ROCK ISLAND, ILLINOIS (January 19, 2022) — Project NOW has partnered with the 14th Judicial Circuit in Rock Island County, the Rock Island County Bar Association, Prairie State Legal Services Inc, and the Salvation Army to develop an Eviction Diversion Program (EDP), which has been operating for months. The goal of the program is to keep tenants housed while ensuring that small business owners are reimbursed back rent.
There is $1.3 million dollars available for tenants and property owners from Project NOW. All tenants and property owners are encouraged to apply for rental assistance as soon as possible as there is a delay in the processing of applications and the moratorium on evictions is no longer in effect. Since January 10th, the Sheriff’s office has evicted six households; seven more are planned for this week and three are pending.
The Rock Island County program mandates mediations for all evictions. According to 14th Circuit Court Judge, Carol Pentuic, mediations may be held at the courthouse on the initial court-date; however, remote mediations are still available. Mediation is free of charge. Pentuic says, upon completion of the mediation, an agreement will be entered. If there is no resolution after mediation, the matter will be set for trial the next Thursday morning, 8:30AM.
Representatives from Prairie State Legal Services, Project NOW, and mediators are available at the Rock Island Courthouse every Friday to help tenants and property owners. Project NOW’s Executive Director, Dwight Ford, says he understands it has been a difficulty and frustrating process for many, but since evictions are happening again, he encourages people to reach out to Project NOW. “We have more than one million dollars to invest in the community and there are mediators at the courthouse to assist in the application process.”