DES PLAINES – On the surface, the decline of the COVID-19 pandemic has put Illinoisans on track toward normalcy. However, more than 400,000 people are still facing housing insecurity, and State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) hopes the new Housing Help emergency rental and utility assistance program can ease the burden so many are still facing.


“As the federal and state eviction moratoriums come to an end, thousands of people across the state are continuing to struggle to find ways to keep a roof over their head,” Murphy said. “No person should have to face stress of the pandemic on top of the fear of losing their housing.”

The Illinois Department of Human Services and Illinois Housing Development Authority recently announced a new program to provide financial assistance to Illinoisans who are unable to pay their rent and utilities due to COVID-19 economic hardships.

IDHS’ Housing Help program can cover up to 12 months in rent and/or utilities for people who lost income, had an increase of medical bills or faced additional substantial child care costs during the pandemic.

“We can’t let our neighbors feel alone and afraid,” Murphy said. “Winter is approaching and families need the peace of mind that they won’t be without heat, or worse – without a home.”

People struggling to pay their rent or utilities should visit to find a community-based agency in the area to help, or call the Suburban Cook County Call Center at 877-426-6515 for help. For further assistance, people can call Murphy’s office at 847-718-1110.

DCEO B2B DES PLAINES - State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) congratulated the five businesses in the 28th Legislative District that have already received $150,000 in Back to Business grants and encouraged more small business owners to apply.

“We created the Back to Business grant program to help our vibrant small business community recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Murphy said. “We know that necessary health restrictions and people’s cautions about going to enclosed public spaces have hurt many company’s bottom lines, and we want to do all we can to help. If your business still needs assistance, it’s not too late to apply!”

The businesses in the 28th District that have successfully received grants illustrate the diversity of the area’s economy and how many different enterprises are eligible for the B2B program. They include:

The B2B program is distributing $250 million in grants to businesses that brought in $20 million or less in 2019 and that sustained a documented revenue reduction in 2020. Grants range between $5,000 and $150,000 for all industries except hotels, which have higher allowable revenue and grants.

Priority is given to businesses in hard-hit industries, in hard-hit areas, and with revenues less than $5 million, as well as businesses that have not yet received any government assistance.

Interested business owners and managers can learn more and apply on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website. The final deadline to apply is Oct. 13.

Sen Murphy Oct. 8 Flu Shot ClinicDES PLAINES – With flu season fast approaching, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) is encouraging residents to protect themselves from illness by getting their annual flu shot at a pop-up clinic next week.

Murphy has partnered with AMITA Health and the Des Plaines Park District to offer free flu shots Friday, Oct. 8 from 9-11 a.m. at the Prairie Lakes Community Center, located at 515 E. Thacker St. in Des Plaines.

“Our health care facilities are still overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, and hospital beds are limited—that means it’s all the more important to protect yourself this flu season,” Murphy said. “Getting your annual flu shot is the quickest and easiest way to prevent a bad case of the flu.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that millions of people get seasonal flu every year. For most people, the flu is mild, but it can be very serious and even cause death. Everyone 6 months and older is encouraged to get an annual flu shot to protect themselves and others from influenza.

Walk-ins are welcome, but space is limited, so interested residents are asked to pre-register online at or by calling 855-692-6482.

For residents with Medicare Part B, the cost will be covered with presentation of a Medicare card. All other patients, including those with insurance, should bring a valid ID and can fill out a fee waiver on site to get their flu shot at no cost.

TickSPRINGFIELD – As hikers flock to Illinois’ parks and forests to enjoy colorful fall foliage, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) hopes to advance public education and awareness of dangerous tick-borne diseases as the newest member of the state’s Lyme Disease Task Force.

“Warmer, longer summers in the Midwest mean the risk of Lyme disease is on the rise,” Murphy said. “Many doctors don’t think to test for the disease right away, but early detection could make all the difference—raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease might save a life.”

The Lyme Disease Task Force was created in 2019 to help the Illinois Department of Public Health improve Lyme disease diagnosis, prevention and treatment, including by developing continuing educational materials and opportunities for medical professionals that specifically focus on Lyme disease.

The task force is made up of 20 members, including licensed physicians, legislators, representatives from state agencies and members of the public.

Lyme disease, the most common vector-borne disease in the U.S., is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic bullseye-shaped skin rash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics, but if left untreated, infection can spread to the joints, the heart and the nervous system.

“Lyme disease is preventable and treatable. When doctors know what to look for, patients have a much better chance at a full recovery,” Murphy said. “I’m excited to work alongside my fellow members of the task force to put a stop to Lyme disease here in Illinois.”

To prevent Lyme disease, people are encouraged to wear insect repellent with a 20% or higher concentration of DEET, as well as long sleeves, pants and socks when in grassy or wooded areas. Hikers should stick to trails and avoid walking through low bushes and long grass, and anyone spending time in an area where ticks are common should shower as soon as they come indoors, check themselves and their clothing for ticks, and remove ticks as soon as possible.

More information about Lyme disease is available from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
307 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-3875

District Office:
1645 South River Road, Suite 7

Des Plaines, Illinois 60018
(847) 718-1110