Winter Emergency Services Guide

Emergency Winter Services

2021 – 2022

Compiled by United Way of Champaign County

Printed 11/23/21

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. 


*Emergency Shelter for Families with children: 

To inquire about the Emergency Shelter for Families (ESF), please send an email to If you do not have access to email, you may contact 217-328-3313. 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 weekly increments of stay, up to 30 days, as long as the guests are actively participating in case management services and working toward finding more stable housing option. 

Families with Urbana School Children:

Cunningham Township runs an emergency shelter program for families with children enrolled in Urbana School District or who have children staying overnight at Crisis Nursery who have no other place they can stay. The program has two rooms with microwave cooking only. Families are prioritized based on need and must be screened prior to placement. Family size limited to 4 people. Families will be allowed weekly increments of stay, up to 30 days, as long as the guests are actively participating in case management services and working toward finding more stable housing option. Ask your Urbana School Counselor or Crisis Nursery to make a referral.

*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 home visiting, play groups, support groups, case management and parenting education to strengthen parent skills and confidence. In addition to the services listed above Crisis Nursery provides diapers, formula, clothing, etc. to any community members in need.  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. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Women Only Noon December 21, 2021

*Austin’s Place (a program of C-U at Home) — Overnight Shelter for Women:

Austin's Place provides overnight emergency shelter for women year-round. Intakes begin at 8:00am-5:00pm (Monday-Friday). This resource is housed at C-U at Home’s 70 East Washington facility in Champaign (former TIMES Center building). Light snacks are provided; showers and laundry are available. For more information, contact Chloe Hanson at 217-819-4569. Follow C-U at Home and Austin's Place on Facebook for the latest shelter news and events and check our website at

After Business Hours and need shelter? Call the C-U at Home Outreach Hotline: 217-888-0329.

Men Only

*C-U at Home Men’s Emergency Shelter:

Winter Shelter for men provided year-round, 365 days a year. Intakes begin at 8:00am-5:00pm (Monday-Friday). Service provided at C-U at Home (70 E. Washington, Champaign/the former TIMES Center location).  Light snacks available, showers and laundry are available in emergency situations. Contact: Thomas Welte, 217-819-4569; or call 217-649-2200.

After Business Hours and need shelter?  Call the C-U at Home Outreach Hotline: 217-888-0329.


*Daily Bread Soup Kitchen

"The Daily Bread Soup Kitchen's mission is to feed the hungry of our community. Currently, we are providing a hot nutritional meal in a biodegradable clam shell, plus a hearty sack lunch, to-go, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 7 days a week. Because of COVID-19, we cannot offer inside dining. " 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 116 N. First Street, Champaign 217-356-7687 or visit

*Canteen Run:

The Canteen Run is a mobile truck that offers food, drinks, blankets and human kindness to those on the streets on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday 6:30PM- 8:30PM.  Drivers are needed and require a background check.  Training is provided on the spot. Contact Barb Davies or Jason Fisher at 

Visit to learn more 

The Jubilee Café 

Located in the basement of the Community United Church of Christ, located at 805 S. Sixth St. 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.

For a list of food panty and soup kitchen locations, dates and hours, please contact 211 (or 1-888-865-9903).

General Services

Courage Connection:

Individuals or families fleeing domestic violence should contact Courage Connection’s Domestic Violence hotline open 24/7 at 1-877-384-4390. If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.

Rape Crisis Hotline at 217-384-4444 is available 24/7.

To reach a mental health professional free of charge: Text TALK to 552020 for English service. Text HABLAR to 552020 for Spanish service.

*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 Monday-Friday from noon-5:00pm. Additional hours to be added (ranging between 7:30am-8:30pm) when daytime “feels like” temperature drops below 10* and are based on volunteer manpower. The Phoenix is located at 70 East Washington Street in Champaign (the former TIMES Center facility). For more information, please contact the Phoenix at (217) 819-4569 . Visit to learn more."

The Salvation Army Stepping Stone Program and Daytime Warming Center:

Stepping Stone is a transitional Housing Program will house men, women and families who present as homeless and who commit to working the program. You do have to be employed. Capacity is limited due to space and staffing, so agencies must contact Program Manager before referring. The Salvation Army Red Shield Center on Market St. also serves as a daytime warming center from 9 am to 3pm, 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

Cunningham Township:

For Urbana residents: provides General Assistance (monthly check) for those out of work or disabled seeking SSI, Rental Assistance for homeless needing move in assistance or those facing evictions, and food panty deliveries. Apply for help online, call 217-384-4144, email or visit us at 205 W. Green Street Urbana. We are open from 8:30am-12pm and 1pm-4:30pm. Serves residents regardless of immigration or citizen status. Hablamos Español a (847) 701-4217.

City of Champaign Township:

General Assistance/Transitional Assistance (GATA): For individual clients without dependents that currently either have a Social Security application in process and awaiting an approval OR have an appeal in with Social security and are awaiting a result from that. This is a monthly stipend of $304 until the client is approved for Social Security payments. Clients must reside in the city limits of Champaign and are incapable of working due to their disability. For more information, please contact Dawn at 217-403-6124

Emergency Rental Assistance: For households that are currently have a past due rent balance and have either a landlord’s notice to vacate or a court-ordered eviction OR are moving into the City of Champaign Township limits and need assistance with a deposit. Clients must prove household income and they also cannot have received in the past two years. A household can receive up to $600 once every two year-period of time. For more information, please contact Bailee at 217-403-6124. 

Lifeline Free Phone Service:

Known as “Obama phones” this is a free phone service for low income residents with a social security number. 3GB data, unlimited texts, and 250-350 call minutes each month. Qualifications are based on income. You can use one of these to apply: tax return, pay stubs, SSI letter, unemployment letter SNAP, Medicaid, housing voucher, or General Assistance letter.  Apply through the carriers:

•Virgin: or call 1-888 321-5880 - free phone provided

•Access: or call 1-888-900-5899 - free phone provided

•Safe Link: or call 800-723-3546. Must have your own phone - such as a Trac Phone.

Coordinated Entry-Centralized Intake for Homeless (CIH) 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. Please send an email to to inquire about CIH and to schedule your assessment. 

To begin the CIH process, you will be asked to provide the following:

•Third party homeless verification (this can be obtained from various community organizations, including CU at Home, Cunningham Township Supervisors Office, City of Champaign Township Office, etc.) 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.

Need help? Call 2-1-1 or 1-888-865-9903. 211 is a 24/7/364 information and referral service that covers much of central Illinois. NEW is the option to TEXT 898 211- currently only available during business hours

Free COVID Testing: East of Marketplace Mall Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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

Contact or (217)352-5151 to add resources or make changes

Emergency Management would like to be notified when emergency shelters or services are made available or the above information changes.  

Contact Champaign County EMA at 384-3826


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Last modified:Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 11:35
- Author: BridgetB