Two government aid programs somehow became one Wednesday afternoon on the West Side. Hundreds of people lined up for both food and flood assistance at the state office at Chicago and Pulaski.
In some cases, those seeking financial aid waited for hours in the hot sun. They sought assistance for damages their homes sustained in the April floods that hit the Chicago area.
Applicants must be in the link program or apply when they get here. That's one of the reasons the lines were so long Wednesday morning. Many people are filling out first-time applications.
It is essentially an honor system. Applicants must fill out paperwork showing or listing their damage, but they don't need any other receipts or proof of damages and many have stood in line for hours.
"I lost a lot of my stuff, it affected me, we lost a lot of stuff," one applicant said. "I need it for me and my son, beds and clothes and stuff. I'm still searching to get food. I tried to go to the food pantry."
Officials with the Department Of Human Services passed out cards with numbers. Some of these people can leave and come back knowing when their number is going to be called.
State office employees were a bit caught off-guard by the lines on Wednesday, because the program started to give out benefits on Monday. It wasn't until Tuesday night people started to camp out, since word spread through some of the damaged areas that the benefits were in fact available.