Families that are in rent arrears and facing an eviction can get help in the Charleston South Carolina area. There are programs that use a combination of grants from ESG and legal aid to prevent homelessness. Another service, Lease on Life, offers free case management. The agencies focus on helping those individuals that are facing a one time crisis.
There is support for people from all different backgrounds. With the large number of military personnel in Charleston and Berkeley County, the SSVF Supportive Services for Veteran Families can help those individuals that are threatened with an eviction. Other programs, such as Shelter Plus Care, are for the disabled and single parents in the tri-county region, so they can also get support.
The type of assistance provided will vary based on the tenants situation and background. If the reason for the hardship is a one time emergency that will be resolved a defined period of time, then emergency solution grants (ESG) can be used to pay rent arrears. Or if the eviction is caused by delinquent utility or water bills, the the government grants can help with that too.
For Charleston area residents that have a past history of evictions, then a different solution may be offered. This may be counseling, with a strict focus on self-sufficiency. Everything from budgeting to employment will be covered with the tenant. While the eviction more than likely would not be able to be stopped, the solution would involve rehousing. This is done while the client works towards self-sufficiency and financial stability.
The process is often referred too as Lease on Life. Case managers from agencies in Charleston County or other regions such as Dorchester support individuals. The self-sufficiency process will involve budget coaching, applications to rent subsidies, and wrap-around services. This will all be done to help ensure the low income family remains permanently housed and avoids a future eviction.
The Lease on Life service will also help the client apply for any federal government benefits they need. Some formerly homeless families may be able to enroll into one or more of the following programs. Note, there is often a waiting list in place in the Charleston general area.
-The Legal Service Corporation is a federal funded program that offer free legal aid, including on eviction prevention, landlord mediation and more.
-HUD section 8 vouchers will pay a portion of future rent.
-There is housing for the disabled, such as Supportive Units.
-Cash grants from ESG can be used for future housing costs to rehouse the homeless and stop evictions, such as moving costs, applications, first months rent, and more.
Another resource for stopping homeless is the Supportive Services for Veteran Families. There are non-profit organizations, such as One 80 Place, that is for very low income veterans in the Dorchester, Berkeley, and Charleston area. There is support to help individuals avoid evictions as well as SSVF can help the currently homeless.
Non-profits will offer a wide variety of supportive services. There may also be temporary financial assistance to help pay security deposits on a new home as well as to pay rent arrears to stop a veteran from being evicted. Other services from SSVF will offer help in applying for VA benefits and enroll clients into workshops that will help people gain financial stability.
The region also has a program known as Home to Stay. This is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD Shelter Plus Care resource. It is run in partnership with the Charleston-Dorchester Mental Health Center as well as City of Charleston. This will both help the disabled or people with a mental illness avoid an eviction as well as help them get rehoused into rent subsidized, permanent housing.
For more information on the agencies that offer support in the region, dial 843.735.7802. The tenant or homeless person will be put into contact with agencies that may help.
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