Build Healthy and Resilient Communities

Maintain well-being of residents, focusing on the availability of accessible physical and behavioral health services for families, the aging population, and other populations in need.

Prescription Drug Disposal Boxes

One strategy to reduce substance abuse related emergencies is to reduce the amount of unused or expired drugs in peoples' homes, which can be a temptation for substance abusers. From February, 2015 through December, 2015, more than 11,000 pounds of drugs were collected at 27 different municipal police department boxes. That total is up 26% from 2014. Of that total, approximately 55 pounds were controlled substances with a street value of more than $750,000. An established chain of custody allows law enforcement to collect the drugs, as well as monitor the sorting of medications to distinguish between addictive (i.e. fentanyl, codeine, Vicodin, oxycodone) and non-addictive drugs. Since 2009, the number of disposal boxes has increased from nine to 27 and the annual number of reported deaths due to prescription drugs has declined from 40 in 2009 to an estimated 15 in 2015. 

Employment/Training Assistance for People with Disabilities

Workforce Development launched a program to increase the number of individuals with a disability receiving employment and training opportunities through the Job Center. Since late 2014, the program has provided core job search services to 250 individuals and developed an employment plan with 67 individuals with 29 individuals enrolled in occupational training. The DEI program received additional grant funds to work with the College of Lake County Personal Success Program and financially assist individuals enrolled in short-term targeted training programs in computer literacy, personal home healthcare aids, customer service/retail, and financial literacy. 

Growing the Manufacturing Workforce

In September 2013, Lake County Workforce Development launched the ATIM program in partnership with regional workforce areas in Will, DuPage, McHenry and Kane counties. During the length of this accelerated training program in CNC, welding and Mechatronics at College of Lake County and various other training institutions, 52 unemployed individuals earned an industry credential and are better prepared for a job in manufacturing. At the end of the program in August 2015, 39 of the individuals have reported an employment outcome.

Employer Outreach

Workforce Development has continued with its partnership with Lake County Partners to strengthen and enhance a county-wide business outreach program. As a result, there have been 115 unique business outreach visits in 18 months – intentionally overweighted in manufacturing with 70% of the visits. These visits have resulted in 24 follow-up meetings from Workforce Development, 14 follow-up meetings from College of Lake County, and an additional 14 meetings with industry associations. In addition to the candidate screening, resume sourcing, and workforce solution directions, Workforce Development has recorded four direct hires, including three through the growing On-the-Job Training Program.

Workforce Development and Housing Authorities

Workforce Development has conducted job seeker workshops in partnership with the Lake County Housing Authority and the Waukegan Housing Authority to assist their housing residents with long-term employment. The goal of this initiative is to provide training and employment services for housing residents, including creating a resume to assist the individual with obtaining long term employment that will lead to self-sufficiency, as it pertains to housing. Although this program is very new, it is producing positive results. 

Affordable Care Act -

Enroll Lake County!

While the impact of the ACA and Enroll Lake County! efforts are still being analyzed, data shows that the uninsured rate in Lake County dropped from 11% in 2013 to 6% in 2015. Enroll Lake County! activities will continue through February of 2016. Since July of 2013, the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center implemented the Enroll Lake County! project. The Health Department and community partners provide education and application assistance to individuals interested in applying for Medicaid or purchasing insurance through the federal-facilitated health insurance marketplace. During the second year of enrollment, the number of residents gaining health coverage through the ACA rose to 42,273 individuals, with 21,586 residents enrolling or re-enrolling for coverage through the Marketplace and 20,687 residents enrolling in ACA Adult Expanded Medicaid.

New 5-Year Housing and Community Development Plan

The Housing and Community Development Commission identified 39 new projects to create affordable housing, strengthen neighborhoods, and offer new job opportunities in 2015, the first year of the new 2015-2019 Housing & Community Development Plan. Focused on combating the increase in suburban poverty documented both nationwide and in Lake County, the new plan paved the way for Lake County investments in business district revitalization in downtown Lake Villa and the Hawley Avenue retail corridor of Mundelein, in affordable rental housing in both Highland Park and Mundelein, and new accessibility modifications at key facilities throughout Lake County. Residents with intellectual disabilities were supported particularly by investments both in a $3 million upgrade (for which Lake County CDBG invested $100,000 in new bathrooms) to a day facility in Riverwoods and in community-integrated housing in Gurnee and Grayslake. Read the plan.

Fair Housing in Lake County

Lake County committed more than 10% of its 2015 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to the development of Fairhaven Crossing – 40 units of family-focused affordable rental housing in Mundelein. A collaborative effort of Lake County United, the Lake County Center for Independent Living, and both non-profit and for-profit housing developers, the entire building will feature Universal Design to be usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life. Located near transit, particularly a North Central Metra stop, the building has ten units (25%) reserved for people with disabilities.

The Lake County Board’s goal of environmental sustainability was also honored in this adaptive reuse of a former commercial building for much-needed housing. Due to the historic presence of a Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST), environmental clean-up was required to address the residual soil contamination present at the property. A total of 440.7 tons of contaminated soil was excavated from the site.

FindHelpLakeCounty.Org Facelift

Lake County’s virtual “yellow pages” of service providers is maintained in ServicePoint in collaboration with the United Way of Lake County. In the second half of 2015, Community Development and the United Way of Lake County completed a collaborative update and improvement of, ensuring that all service provider records were recent and relevant. The search capabilities of the website were also upgraded, allowing for more advanced and intricate searches.