Homeless prevention and rapid rehousing is available from as many as 10 government and non-profit agencies in Genesee County Michigan. Organizations as wide ranging as local churches or the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) provide cash grants to stop evictions, legal aid, shelter to the homeless, and even free motel vouchers. The aid is for an emergency as well as assisting the chronically homeless in the Flint area.
Many of these agencies realize that an eviction may not just occur due to unpaid rent. Therefore they may not only have money available to help with that housing cost, but they also can assist with paying water or heating bills or other utilities. Another key service is the advice offered at the Flint office of Legal Services of Eastern Michigan, as attorneys from this center can also defend renters and represent them in local housing court.
So there are many homeless prevention services available. That sampling of programs does not even talk about rapid rehousing, and more information on that is below. DHS as well as other charities will not only provide shelter (or offer free motel vouchers when full), but staff also work to place the family into a new low income apartment. As part of this, there may be government grants available for paying some of the security deposit or lease application fees, among other set up costs.
Agencies across the community work to keep the family or individual in their current home or apartment. So everything that can possibly be done is used in order to stop the eviction from occurring. It is much better for the tenant to not have to live on the streets or in a shelter. In addition, it is actually cheaper for these agencies to pro-actively offer money and case management to keep them housed rather than to rehouse the family.
Typical tenants of the homeless prevention programs include veterans, single moms or those that lost their spouse, the underemployed, and people facing a one time crisis such as a serious medical issue. Another key beneficiary will be immigrants in the Genesee County Michigan area, as they too can struggle with the transition. However anyone can apply.
When found qualified by agencies such as the Salvation Army Citadel in Flint or Genesee County Community Action Resource Department (there are other organizations too), then the client can apply for eviction help. There may be either financial aid given or other support, such as legal aid or mediation.
As part of financial aid, emergency money may be issued at. DHS may provide a grant from State Emergency Relief, and this money can assist with rental or utility bill arrears. This government grant may also help pay for any legal costs incurred by the tenant. Or, if the situation is too dire, DHS may provide help in paying for moving costs to a new apartment or issued a very short term motel voucher. There are a couple offices in Flint, and call (810) 232-2196 or (810) 760-2888.
That is not the only Flint Michigan organization that may provide assistance. There is also the Church of the Holy Family (phone (810) 694-4891) as well as the Salvation Army corps. Also, as noted, Legal Services of Eastern Michigan, has volunteers that can help tenants with a pay or quit notice. Call this non-profit at (800) 322-4512 for eviction defense services.
Shelter or motel vouchers – These are used as a short term solution. The first option is to place an evicted person (or family) into a shelter. But when these are full or unavailable for some reason, then DHS or another group may provide a voucher to pay for a Flint Michigan motel or hotel for a night or two. This will keep the client safe and out of the danger of living on the streets.
Short term, temporary housing – The Community Action Resource Department or other groups can arrange this. Families will be placed into income based, transitional housing. They will still have some responsibility to paying rent or volunteering on certain chores, but transitional housing is effective especially for single parents or seniors in Genesee County as the units can offer other support.
Permanent housing placement – If an eviction can't be prevented, then this of course is the ideal solution. It will first of all involve a comprehensive transitional management process. This will involve everything from financial aid to credit repair services and job placement.
Many Genesee County non-profits work to rehouse the homeless and stabilize their situation. In order for this to be successful, the underlying cause of why someone was evicted needs to be solved. Only when that has be done may grants be issued for rental or utility connection deposits or other related expenses. The money is limited, and funds are only issued to stable clients.
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