Homeless Assistance Programs across Fresno County can both stop an eviction as well as provide resources to rehouse a family into a new, affordable apartment or home. It provides a combination of immediate assistance from Emergency Solution Grants and other federal government HUD funded programs along with access to long term self-sufficiency services.
Fresno residents can access a total of five different type of assistance. Some of financial in nature (such as government grants or free motel vouchers) and others are for addressing self-sufficiency, including holistic case management. No matter what type of support is offered, everything is focused on preventing a repeated cycle of evictions or homelessness.
Emergency Solution Grants – Some non-profits in the county are given money each year and the funds are provided to struggling tenants. ESG depends on HUD – Housing and Urban Development as a source of funds for these eviction assistance programs. Applicants may be facing short term underemployment, have an unexpected expense such as a medical bill or car repair, or have a short term crisis.
If an eviction notice has been sent by the landlord as a result of one of those issues, then a grant can be provided to the Fresno family. The money can be used to pay for everything from a portion of utility bill arrears to rent or help the family pay for legal aid. The ESG grant awardee has staff on hand that will partner with a landlord to find a solution that allows the family to remain living in their current apartment. If that is not possible, then ESG grants can be used to help pay for a more affordable home and assist with moving costs.
Shelter and Motel Vouchers – The homeless prevention programs in Fresno County will place an evicted family into an emergency shelter. Or if they are full, or if the applicant is a victim of domestic violence, then a motel or hotel voucher may be provided to them.
This form of assistance is short term only and is not very common. It will allow the client to enroll into case management services that will help the tenant increase their income as well as rebuild their finances. Then, at the end, they can move into a new low income housing unit.
Case Management – To expand on what is listed above, this process will provide a client with the tools they need for stability. The goal is to stop a cycle of evictions and homelessness. If the cycle is not stopped, then studies show this problem can even eventually be passed down to children of the client.
A case worker will meet with the client. They cover home management, budgeting, credit repair, life skills, job preparation, and referral to drug and alcohol services. Not until this process has been successfully completed will the client be placed into a new home as part of rapid rehousing in Fresno County.
Transitional housing – This is a short term solution, sometimes called Bridge Housing, for those that were evicted in the recent past. It is part of the rehousing process and can move a family from being homeless into a new home. Many people that leave a shelter will normally take this step.
This is not free, but the client will need to pay some of their income towards rent. It will allow the person to live in a shared apartment for several weeks or even months. Ongoing support is also provided for people living in the transitional housing.
Any eviction prevention program, whether funded by HUD or another agency, will require the family to have a source of income, but it can be very minimal. The applicant from Fresno County needs this so they show some ability to sustain the rental payments on a new home as if they can't do this then there is no easy solution to stopping a cycle of homelessness. The applicant can be living in or slightly above poverty as per levels set by the United States Department of Health and Humans Services Poverty Guidelines.
More information can be obtained from dialing 866.559.4211. Anyone that lives in Fresno County and is threatened with an eviction can learn about options for them.
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