Mattis Avenue, Champaign Thursdays 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
  • Salt & Light 1819 S. Philo Road, Urbana Mondays 5–8 p.m.
  • Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County 520 E. Wabash Avenue, Ste. 1, Rantoul Every 4th Wednesday 1–3 p.m.

Emergency Shelter for Families with children: Attend a Centralized Intake for Homeless (CIH) walk-in appointment to be assessed and registered on the CIH priority list. Information about the walk-in days, times, and locations are available by calling 217-819-4117 or United Way’s 211 line. One or more parent (or legal guardian) age 18 or over with child(ren) under the age of 18 and Champaign County residents. Family household size: max 6 people. The head of the household needs to be biologically or legally related to the child(ren). Expecting women with no current children may be housed by program (must be in last trimester of pregnancy). Guest will be allowed 3-5 day increments of stay, as long as the guests are actively participating in case management services and working toward finding more stable housing option.

Crisis Nursery
Crisis Nursery is the only emergency-based child care facility open 24 hours, 365 days a year serving ages birth through six. It is open for the entire community to access with no fees or income eligibility. Besides safe shelter for children, we also provide family support and parenting education to strengthen parent skills and confidence. Tours are also available upon request-please call in advance to schedule an appointment for this. We believe that asking for help is a sign of strength. Families who may be experiencing a crisis are welcome to call 217-337-2730 to begin the process of scheduling care for their child/children.

Regional Office of Education
Is a resource for homeless families with children and youth who are of school age. Pre-school aged children also receive services to ensure access to early childhood and preschool programs. Verification of school enrollment will be required. Services include providing school supplies, physical education clothing, transportation, alarm clocks, or special school fees such as those for field trips, pictures, and book clubs. In addition, funding is also available for tutoring and to assist with the cost of educational summer programs. Call 217-893-3219 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Women Only

  • Austin’s Place — Overnight Shelter for Women Austin's Place provides overnight emergency shelter for women during the winter months. Open from November 1 2019 - April 15, 2020 from 7:30 p.m.-7 a.m. Screening and intake occur at Courage Connection, 504 E. Church Street Champaign, from 6 - 7:30 p.m. each evening. Transportation to the shelter is provided by shelter volunteers. Light snacks are provided; showers and laundry are not available. Guests will be provided with bus tokens in the morning. For more information, contact Ruth Moore at 217-356-9078. Follow Austin's Place on Facebook for the latest shelter news and events and check our website at http://shelter-austinsplace.weebly.com/ After Business Hours and need shelter? Call the Outreach Hotline: 217-888-0329.
  • St. Andrews Church 909 S. Wright Street, Urbana 5:45 p.m.- Community meal (free) on Wednesday’s followed by fellowship, Bible study and discussion. Showers available for women on Tuesday and Friday from 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. during the Austin’s Place operating season.

Men Only

  • CU at Home Men’s Emergency Shelter Emergency Winter Shelter for men provided November 1, 2019 – April 15, 2020 (8 p.m.-7 a.m.) C-U at Home (70 E. Washington, Champaign/the former TIMES Center location). Light snacks available, but no meals served. Showers and laundry are not available. Contact: Aleta Keith, 217-819-4569; or call 217-649-2200. After Business Hours and need shelter? Call the Outreach Hotline: 217-888-0329.


  • Daily Bread Soup Kitchen Hot meal served seven days a week from 11-12:30 at 116 N. First Street, Champaign. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. 217-356-7687 or visit dailybreadsoupkitchen.com
  • Canteen Run: The Canteen Run is a mobile truck that offers food, drinks, blankets and human kindness to those on the streets on Sundays 3-5 p.m. and Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 6:30- 9 p.m. Drivers are needed and require a background check. Training is provided on the spot. Contact Barb Davies or Jason Fisher at cucanteenrun@gmail.com Visit www.cucanteenrun.org to learn more
  • The Jubilee Café Located in the basement of the Community United Church of Christ, located at 805 S. Sixth Street in Campustown. The volunteer-based café will provide fresh, home-cooked meals every Monday from 5-6:30 p.m. to college students, as well as local residents, who struggle with food insecurity. Contact 211 (or 1-888-865-9903) for a list of food panty and soup kitchen locations, dates and hours.

General Services

  • Courage Connection Individuals fleeing domestic violence should contact Courage Connection at 217-352-7151.
  • The Phoenix Daytime Drop-In Center Provides a year-round drop-in center and winter daytime warming site for those in our community that need a place to be. Hours of operation include Tuesday-Friday from noon-5 p.m. Additional hours to be added (ranging between 7:30am-8:30pm) when daytime temperature drops below 10 degrees Fahrenheit and are based on volunteer manpower. The Phoenix is located at 70 E. Washington Street in Champaign (the former TIMES Center facility). For more information please contact the Phoenix at 217- 819-4569 . Visit www.cuathome.us to learn more."
  • The Salvation Army Stepping Stone Program and Daytime Warming Center The Stepping Stone Program will house men, women and families who present as homeless and who commit to working the program. Capacity is limited, so agencies must contact Program Manager before referring. The Salvation Army Red Shield Center on Market Street also serves as a daytime warming center from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Additional Daytime warming options include: The Phoenix, public buildings such as libraries, municipal (city, state and federal) buildings during normal business hours are also available.

Additional resources Call 2-1-1 or 1-888-865-9903

Community Resource Center at OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center hours 7 a.m.- 6:30 p.m. Call 217- 337-2635

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Last modified:Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 16:51
- Author: BridgetB