The I-PLUS Story

I-PLUS logo

Our Founders

The founders of  Independent - Positive Living Under Supervision  (I-PLUS) recognized that many individuals utilizing the emergency shelter system had Social Security and Veterans Administration benefit income, but were unable to manage their funds successfully due to mental illness or struggles with substance abuse or in many cases both. 


Ronald Hinckle, a retired Social Security insurance representative, founded I-PLUS with former I-PLUS Executive Director, Pat Lynch, and VA sponsor Dr. George Lutz to help disadvantaged individuals manage their government benefits in 1994. 

Our Mission

I-PLUS assists chronically homeless individuals, who are entitled to federal benefits, manage their funds in order to allocate budgets for housing and personal needs, receive treatment and achieve a level of financial responsibility and independence.


I-PLUS utilizes a proven model to address the barriers to housing retention, as well as health and wellness, by ensuring that the most basic financial needs of clients are always met, providing them with the stability they need to address long-term wellness goals of sobriety and treatment for mental illness, including counseling for PTSD and other trauma for our veteran clients.

How We Work

  • I-PLUS directly manages our clients government benefits by serving as either a Representative Payee (Social Security Beneficiary) or Fiduciary Agent (Veteran Administration beneficiary).  
  • I-PLUS pays all client bills on their behalf and works with the client to establish budget for their monthly benefit income.  
  • I-PLUS provides financial education throughout the budgeting process with emphasis on participation in treatment programs and other case management services.

Our Partners

We partner with behavior health resources to ensure that clients remain compliant with mental health and / or substance abuse treatment.

  • Lovell Federal Medical Center
  • Hines Veterans Administration Hospital 
  • Lake County Court 
  • PADS Crisis Services 
  • Catholic Charities 
  • Independence Center 
  • Lake County Behavioral Health

We Serve

We currently serve about 200 clients—veterans and disabled members of the community— in 2018 from Lake County, Cook and McHenry counties om in Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

About Us

How We're Helping

Homeless person sleeping on a park bench

We are a nonprofit focused on assisting chronically homeless individuals, who are entitled to federal benefits, manage their funds to pay for housing and personal needs, participate in treatment programs and achieve a level of financial responsibility and independence.

Housing Stabilizes At-Risk People

Do you see homeless people on the street and wonder how you can help? Many homeless veterans and disabled persons get federal benefits. With help by managing their funds and keeping our clients connected to mental health services and case managers. 

Get Involved

Interlocked hands showing the strength of working together

Whether you help through monetary donations, volunteering your time or sharing the I-PLUS mission through word-of-mouth, we "thank you." We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help of supporters like you. 

Stay in Touch With I-PLUS

Sign up to hear from us about upcoming events, volunteering and how you can help!