Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart recently announced that, in light of the impending evictions crisis and growing need for mental-health, substance-abuse and other social-service assistance, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office has launched the Community Resource Center (CRC).

The new initiative will provide linkages for community members in need of supportive services, including those facing eviction and recently released detainees.

The services include comprehensive mental-health and substance-abuse screenings, as well as direct connections to financial coaching, medical and behavioral health treatment, employment opportunities and housing resources within their communities.

The program expands on the Supportive Release Center, a program developed by the University of Chicago, TASC, Heartland Alliance and the sheriff’s office that provides temporary food, clothing and shelter for homeless and at-risk detainees, immediately upon discharge, at a location near the Cook County Jail campus.

That program ended in May, but with the global COVID-19 pandemic that has left thousands of people vulnerable to economic instability and unemployment while also exacerbating mental-health and substance-abuse disorders, the sheriff’s office saw a critical need to serve as a liaison between social-service providers and individuals who seek assistance.

Currently, the program will operate virtually due to COVID-19 concerns. CRC staff with expertise in mental health, substance abuse, trauma-informed care and knowledge of other branches of the sheriff’s office including the Cook County Department of Corrections, electronic monitoring, treatment response team and social services evictions support unit, will coordinate provision of seamless care to participants.

The CRC has also developed a database of government and non-profit social-service agencies offering a broad array of assistance, and it will be able to directly connect individuals to community-based agencies that can address their needs.

For more information, call the CRC at (773) 405-5116 or e-mail ccso.resourcecenter@cookcountyil.gov.