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An Alternative Schools Network Program

Grassroots Response to COVID19

Providing a critical lifeline to some of Chicago’s most marginalized black and brown communities (Pilsen, Hermosa, Little Village, Auburn Gresham, Englewood, and Back of the Yards.) 



The Critical Health Network (CHN) is a community program operated through the Alternative Schools Network. The CHN is a lifeline for essential health services in Chicago’s most marginalized Black and Brown communities which have been hardest hit by COVID-19 and emerging variants in these neighborhoods, Pilsen, Little Village, Hermosa, Humboldt Park and Belmont-Cragin. The CHN work with the Chicago Youth Service Corps Curriculum that involves local youth and adults leveraging their social networks and community connections to initiate outreach to local families. This provides students with 10 hours a week of employment to work with families providing them with food, utilities, heat, etc., and other emergency needs resulting from the COVID epidemic.

The program intends to reduce health inequities and expand wellness opportunities for the residents of the neighborhoods listed, as well as expanding into the Englewood and Grand Crossing neighborhoods. The program will provide community assistance (connection to key and necessary resources) and health assessment operations, particularly COVID-19 vaccination assessment, through work with enrolled families. The program will also enhance programming by formalizing community partnerships (to expand community resiliency), providing youth and adults with support for health education and outreach, launching a COVID-19 and health-focused social media campaign, creating a community-based Telehealth roadmap, and launching a Telehealth pilot which will increase community access to culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate health information and increase access to and use of Telehealth services to link to preventive health services so they live longer lives.


Empower youth and young adults to become community leaders through leveraging their social networks and community connections to initiate outreach and provision of food, housing, and medical resources to local families.


Through outreach, we strive to establish trusting relationships with local families by connecting them to free and low- cost community services and by providing emergency food, rent, and utilities support.

Looking for emergency support?

We provide food, rent, and utilities support, but before you apply make sure you have submitted an Intake Application.



Before completing ANY form please have a copy of the relevant documents to speed up the application process. Allow 10-14 business day for you to receive a non-approval or approval confirmation.


  • Copy of Lease Agreement
  • If you have an Eviction Notice/Non-payment please submit (Must show total amount owed)
  • Landlord contact information (Name, phone, address)so we can pay them
  • Completed W-9 from the Landlord


  • Log-in account information
  • The phone number that is associated with the account:
  • A copy of your current bill


Groceries are delivered from Mariano’s. Please apply below to be added to our next grocery run. You only need to apply once to be included in this fiscal year 2023-2024.


You will need to upload forms for rental support. You will be required to sign in with a Gmail account. If you don’t have one you can create one for free. You can only submit one request for the fiscal year 2023-2024.

Utilities Support

You will need to upload forms for utility support. You will be required to sign in with a Gmail account. If you don’t have one you can create one for free. You can only submit one request for the fiscal year 2023-2024.

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCS) NEar you

* FQHCS: Provide access to care for everyone….insured, uninsured, underinsured, undocumented….no one is turned away from care due to their inability to pay for healthcare services.


  • Primary Care, Dental, Pediatrics, Prenatal, Women health, Behavioral health
  • Specialty services: podiatry, optometry, MAT, HIV/AIDS
  • Chronic disease management – i.e., diabetic care
  • Access to services in all languages, hearing and visually impaired services
  • Prevention services – decreased ED visits and hospital stays
  • Case and care management
  • Transportation
  • Health education

Please fill out our healthcare questionnaire for further assistance finding a nearby FQHC and or/additional information on Telehealth services available:

Please click below to see a map of health centers nearby.

Food Pantries Near You and Other Featured Resources

Please click the button below to find your local food pantry. You can search by address or zipcode to find free groceries or a hot meal at a food pantry, soup kitchen, shelter or mobile distribution in Chicago and Cook County. You can also use the filters to find a food pantry that is open today or on the day that works best for you to visit.

Chicago’s New 211 Call System for Emergency Support:

This new service is a free, easy-to-access helpline that connects residents to the health and social service support they need. Now, individuals across Chicago and Cook County have a direct assistance line to food, housing, utility payment, health care, transportation, childcare, employment, mental health, disaster information, and more. 

The service has been designed to make connections to new resources simple and easy to access. 

Residents across Cook County can access 2-1-1 in the following ways: 

  • By dialing 2-1-1 
  • By texting 8-9-8-2-1-1 
  • By visiting and searching the database of services available on the website 
  • By using the webchat feature on the website to connect with a live resource navigator 
  • All 2-1-1 services are available 24/7/365 
  • All 2-1-1 services will be available in English and Spanish 


Critical Health Network Is a

Collaboration between

Alternative Schools Network

Alternative Schools Network serves as a conduit for the work of its member schools and community-based programs, connecting the mission, goals, strategies and outcomes to create a unified community of active participants in programming. Through this role, ASN is able to link the voices of its partner communities to marshal resources and expertise that will improve the outcomes for its target populations.

Youth Health Service Corps

Chicago Youth Service Corps is a year-round program that provides paid opportunities for youth ages 16-24 to engage in community service, project-based learning, and leadership development. Chicago Youth Service Corps celebrates and welcomes diverse backgrounds and encourages you to bring your experience, background, and traditions to your service.

Healthy Hood

Healthy Hood is a community based, non-profit organization based in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. Healthy Hood was created after partnering with Youth Health Service Corps, a youth based health-initiative program that works with local youth to educate and eradicate the five most common diseases that act as killers in communities of color. Healthy Hood believes the 5 diseases are preventable with early detection, good diet and daily activity.