Resident Leadership

Every year hundreds of people from all around the country gather to learn about new ways to improve neighborhoods. The three-day NeighborWorks Community Leadership Institute (CLI) event focuses on sharing ideas and successful solutions to the problems and issues facing many communities across the country. At the CLI, participants will attend workshops designed to inspire, build their skills, and get new ideas that they can bring back to their communities. For more information, go to

The CLI grant opportunity offers the chance for a team of up to 7 community representatives to attend the event and to work for positive changes within their neighborhood or community. The grant award covers tuition, airfare, ground transportation, food, and shared hotel costs. This grant is a part of the Neighborhood Grant Program in partnership with the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and is available to residents of Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago counties.

After the team(s) attend the event and meet some additional requirements, they will work with HomeStart to apply for an additional $4,000 to implement a community-based project. Possible projects include neighborhood festivals, community clean-ups, neighborhood safety projects, etc.

HomeStart will select 1-2 teams per year for this opportunity.

Applications will be available in April - please check back!

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Creating choice in housing, community in neighborhoods, and empowerment in personal finance throughout northern Illinois.

Looking for Rental Assistance?

Several agencies registered with the Illinois Department of Human Services can help. To find a provider working in your county, click here.

Starting at 9:00am on September 15, 2021, there will be an open application for rent assistance for anyone who is in a court eviction proceeding and can provide eviction court documentation. To apply to this program, click here. If you need assistance with uploading your documents for this application, call our office at 815-962-2011 and we can help. For more information on who qualifies and what documentation is needed, go to

If you need assistance with rental counseling, call one of our offices:  815-962-2011 (Rockford) or 815-232-6187 (Freeport).