The Denver County area has several eviction prevention programs that are mostly funded by emergency solutions grants from HUD as well as the Colorado Division of Housing. These are two of the main sources of funding for the homeless prevention and rehousing programs in the region.
Stabilizing families and keeping them in their current home or apartment is better for the family and society at large. It is more effective to use funds to stop the eviction in the first place. It normally costs less money for the government to do this, and there are countless benefits to keeping the family living together as a one unit rather than possibly be scattered into other housing units.
Each year local agencies are allocated funds from the Denver Homeless Prevention Activities Fund. This resource is used to provide services to the vulnerable. There is emergency eviction help available for tenants with children, single moms, veterans, and the disabled, among others. The money is used to both keep the resident in their home and to also stabilize them so they gain self-sufficiency.
Each program in the metropolitan area focuses on a specific audience. Some agencies offer eviction help for families with children only. Others focus on single adults, give priority to single moms or single men, veterans, victims of domestic violence or persons with severe mental illness. If a Denver agency does not assist, they may refer the person to someone that will.
Much of the funding is paid out by organizations that are affiliated with the Denver County Continuum of Care. This is a group of local charities as well as law firms that have banded together in an effort to help the homeless and families that are on the verge of eviction.
Denver families that are struggling, maybe due to a short term loss of income or an unexpected crisis (such as a car repair or medical bill) should seek help before they receive an eviction notice from their landlord. The programs are focused on tenants with a short term crisis and not someone that is chronically homeless or continually facing eviction. The applicant needs to show some ability to quickly regain self-sufficiency.
Continuum of Care also has some pro-bono law firms that contribute. Lawyers will provide free advice to very low income families that are facing an eviction. The assistance from these Denver firms will not address financial needs, but rather can be used for non-monetary issues, such as landlord or tenant disputes. So while the type of help available is different than some of the government grants, it is one more option for families.
In some cases, there may be eviction help given to Denver County residents that have been sent a pay or quit notice. But the options for them are more limited, as by that point it is often too late. A case manager may be able to direct the applicant to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants, but the ability to be enrolled is limited. More often than not the family will be provided information on local shelters or motel vouchers so they can restart the process of rehousing.
Housing First, or Rehousing, is also available in Denver. This resource provides the recently homeless with access to case management services and self-sufficiency programs. These will be used to help the person stabilize their housing situation.
Residents that have been recently evicted will be enrolled into job training, education, and credit repair services, among other programs. If applicable, they will get help in finding treatment for a mental health issue, medical concern or addiction problem.
After this process has commenced, Federal Housing and Urban Development grants may be housed to help pay for rehousing programs. The money is allocated to approved families in the Denver Colorado area and comes with many restrictions in place.
The nonprofits that are part of the McKinney-Vento Continuum of Care will issue the grants, based on certain conditions. Some use the funds to provide shelter or free motel vouchers. Other non-profits will not even offer rehousing, but only use ESG grants for paying rent arrears to stop an eviction. Some uses of those funds may be for paying utility bills or security deposits, moving costs, and legal aid. Others provide a resource known as Shelter Plus Care for supportive housing for the disabled or seniors.
To learn more on all of these resources in the Denver County region, the currently homeless can dial (720) 944-3666 for rehousing. Tenants facing eviction and that need help can dial (720) 944-3666 for assistance as well.
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