This eighth Report on Illinois Poverty comes at a unique moment of barriers and opportunities. A moment when the state of Illinois holds the distinction of having the worst budget deficit in the nation for 4 years running. Yet, it is also a moment when people across the United States are talking about poverty as a threat to our well-being, when leaders are proposing solutions, and when communities are taking important steps to decrease hardship. **As you read this report, you will see how Illinois families struggle to achieve or maintain economic stability. Negative economic shifts including stagnating wages and rising costs have taken their toll on people across Illinois, hitting those with the least to start with the hardest. But there is hope. There is a movement stirring throughout the country to act now to address poverty. With this momentum building and new collective efforts in Illinois, we can eliminate the poverty that deprives people of their human rights.