Social Services

Social Services

Jobless rates fall in most areas

April unemployment rates in Champaign and Vermilion counties were the lowest they've been in at least three years, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Champaign County's unemployment rate dipped to 7 percent in April, down from 7.5 percent in March. The last time the April rate was that low was 2009, when it was 6.7 percent.

Subway closure hurts thrift shop business

DANVILLE — Lara Cottrill remembers when the Danville Salvation Army Family Thrift Shop did a fairly brisk business.

But Cottrill, who manages the store and warehouse, said business has fallen off since the city closed the Fairchild Street subway more than a year ago.

United Way announces $2.8 million in grants

CHAMPAIGN — Local donors opened their hearts and wallets to recession-crunched human service agencies, but there is only so much money to go around.

The United Way of Champaign County is on track to meet, and possibly exceed, its fund-raising total of $3.3 million fundraising goal, says its President and CEO Lyn Jones.

Soup kitchen looks to fundraiser to help meet its expenses

CHAMPAIGN — The cost of feeding hungry people in Champaign-Urbana every day adds up.

And that's even when volunteers do all the work.

"It just blows me away every month," says Stevie Bennett of Champaign, treasurer of Daily Bread Soup Kitchen.

Sam Banks named director of Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club

UPDATED 11:55 a.m. Wednesday.

CHAMPAIGN — The new leader of the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club won't need a tour of the community when he starts July 1.

Champaign-Urbana is already home to Sam Banks.

The club's board has chosen Banks, the former longtime CEO of the Cunningham Children's Home, to replace the club's current executive director, Andre Arrington.

Kraft foundation grant to benefit food bank

URBANA — The Eastern Illinois Foodbank will receive a $15,000 grant from the Kraft Foods Foundation to help feed hungry people in 14 counties.

Food bank officials said the money will be used to stock seven "foodmobile" distributions in underserved communities that lack adequate access to grocery stores, food pantries and soup kitchens.

Homeless agency sets fundraiser for 'desperate' need

CHAMPAIGN — C-U at Home, the organization working to provide housing for Champaign-Urbana's most vulnerable homeless people, will hold a fundraiser next month.

And the need for participation is "desperate," C-U at Home's founder and leader, Melany Jackson says.

Letter carrier food drive nets 20,000 pounds of food in C-U

Residents in Champaign and Urbana donated nearly 20,000 pounds of food Saturday in a drive sponsored by letter carriers and the U.S. Postal Service.

Through the Stamp Out Hunger campaign, residents were able to donate nonperishable food by leaving it at their mailboxes to be picked up by letter carriers.

Salvation Army leadership changing

CHAMPAIGN — The Salvation Army of Champaign County will have a change of leadership next month.

Envoys Michael and Kris Fuqua are being transferred to the Salvation Army in Willmar, Minn., after four years of leading the local Salvation Army and pastoring its church here.

Fundraiser to benefit CASA

CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign County Court-Appointed Special Advocates will have a Mother's Day fundraiser from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Indi Go Artist Co-Op, 9 E. University Ave., C.