Library Links Residents to Vital Resources

For Evanston residents concerned about —or interested in— affordable housing, food insecurity/hunger, health care insurance, special education plans, or clearing a criminal record, upcoming programs and services at the Evanston Public Library can create connections to resources that help. These programs, which are free and open to all, help expand equitable access to the building blocks of a healthy community.

Affordable Housing

  • Open Communities, Evanston Public Library and the City of Evanston have joined forces to expand training and education to Evanston tenants and landlords. Beginning Thursday, October 5, Open Communities will hold office hours 9:00 am to noon every Thursday at the Main Library in the Newberry Room. Open Communities is a non-profit organization that was created to promote just and inclusive communities in north suburban Chicago.
  • Representatives from Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) will discuss affordable housing opportunities in Evanston and how to qualify for a CPAH home. The informational session will take place at the Main Library, in the 3rd floor seminar room, on Tuesday, October 17, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) is a non-profit that provides affordable housing in Evanston.

Hunger and Food Insecurity in Evanston

  • Meals at Home is collaborating with Evanston Public Library to lead community discussions around hunger and food issues in our area. The first session, Hunger and Food Insecurity in Evanston and the Role of Meals at Home will take place on Wednesday, October 25, from 7 to 9 pm in the Main Library Community Meeting Room. It will include a presentation from Northwestern students from the School of Education and Social Policy’s Civic Engagement program on their findings in a recent study of food security and food access in Evanston. Also, Debi Genthe, the executive director of Meals at Home, will talk about how the organization helps provide food security in our community. Future sessions will include a panel discussion with those working together to tackle the food insecurity issue on the North Shore, author talks and lectures. Meals at Home, an organization that is part of the national Meals on Wheels network, delivers meals to seniors, individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities, veterans, and anyone unable to prepare food. In 2017, more than 300 volunteers will deliver more than 52,000 meals in the area.

Health Care Insurance Information

  • Every Friday, year round, from 1:00 to 5 pm, Affordable Care Navigators are available in the Newberry Room of the Main Library to help individuals make sense of the complicated health insurance landscape. Marketplace enrollment assistance and Medicaid enrollment assistance are provided. The service is offered at no cost to participants. Open enrollment for ACA will run November 1 through December 15, 2017. Contact ACA Navigator Laura Jones Macklin at 312-898-8864 or at to schedule an appointment.

Special Education

  • Parents who are concerned about their child’s special education needs will be interested in the program:  Anatomy of an IEP: Dissecting Your Child’s Plan. Cari Levin, LCSW, Executive Director of Evanston CASE (Citizens for Appropriate Special Education), and Jill Calian, J.D., Special Education Attorney and Evanston CASE Board Director, help explain individual education plans and how they are best understood and managed. This information can help empower parents to better advocate for their child’s educational needs. The program will be presented in the Evanston Public Library Community Meeting Room on Thursday, October 26, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.

Clearing Criminal Records

  • The City of Evanston will provide free transportation from the Evanston Public Library to the Skokie Court House to access the Moran’s Center’s Record Expungement and Sealment Help Desk for those seeking to clear a criminal record. Transport has been organized for Thursday, October 19, at 11:30 am, and will return at 2:00 pm. For more information and to register, contact the Library’s social worker, Justine Janis, at 847-448-8659, or register online. Space is limited.

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.