Every year, the last days of January into early February mark two important milestones in my personal and professional life:
January 27 is my birthday – I turned 58 this year.
And today is the anniversary of when I started working at Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC). Today marks my 27th year of working at CCHCC!
I cannot ever think of my birthday, or my CCHCC anniversary, without thinking about our recently departed beloved friend and leader, Rev. James B. Holiman.
Not only did Jim and I share the same birthdate (just 31 years apart!), but Jim helped lead me to CCHCC, where he eventually joined the organization as a member of the Board of Directors.
Jim passed away on November 26, 2023, at the age of 88. And we’ve all been missing him, grieving him, and celebrating his life and his works, and the profound gifts he gave us.
Rev. James B. Holiman led an incredible life. I am inadequate to the task of properly memorializing such a truly great person, but I can share his obituary with you further below, and also tell you a little bit about what he meant to me, personally, and to CCHCC as a whole.
It is my hope that you will consider honoring Rev. James B. Holiman with a financial contribution to CCHCC. It has always been Jim Holiman’s wish (and mine) that CCHCC continues its important work and that it can be financially solid for years to come.
To that end, if you would help me honor Jim Holiman by making a special contribution to his (and my) beloved CCHCC, I would be most appreciative! You can make a contribution here:
Housing for medically-fragile homeless individuals.
December 14, 2023
Your support is needed to help make Hope Village a reality.
Hope Village is a development of 30 “tiny” homes and a community center that will provide Permanent Supportive Housing to individuals who are medically fragile and experiencing chronic homelessness. Hope Village will fill a gap in our housing system for homeless individuals. Individuals in this population have lifespans that are significantly shorter, by 20 or 30 years. They get sick and often die much sooner from preventable and treatable conditions. Hope Village is an innovative model developed from the perspective that “Housing is healthcare”.
Right now, we are seeking approval of a permanent “Planned Unit Development” from the Urbana City Council so that we can proceed with building the Hope Village homes and development. The Urbana City Council meets on Monday, December 18 at 7 p.m. and will be voting on the Hope Village permanent Planned Unit Development.
Please see below to learn more about Hope Village and what you can do to help with this exciting new development.
By now, most people know that CCHCC is the only organization in Champaign County that can help enroll community members in all forms of health insurance – whether that be Medicaid, Marketplace, or Medicare and Medicare-related programs. But did you know that CCHCC does far more than health insurance enrollment work?
Over the years, CCHCC has grown in our ability and expertise to help community members enroll in a wide variety of public programs because we saw the need in our community.
Helping individuals who are homeless In 2023, CCHCC has had a “growth spurt” – once again, to rise to the challenges of meeting the needs of our community members. This means all of our community members, including those individuals who are experiencing homelessness.
CCHCC now has dedicated staff to work with homeless individuals and the various organizations in our community who also serve the homeless. We partner with the Strides Shelter, Cunningham Township, City of Champaign Township, Daily Bread, RPC, the Continuum of Service Providers to the Homeless, local law enforcement, and our local hospitals to help deliver enrollment services. Our services include helping with Medicaid, SNAP (food stamps), Rx assistance, health care navigation, and disability applications for individuals experiencing homelessness.
We have also expanded our services to immigrants, seniors, and individuals with disabilities In Champaign County, we have growing populations of low-income immigrants, seniors, and individuals living with disabilities who need help with health insurance, health care, and public benefits. Our work helping people apply for public benefits such as Medicaid, SNAP, Medicare Extra Help, Medicare Savings, AABD, disability programs like SSI and SSDI, and so on, is helping to create better financial stability for low-income individuals in these population groups.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44) joined Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) today in introducing the Health Equity and Access under Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Families Act, bicameral legislation that removes cruel and unnecessary barriers to health care for immigrants of all statuses. The bill proposes, for the first time in federal legislation, to allow states to include undocumented immigrants in Medicaid and CHIP and remove the 5-year waiting period for Medicare benefits for lawfully-present immigrants.
Immigrants are significantly more likely than U.S. Citizens to be uninsured, leaving them at a higher risk for both adverse health and financial consequences. In 2024, immigrants will account for an estimated 8 percent of the population yet will make up a disproportionate 31 percent of the non-elderly uninsured population.
“We must finally guarantee health care to everyone as a human right — regardless of immigration status, income, employment, or anything else,” said Rep. Jayapal. “As a proud immigrant who came to this country alone at the age of 16, I know that the HEAL Act is an urgent, necessary, and just first step to eliminating senseless barriers to health care, making our communities healthier, and ensuring all immigrants get the care they need.”
“Everyone, regardless of their immigration status, deserves access to comprehensive, quality health care,” said Senator Booker. “By creating a more equitable health care system, we can create healthier communities and a stronger, more resilient economy.”
“Every person deserves healthcare, no matter their immigration status,” said Rep. Barragán. “Healthcare is a human right, and we must remove the unnecessary barriers that prevent immigrant families from the medical care they need to live and thrive. The HEAL Act will help reduce racial health inequities and ensure everyone has access to quality healthcare in their communities.”