Eviction and rehousing assistance in Alachua County is the result of government grants from ESG as well as other resources, including United Way funding. There are numerous non-profit agencies and social service organizations that assist the homeless or those that need help in stopping an eviction.
In order to get help from one of these programs, there are many criteria that need to be met by the applicant. The person needs to be very close to (or already) self-sufficient. This will ensure that if a grant is given to them for paying rental or any utility bill arrears, that the future expenses are covered by the client. Other criteria will be income based, require the client to attend case management, mandatory credit counseling services, and much more.
There are several to try in the region. They include the Coalition For The Homeless, which operates as a clearing house type service. Anyone seeking help will need to go through a screening and referral based program which is put into place. Some of the solutions available in the community include the following. There may be money given to a landlord to help pay a portion of the rent arrears. Or the staff can help clients enter into payment plans for their utility or water bills to delay a shut-off, thereby allowing the eviction to be postponed.
The homeless in Alachua County can also get help from the Coalition referenced above. Or there are other options available to them, such as local Salvation Army shelters or organizations such as the United Way which may have referrals to free hotel voucher programs. No matter the cause of why someone is homeless (whether from an eviction, foreclosure, or another crisis) support services can be arranged.
Preventing the eviction from occurring is always the first and most critical step. If a tenant is leasing a home, and is struggling to keep up with their rent and living expenses, they should seek eviction help right away, even before a pay or quit notice is given to them. Homeowners in Alachua County should do likewise in seeking foreclosure counseling before a notice is given to them from their lender.
Depending on the applicant's circumstances, some programs may offer legal advice to defend against an illegal eviction. There may be money given out (paid directly to the landlord or utility company) to bring the account current. Or if the situation is too dire, then rapid rehousing will be initiated in an effort to help the family find a new, more affordable apartment to live in. During the rehousing, shelters, or motel vouchers may be available for temporary accommodations.
There will sometimes need to be priorities set. As an example, a service known as SSVF helps veterans that are homeless or facing eviction. There are also specific resources for senior citizens (such as supportive housing) as well as single moms in Alachua County. Non-profits that partner with the Homeless Coalition often have limited grant based aid available, so assistance may be targeted by some of the agencies involved in this.
Oftentimes no two requests for eviction help are treated the same way. Each application is closely examined. But there never should be an expectation to receiving assistance. No person is entitled to support, and a non-profit will only help as resources allow and as qualifications are met.
The long term goal of homeless prevention is to not only stop the foreclosure or eviction, but ensure the Alachua County resident has the long term support they need for stability. Case management is then stressed along these lines. The United Way and their partners play a key role in this process. Whether it is help with budgeting, assistance in obtaining legal advice, or job programs, everything is arranged.
Grants from ESG or another source will only be used when the long term cause is addressed. The two programs work in partnership to help struggling tenants. Or if the applicant is homeless, they too will need to agree to this process in order to be placed into a shelter or be given a voucher to pay for a motel room. The approach followed in Alachua County is comprehensive.
A text service can even be used to get information on homeless as well as eviction prevention in Alachua County Florida. The number in question is 898-211, or try the homeless coalition.
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