One of the leading agencies working to eliminate homelessness in Kalamazoo County is Housing Resources (HRI). The non-profit can help tenants, the homeless and homeowners, and they administer a number of services. The organization assists people with finding affordable housing, can help individuals apply for financial aid and provides crisis intervention, noting that housing issues are often initiated by an emergency..
HRI offers several resources for people in crisis. For example, HRI’s Eleanor House provides short-term shelter for families with children, and more than half of its guests are children who are under ten years of age. The organization adds that the Eleanor House provides a domestic atmosphere and acts as a safe haven for homeless families as they begin to transition to independent housing. Guests receive referrals to community resources as well as assistance in exploring future housing options.
The organization also collaborates with other local non-profit agencies to resolve housing situations that involve a crisis. In order to help tenants prevent eviction and landlords avoid the costs associated with the process, HRI works with a number of community partners, including the City of Kalamazoo District Court and Michigan Department of Human Services, to operate the Eviction Diversion Program. This may offer qualified tenants access to advice, short term financial aid or no interest loans for rent, and other support services.
Case managers will always say that it is important to promptly address any landlord-tenant disputes. As soon as a problem occurs, tenants should talk with their landlords. Otherwise, the problem will only get worse.
Mediation, which is an alternative way to resolve disputes, is an option regardless of whether a lawsuit has been filed or not. According to HRI, mediation is voluntary, empowering, confidential, convenient and effective. Such a dispute-resolution technique is provided at little or no cost, and there are dozens of mediation centers throughout Michigan that can be used for assistance.
In addition, Housing Resources partners with Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services to offer assistance to people or homeowners facing foreclosure. The non-profit organization also works with a number of local agencies in an effort to provide lower income families with the knowledge and skills necessary to afford sustainable housing.
HRI operates a housing stabilization center that aims to help people solve the kinds of problems that result in crises. For those facing short-term emergencies, professional case managers offer information, referrals and other services to prevent homelessness. This can include the possibility of government grants for paying back rent. For families working toward self-sufficiency, longer-term, more intensive services are available at the housing stabilization center.
The organization offers support to formerly homeless families as well, providing up to two years of service. This will include guidance, general case management, job training, and much more. Housing Resources of Kalamazoo also tries to reduce financial pressure on post-shelter families and provide them a constructive environment to continue to develop the skills and emotional stability needed for independent living. HRI provides the following aid to formerly homeless families:
Support services that address the barriers that create housing crises and promote self-sufficiency, with financial/household management, employment, education/training, transportation, childcare and referrals provided through collaboration with community agencies. Some examples of what is available in the county is as follows.
Furthermore, Housing Resources (HRI) offers permanent housing subsidies and support services to families that are prone to housing instability and homelessness. For these individuals or families in which the head of the household is disabled, the organization operates dozens of scattered-site subsidized rental units throughout the county as well.
For more information regarding any of the aforementioned services, contact HRI. The organization is located at 420 East Alcott Street, Suite 200, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49001 and can be reached by phone at (269) 382-0287.
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