Multiple non-profits and government agencies offer eviction assistance in Henrico County. The intake sites will try to provide referrals to federal grant programs, pro-bono attorneys in the city of Richmond, and also short term housing for the homeless. Many of these resources for stopping evictions and homelessness are also coordinated by the Henrico County Department of Social Services.
The money to pay for these resources are paid for using a variety of sources. The funds may come from the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), Emergency Solution Grants, as well as the HUD organized HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). Both public and private organizations take part in this distribution process.
The prevention programs are mostly available through the Department of Social Services in Henrico County. There will be support for families living in poverty and the working poor. Not only will the applicant need a source of income for paying future rent and energy bills on their own, but the eviction prevention will require case-management as well.
Social Services will also tend to focus on keeping a family together as well. The government wants a child to live with their mother and/or father. Or if a senior citizen has a caregiver or a certain medical need that can only take place in their current home, assistance for housing needs will also be available for them to stabilize their situation.
Emergency Solution Grants is where to money tends to come from for this eviction service. Another source of funds is the HPP - Homeless Prevention Program, which is offered in the city of Richmond, the county, and really across the state. The uses of this money can be for a number of needs, but all of it needs to be focused on stopping evictions. This means that if the tenant needs help for rental arrears, water or electric bills, or legal aid, it can be provided.
Henrico County programs are targeted. They will also focus on high risk situations that could cause a family to break up or be faced with a health or safety crisis. This is why the limited amount of resources from these eviction assistance programs may be for single mothers or people like the elderly. Other clients tend to be veterans or the disabled in the area.
The Continuum of Care in the Richmond Virginia area, known as Homeward, also has members that advocate for the working poor. This group of individuals, businesses, law firms, and charities all focus on helping to stop evictions or keeping the power or water on. The customer service team at the Point of Entry (phone number below) may be able to direct a caller to this organization.
As a result of the HEARTH Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to the Housing (HEARTH), non-profits such as Housing Families First (dial 804-236-5800) as well as St Joseph’s Villa (phone 804-553-3228) try to rehouse the homeless and anyone that has been evicted. It can also move people that can no longer afford their current apartment.
Since the demand for housing is so high, often a Henrico County resident may need to move into a shelter, such as the one run by Hilliard House. Or when those sites are filled to capacity, then free motel vouchers may be used to get the family safe and warm. These types of accommodations are also closely followed by groups such as CARITAS, which offer case-management.
Financial aid that is offered as part of rehousing is time limited as well as needs based. The government will only issue money as a last resort, when the resident has absolutely zero other resources available to them. This is one of the key requirements from the Homeless Prevention Program (HPP). When it is met, then grants for security deposits, lease application fees, and other rehousing expenses can be partially paid.
All apartments selected need to be screened. A case manager will ensure it is affordable by the client, based on their current household income. This will factor in their entire budget, as even if the rent is affordable, if the family can't buy food or cover health care needs, then that is not a sustainable solution. This full assessment is part of any eviction prevention or rehousing program in the community.
Tenants in Henrico County that have an eviction notice from their landlord and that need help can dial the Homeless Point of Entry at 804-648-4177. This service will offer referrals to legal, rehousing, and many other local resources for addressing homelessness.
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