DFSS Budget Highlights badgeIt is budgeting time for Chicago and city departments are presenting their proposed 2015 plans to the City Council for approval. The mayor submitted his budget recommendations earlier in October, and additions and changes will be made to the budget in November and December. The goal is for the City Council to approve a balanced budget by December 31, which would go into effect in January 2015.

The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) – home to the city’s safety net programs such as workforce development, services for re-entering citizens and people experiencing homelessness, and youth development – convened a budget hearing with City Council on October 24, 2014. Here are a few highlights of interest to CJC member organizations and supporters from the hearing:

  • DFSS’ overall budget increased $10 million due to increased city funding. For 2015, DFSS is requesting $8,301,801 for workforce services.
  • $4.1 million is targeted to workforce and support services for job seekers with criminal records. This includes funding for four Community Reentry Support Centers.
  • Guided by Plan 2.0, the city is investing half a million dollars for employment initiatives for people experiencing homelessness, totaling $2 million with state and federal funding.
  • Signing on to President Obama’s initiative to end veteran homelessness by 2015, the city is budgeting $800,000 for housing and services to more than 700 veterans, leveraging federal and state funds.
  • In 2015, the city expects an increase of $100,000 for senior employment initiatives. Under Title V of the Older Americans Act, DFSS will use this to engage businesses to place participants in internships.
  • Mayor Emanuel announced the launch of the 1,000 Jobs Campaign, with $200,000 from the city, plus $750,000 in private funds, to match a minimum of 1,000 qualified job seekers with open manufacturing jobs.

See the City of Chicago’s budget overview for more!