Lazarus House is involved in both helping the homeless and they also take a pro-active approach to prevent it. The team recognizes that there is a tremendous need for affordable housing in the greater DuPage County region. They also know that many families either need financial help to stop an eviction or foreclosure, or they need case management.
The non-profit partners with charities to assist the homeless. There are resources for single parents, veterans, and the unemployed. They also assist people that are considered to be near-homeless. The programs range from rapid re-housing to prevention. There is also long term permanent supportive apartments, shelter, transitional housing and accommodations for people with special needs, such as the disabled or maybe a senior citizen.
Any type of assistance from Lazarus House is combined with additional support services such as employment, physical, food and mental health services. Or if applicable, the agency will arrange for drug abuse and domestic violence programs.
Resources provide short term housing and more to people in DuPage County who are homeless, hungry, or living on extremely low incomes. The team offers information and referrals for many helpful programs, including government grants for paying back rent or free foreclosure counseling to homeowners.
Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing is the result of federal grants from ESG or money raised from donations. Lazarus House will coordinate emergency financial assistance to prevent evictions and to rapidly rehouse persons who have experienced episodes of homelessness.
Homeless shelters are located across DuPage County. When those are full, there may from time to time be very short term help offered in the form of free hotel or motel vouchers, which provide temporary lodging for a night or so.
Lazarus House Homeless Outreach is for persons sleeping outside in the streets of Wheaton Illinois and other cities. The county government of DuPage as well as the team at the agency know that people often need help to access services and local housing resources. So outreach from Lazarus House provides survival and humanitarian assistance.
As part of this, the staff encourages people living on the streets or on a couch of a friend or family member to seek case management, a stable source of income, health care and housing assistance. There may be financial aid combined with referrals with the goal of the client becoming permanently housed.
After the shelter there will be Transitional/Supportive Housing. This provides the family a place to stay while they access case management. These programs from Lazarus House are designed to help families, veterans, and single parents end episodes of homelessness. The case management part will help them become self-sufficient and transition to permanent, independent living.
Section 8 is the federal government HUD agencies main Rental Assistance Payment Program. It is for very low income families as well as those living in poverty. Among other things it will provide the family time to get back on track with their finances. It will also help the greater Illinois region address equal housing opportunity throughout DuPage County. There are no barriers to obtaining a section 8 voucher housing because of color, religion, race or national origin, however a long waiting list is in place.
Lazarus House will require that tenants pay no more than 30% of their adjusted gross monthly income for rent and utilities. So the family will need to contribute as well. But the result is that they will receive subsidized rent assistance to help them live in safe, decent and sanitary housing. There is also a special commitment from this HUD program to aid the low income, elderly, homeless, handicapped, and large families.
LIHEAP is a government grant program for paying a heating and/or utility bill. It was designed to aid qualifying low-income households (homeowners and also renters) in the payment of a portion of their residential energy costs, with a focus on winter heating season bills. So if someone is facing homelessness because of this expense, LIHEAP can be used to prevent it.
Not only that, but all clients of Lazarus House that are applying for this grant program will simultaneously be making an application for weatherization assistance. That service will help them save money in the future by conservation.
Short term accommodations for homeless families, also known as the Transitional Housing Program, is available in the form of an apartment in St. Charles. It serves as an intensive program for the vulnerable. It can help place homeless families with children, veterans and the elderly, among others.
Lazarus House has structured the program so that participants learn skills for managing their finances. Participants will develop a service plan for reducing debt, building savings, or repairing their credit as well as addressing other issues contributing to a cycle of poverty and homelessness.
When entering the housing program, residents will be expected to open a savings account. This will allow them to save money for future rent and security deposit payments. Their case manager will also work closely with the client to create a budget that focuses on debt repayment. Lazarus House feels that individuals need to learn to manage their own money in their own accounts so that they leave with this skill fully developed.
Residents of the transitional housing are also required to attend and complete a financial literacy class. Lazarus House will also are link the family to other local programs, such as Head Start, food pantries, as well as other community agencies. Due to the fact that Lazarus House creates its services to meet the needs of each family, the length of time a family lives at the housing center varies from under a year to even longer.
Financial Education is considered by Lazarus House to be the foundation for all asset-building programs. This service was designed by case managers from Lazarus House to help people learn how to manage their money and use mainstream financial services, such as lenders or other banks. The goal is to make people more aware of their options and of the possible consequences of their choices.
As an example of what residents of DuPage County can learn, financial education from Lazarus House might highlight that a person can choose to make a budget so they can buy future needed items. In short, financial literacy as well as budgeting classes from Lazarus House allow participants to control their money.
Foreclosure Intervention Workshops can provide counseling, Mortgage Modification information, and more. Lazarus House understands that there can be a lot of questions regarding the state of Illinois foreclosure process. So to help borrowers understand their rights and possible solutions, residents of DuPage County can attend free foreclosure classes.
The regularly occurring workshops are offered at no cost and cover topics such as what to expect during the foreclosure process, the homeowners options to either remain in or gracefully exit the home, or the time line of events. These free workshops are led by a highly trained and HUD certified housing counselor.
When it comes to direct mortgage assistance, the certified housing counselor from Lazarus House can assist the borrower with the process of applying for a home loan modification. The counselor will assist in reviewing the various options. Whether it is using a federal government solution or a private modification, the counselor will also assist homeowners in collecting needed application documents.
For more details on their service, Lazarus is based at 214 Walnut St, St. Charles, Illinois 60174. Call (630) 587-2144 for intake.
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