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CHICAGO (CBS) — This week begins on a stressful note for millions of people who fell behind on their rent during the pandemic.

A federal ban on evictions expired over the weekend, and now they worry they will lose the roof over their heads. Some protections in place will delay the actual enforcement of evictions in Illinois until next month.

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On Monday morning, local leaders gathered to spread the word about Cook County Legal Aid for housing and debt. It provides free legal aid and mediation services to help landlords and tenants resolve issues.

“We’re here today to urge our landlord partners to consider all the alternatives at your disposal, before filing those eviction papers. And to think about the impact that evictions can have on vulnerable residents in our communities as a whole.”

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle also warned of what she called “a tsunami of evictions.”  That’s placing an even heavier burden on the most vulnerable residents who’ve already been impacted in large numbers by the spread of COVID-19.

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The Cook County Sheriff’s Office said it too can offer help through the office’s Community Resource Center for assistance in accessing services and financial help.

“The pandemic was one of the major drivers behind my creation of a Community Resource Center last year when we began to see how the economic pressures created by COVID would create a ripple effect of devastating consequences,” Sheriff Tom Dart said. “The CRC expands access to the social services my office has long provided to households facing eviction with complex family or health needs.”

The team members work to help people navigate social services, housing, employment, medical and mental health services and other services. The CRC also can assist people to locate existing government rental assistance. The CRC is available virtually and can be reached by phone at 773- 405-5116 or by email at [email protected]

The online site can be found by clicking here.

Source: CBS Chicago

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