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EIU Office of Financial Aid

Resources for Students with Housing Insecurity

We are here for you. Let’s get you what you need.

Housing insecurity and homelessness pose enormous barriers to success in college. Many college students face the challenge of housing insecurity, struggling to balance the demands of their program while worrying about where to sleep at night. This leads to lower academic performance and lower graduation rates. No student should have to face these difficulties.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is here to assist you. We have experience working with students in unique situations and can provide you with guidance and support to ensure your success.

Mandi Starwalt
Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships
Student Services Building
(217) 581-6405

There are many resources available to college students experiencing homelessness, but these resources can vary substantially from one community or institution to another. Below is a partial list of resources that students may be able to access. Overall, students experiencing homelessness are encouraged to tell the staff at their campus about their situation. Staff from multiple areas of the institution may be able to help, including the student services office, residential life, financial aid, faculty advisors, and others. Help can come in many forms, including from local nonprofits, government programs, and campus-specific resources.

Information on Federal Student Aid and Homeless Youth

General Housing Resources

Community-Specific Resources

  • ERBA Homeless Program – Coles County
    • 696 Castle Drive, Charleston, IL 61920
    • Phone: (217) 500-3120 Larry Sullivan
  • HOPE of East Central Illinois
    • Services include shelter, transitional housing, legal advocacy, counseling, referrals, a 24-hour crisis line, children's services and public education. All services are free and confidential.
    • 1927 18th Street, Charleston IL 61920
    • Email:
    • Main Office: (217) 348-5931
    • Crisis Line: 1-888-345-3990
    • Illinois Domestic Violence Helpline: 1-877-TOENDDV (1-877-863-6338)
  • Hunger Hotline Phone: 1-800-359-2163
    • People from around the state can call for SNAP application assistance, case management, and food pantry referrals.
  • Coalition for People in Need
    • Phone: (217) 345-5099
    • Address: 990 W State St, Charleston, IL 61920
    • Provides financial assistance, guidance, referrals to other local agencies and help with spiritual needs to those living in the Charleston area.
  • Coles County Habitat for Humanity
    • Phone: (217) 348-7063
    • Address: 990 W State St, Charleston, IL 6190
    • Coles County Habitat for Humanity strives to enrich quality of life by building and preserving safe, affordable housing for qualified families and individuals through education, networking and community partnerships.
  • Catholic Charities of Coles, Douglas, and Edgar Counties
    • Phone: (217) 235-0420
    • Address: 4217 Dewitt Ave, Mattoon, IL 61938
    • Catholic Charities provides local services including clothing assistance, food pantry, housewares assistance, furniture assistance, MedAssist, and Medical Equipment Loan Program.
  • United Way of Coles County
    • Phone: (217) 234-8022
    • Address: 114 N. 16th St., Charleston, IL 61920
    • The goal of United Way is to help people in crises and to help people improve their lives and become stable and self-sufficient. We identify issues within the community and fund programs that address those issues.
  • Charleston Area Churches Food Pantry
    • Phone: (217) 348-3030
    • Address: 990 W. State St, Charleston, IL 61920
    • Charleston Area Churches Food Pantry provides three days worth of emergency food to residents of Coles County.
  • The Salvation Army of Coles County
    • Phone: (217) 235-5667
    • Address: 1300 Richmond Ave, Mattoon, IL 61938
    • The Salvation Army of Coles County provides a wide range of social services in Coles and surrounding counties, including food, clothing, utility, and housing assistance, transient and disaster services. Client Choice food pantry is open every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10am-4pm. Clients can receive food through the pantry every 30 days as needed.
  • Standing Stone Community Center
    • Phone: (217) 348-6085
    • Address: 375 N. 14th St, Charleston, IL 61920
    • Standing Stone Community Center is a nonprofit ministry featuring food, clothing, and furniture.
  • Matthew 25
    • Phone: (217) 790-5150
    • Address: PO Box 254, ​Charleston, IL 61920
    • We are an organization that is supported by churches and agencies in the Charleston, IL area.  We offer shelter for our neighbors that are struggling with poverty and its uncertainties. Matthew 25 leases one bedroom apartments and allows guests to stay in these apartments for up to six months while they work toward the goal of becoming self-sufficient.
  • The Haven
    • Phone: (217) 234-7237
    • Address: 1812 Western Ave, Mattoon, IL 61938
    • The Haven provides 30 days of shelter with extensions based on goal attainment. They also serve three meals a day to anyone that is in need of food. Meeting with each individual staying at their location minimally once a week to provide counseling, life coaching, and advocacy. Partners with other community agencies, classes and volunteer opportunities are provided for those staying at the shelter to develop their workforce skills and increase their self-sufficiency.
  • Blessing Food Pantry
    • Phone: (217) 235-0420
    • Address: 4217 DeWitt Ave., Mattoon, IL 61938
    • Pre-made meals, (mixes, canned items, etc.) meal preparation ingredients, fresh produce, meats, and frozen items (when available). We provide 2-3days of emergency food (designed to compliment larger pantries in area) once every 30 days. Anyone in Coles, Douglas, and Edgar counties who demonstrates need is eligible.
  • Mattoon Community Food Center
    • Phone: 217-258-8321
    • Address: 600 Moultrie Ave, Mattoon, IL 61938
    • Clients that meet the IL Department of Human Services income guidelines are eligible to receive food once every 30 days. Please apply in person or over the phone.
  • Mattoon Christian Church Food Pantry
    • Phone: 217-294-3485
    • Address: 221 N 19th st, Mattoon, IL 61938
    • Opens at 2:30 p.m.
  • Ashmore Food Pantry
    • Phone: 217-549-3493
    • Address: 212 N Oakland Road, Ashmore, IL 61912
    • Open: First and third Saturday of the month 9am-11am Can visit once a month Must be a resident of Ashmore, Kansas, or Westfield.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

Student Services Building East Wing
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-6405
Fax: (217) 581-6422

Office Hours

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. M-F

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