The Georgia Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty provides a number of assistance programs to very low income families facing eviction as well as the currently homeless. While they do have partnerships and referrals available to other programs throughout Georgia, the focus is on the greater Atlanta region, including the counties of Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, and Cobb.
The non-profit works with the homeless on helping them gain independence and stability in their lives. As this occurs, staff from the Georgia Law Center will help individuals transition out of that situation. Another focus is on preventing evictions in the first place. The non-profit can assist with that as well by offering legal support and advice to those that are behind on their rent. They offer a continuum of care for homeless individuals and families across Georgia. All of the assistance, even the legal services, are offered for free to those that qualify.
The non-profit and its staff also coordinate outreach across Georgia. They do this by working with a deep network of charities, non-profit partners and government affiliated organizations across the state. This can benefit both residents of the greater Atlanta area as well as people in other towns and counties.
Get referrals to social services and/or emergency financial aid. This may include, but is not limited to, low income - affordable housing and apartments, child care, substance abuse treatment, mental health, Veterans resources and so much more. Other services may include Fair Labor Standards, information on Family and Housing Law, and help for the disabled and those with a special need.
While numerous qualifications need to be met, in general clients need to be eligible under the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) definition of homelessness. This is a fairly broad classification though, and many people may qualify for help, as resources allow. As noted, assistance can even be offered by the Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty to people facing evictions.
Clients come from all locations. Some are currently residing in locations deemed unfit for human habitation, such as sleeping in a car, apartment building, or say at a train station. Other families are currently living in transitional housing, hotel or motels, or emergency shelters. Other Georgia Law Center clients may be currently in residential drug and alcohol treatment programs or domestic violence shelters. So housing solutions are offered for all different types of clients and situations. Bring proof of your hardship and situation when seeking aid.
Eviction prevention is also offered by the Georgia Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. This is available in Atlanta and other cities through partnerships. Assistance is for tenants that have an eviction letter or that are faced with a pay or quit notice.
While exceptions may be made, the firm and its attorneys will often assist those that meet low income guidelines and that have not found another place to move to. They can‘t have the resources or income to pay the rent on new, permanent housing.
Anytime you request help from the center, bring proof of your situation. This can include the eviction letter or documentation showing that you are residing in a shelter or transitional housing program. Or a self-declaration is needed for those that are on the streets.
Proof of income is required as well. The resources from the Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty are limited, and unfortunately not everyone can be assisted. So bring information such as Income Tax Statements/tax returns/W-2s, payroll statements, or information on public benefits, such as TANF. Only income verified applicants can be assisted by the not-for profit organization.
Other services may be provided as well. They may be able to assist with documentation such as birth certificates, offer legal aid for government benefits such as unemployment insurance assistance or food stamp appeals, and deal with other housing issues. This may include discrimination issues or referrals to rent or security deposit programs. The bottom line is that various housing and homeless issues are addressed.
The main office is at the Woodruff Volunteer Service Center, 100 Edgewood Ave., NE Ste. 1625, Atlanta, Georgia 30303. For more information, or intake, dial (404) 681-0680.
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