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Economists say coronavirus disaster declarations may be the quickest path to reopening; militia groups use virus, Independence Day to recruit followers.

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Trump visits South Dakota's Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore today; nearby tribal leaders object, citing concerns over COVID-19 and a fireworks display. Plus, voter registration numbers are down from this time in 2016.

Raising the Roof – IL Governor Looks at Emergency Housing Needs

January 30, 2008

Mattoon, IL – More than 31,000 Illinois residents were turned away last year when they knocked on the door for emergency housing help, according to state statistics. It's part of a housing crisis that has shelter and housing groups urging the Governor to pencil in $2.4 million more in his budget to help keep up with demand that has increased almost 20 percent over the past three years.

Mattoon Area Public Action to Deliver Shelter director John Heldman says groups like his stretch those dollars to try to come up with permanent solutions.

"We provide case management and vocational training so the people can go out and find apartments, and find jobs, and return to productive citizenship."

Heldman says basic costs to run overnight shelters and transitional housing for homeless people have increased along with the increase in demand.

"The price of milk went up 14 percent, gas is three dollars a gallon, so we're seeing a huge increase in just food services."

Housing Action Illinois says budget cuts in recent years mean current funding is lower than it was in 2003, when demand for emergency housing help was much lower.

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - IL