Both low income tenants and the homeless in Marion County Florida can get eviction or rehousing assistance from the Continuum of Care (CoC). There are almost 10 different non-profits and government agencies that take part in any number of homeless prevention programs, and more information on them is below.
A coalition has been formed and they are based in Ocala. There is assistance for people who are homeless, families living in a dangerous or unsafe environment, and households that have an eviction notice. Most of the programs in the region are for renters, but some foreclosure counseling may also assist families that own their home but that are struggling.
Most tenants that face eviction and that live in poverty often do not have adequate job skills, educational levels, or ability to budget. This can prevent many Marion County residents from either having a high enough income to pay their rent or utility bills, or it may prevent them from managing their money properly. Therefore eviction prevention services always incorporate case management as well. This will offer the client the following.
Ongoing support is given as part of case management in an effort to end the cycle of poverty or homelessness. Staff from the Marion County Homeless Council, which can be reached at 352.732.1369, will always direct the needy to a resource for their needs.
Government grants to stop an eviction are available through various Housing and Urban Development initiated homeless prevention programs. The Continuum of Care (CoC) will have money for paying certain bills as well as rental expenses. The grants will give priority to people in danger of being evicted and that have no other resources available to them.
Due to limited funding from non-profits such as the Coalition for the Homeless and Hungry in Ocala Florida, they often need to give priority for certain situations. This means that applicants such as veterans, the disabled, and elderly that live on a fixed income often can enroll. If someone can't be supported from one of these eviction prevention services, then referrals will be given.
Grants may also be available from Marion County Florida United Way (UW) affiliated agencies. This non-profit serves as a clearinghouse for the housing and homeless programs in the area. The UW holds many fundraisers throughout the year, and this allows the charities to offer support to stop an eviction, such as legal advice, money for rental or utility bill arrears, and much more.
Marion County Florida rehousing – This is for the homeless or residents that live in unsafe conditions. Clients may be fleeing domestic violence, living in an unsafe environment such as a park or their car, or that have an eviction on their record which is preventing them from leasing a new home.
As part of this process, emergency solution grants (ESG) can be used to pay for emergency housing, whether in a motel or local shelter. Non-profits will decide how this will work. The chronically homeless will also be enrolled into ongoing tenancy support services to pro-actively resolve any future crisis.
When it comes to a permanent home, some of the agencies that coordinate this include Marion County Housing Authority, Horizon House Apartments, as well as the Habitat for Humanity. With the fact that affordable apartments and private sector housing is limited in the Ocala area, some residents may be placed into a shelter while a unit frees up.
The Continuum of Care adheres to the criteria set by the McKinney–Vento Homeless Assistance Act. What this means, among other things, is that rehousing and even eviction programs will not discriminate. Enrollment is open to immigrants, Spanish speakers, the elderly, and anyone that is struggling to find (or maintain) their housing.
For referrals to eviction as well as homeless prevention in Marion County, dial 352.732.1369. Any assistance is offered on a first come and served basis to income qualified families.
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