ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Governor JB Pritzker gave his annual budget speech on Wednesday, and he highlighted Rockford during his address.
His budget includes “Home Illinois,” a $50 million program for homeless prevention and crisis response. He highlighted Rockford’s work.
“To see success, look no further than Rockford, Illinois,” Pritzker said. “Working in partnership with community organizers, judges, and housing authorities, Mayor Tom McNamara and the City of Rockford have engaged in successfully assisting homeless residents in their transition to apartments and helping struggling families avoid eviction from their homes.”
McNamara was at the address, where he got a standing ovation from lawmakers. Pritzker was talking about the city’s “Functional Zero” for both veterans and the chronically homeless.
The Northern Illinois Homeless Coalition’s has a goal to rapidly rehouse newly homeless veterans and others in less than 30 days.
McNamara said that all the credit for the work being done goes to city staff and partner organizations.
“We made it a priority, we dedicated staff to it, and those staff we had out in the streets every single day, every week, 365 days a year, building relationships with unhoused individuals in our community,” McNamara said. “And then at the same time we were doing that, we were building partnerships with community-based organizations that could help fill the needs that our unhoused population had.”
The mayor said that state and federal funding was crucial to make this work.