New programs help cover water expenses and support youth entrepreneurship
Darrel King, chief of the office of water production, introduced two new financial assistance programs for low-income residents to pay for water-related expenses at the Fifth Ward meeting on Thursday.
Additionally, Juleya Woodson, project manager at the Youth Job Center and a Fifth Ward native, introduced the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, which targets residents aged 18-29 to “help entrepreneurship emerge more tangible,” Woodson said.
Help with water-related expenses
The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) and the Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 for income-eligible community members.
LIHWAP help with water and sewage bills, offering a one-time bill payment of up to $1,500 per eligible household.
LIHEAP offers residents an affordable rate for water and sewer. Evanston City Council has approved two different water rates: the standard rate of $3.17 per 100 cubic feet (equivalent to 748 gallons of water) and the affordable rate of $1.94 per gallon for residents eligible for income.
If you are an Evanston resident who is eligible for income, you can apply for both programs through the Cook County Community and Economic Development Association (CEDA). You will find more information about these services here.
Eligibility for LIHWAP and LIHEAP Income
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program
Woodson, who is an entrepreneur herself, said the entrepreneurship and innovation program she is responsible for leading is a free virtual series that will run in two parts.
In the first, a four-week portion called the “bridging” program, students will explore entrepreneurship and financial literacy. “We encourage our young people to bring in absolutely any idea they have that they want to start a business in,” Woodson said. By the end of the four weeks, she hopes participants will have reinforced their interest or disinterest in entrepreneurship.
In the second, a select few will enter an 11-week “incubator phase” where participants will actively grow their business at any stage, “whether it’s getting an LLC or setting up their own professional bank accounts”.
“By the end of the whole program, we hope to have new start-up businesses among our young people, and also that they have created great partnerships within the community,” she said.
To find out more about the program and to apply, click on the “entrepreneurship and innovation link” on the Pôle Emploi Jeunes website. You can also contact Woodson.