Agencies in Baton Rouge Parish work to stop homelessness. The non-profits provide emergency assistance (such as grants or legal aid) to low income renters as well as housing to the homeless. Another focus is on helping families move into a new home or low income apartment, so to make this happen there is placement services as well as assistance with paying security deposits. More details are below.
Most of the money available is the result of the Emergency Solutions Grant Program or Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA). The first one, ESG, is for dealing with a crisis. The later is more for long term, subsidized housing. Agencies such as One Stop Homeless Services Center and Catholic Charities are closely involved in them. Together they may provide one or more of the following forms of help to residents.
ESG is administered by non-profits. They work with the Louisiana as well as Baton Rouge Housing Authority. Each year money is allocated to these groups by the federal government. A formal application is needed, and an interview as well as assessment will be done as well. There is a priority of given grants to tenants with an eviction letter or a shut off notice from their utility or water company.
The grants, when issued to stop the eviction, can pay for many expenses. The most common in arrears on rent. But if the homelessness is being issues by unpaid utility, electric or water bills, then those two can be covered using Emergency Solutions Grants as well. This form of aid is the result of the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
Tenant Based Rental Assistance from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development helps stabilize the homeless, or those Baton Rogue families that were just evicted. Landlords from Baton Rogue Parish take part in this, and TBRA is a case based program.
There may be ongoing rent subsidies given. Also, since the goal is to stabilize the situation, there may also be money to pay for security or utility deposits as well. As those two costs are often a major barrier to an individual accessing permanent housing.
When it is an emergency, then shelter is available from the One Stop Homeless Services Center. Then the non-profits will help the client find permanent supportive housing. This given the applicant a place to live as well as access to community-based services. There is rehousing available for a wide range of clients, ranging from single moms to senior citizens.
More focused services for recently evicted Baton Rogue Parish residents include Shelter Plus Care as well as Section 811. The two vary in what they offer, but it combines grants with support services such as food, legal aid, and furniture too.
-Baton Rogue Shelter Plus Care Connects assists the disabled, mentally ill, substance abusers, and very vulnerable.
-Section 811 housing will provide accommodations to low income disabled too, and senior citizens are also supported.
Both of these will stop evictions by offering rent subsidies. This will make the new home or apartment in baton Rogue more affordable. It will in effect free up the tenants income for paying other bills they have, ranging from utility to medical and more.
No matter which one of these programs is selected, they all rely on funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Anyone seeing financial help, whether they are homeless or on the verge of it, needs to prove they can stabilize their living situation on their own. They also need to apply early, as assistance is first come and served in Baton Rogue Parish. Dial 225-924-3900.
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