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Embarras River Basin Agency for Economic Opportunity, Inc.

115 S. Kentucky, PO Box 307
Greenup, IL 62428-0307
Executive Director: Marsha Roll
Telephone: 217-923-3113
Fax: 217-923-5155
Website: www.erbainc.org

People Served: 23,655
No. of Employees: 206
No. of Volunteers: 2,585
Service Area: Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Jasper, Lawrence and Richland Counties

Success Story

Leslie, a single parent and college student, came to the Embarras River Basin Agency, Inc. (ERBA) Richland County Outreach Office for the first time in 2006 when she needed help with her gas and electric bill. Although she received strong support from her parents and daughter she had very little income and was careful to budget her tax return and financial aid money to make sure her bills were paid.

Leslie’s lifelong dream was to be a special education teacher. When she entered college five years ago as a single parent, she didn’t realize how tough it would be to juggle work, parenting, homework, and church activities, which included starting a volunteer gospel group that sings at various events throughout the county. There were times when Leslie didn’t have money for gas to get to college or funds to pay her bills.

Leslie enrolled in the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Family Functioning and Development program (FFD) and received help with gas to attend classes at Eastern Illinois University, assistance with a required test fee, and case management along the way. She received the CSBG scholarship to help with college expenses, assistance with heating costs through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and repairs to her home through the Single Family Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program (SFOOR).

When Leslie didn’t have any money to buy Christmas gifts for her daughter, a past FFD client, who is now self-sufficient, bought gift cards for the family to shop for Christmas. The previous client had been enrolled in the program and had received Christmas gifts after a Richland County FCD Specialist assisted the client with gifts. She now wanted to give back by helping someone else who had struggled with the same experiences as a single parent attending college.

Leslie graduated from Eastern Illinois University in May, 2009 with her degree in Special Education. She was hired by a School District and is currently teaching special education. Leslie is also the cheerleading coach and very involved at her school. Her dream has become a reality and she is self-sufficient for the first time in her life!


Case Management/Community Care; Commodity Program; Community Services Block Grant; United Way Emergency Food and Shelter; Head Start Program; HUD Homeless Program; IDHS Homeless Prevention; IDHS Emergency Food & Shelter Homeless; Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program; Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program; Title IIIB Senior Citizens Program; Title II1C Senior Nutrition Program; Title 3F; Title XX Transportation; Money Management