San Bernardino County tenants facing eviction can apply for short term financial assistance and other services, such as legal aid and mediation, to prevent an eviction from occurring. Or in those cases in which it can't be stopped, then rapid-rehousing is available to help a family find a new home as well as to be stabilized.
There are several resources that focus on the housing needs of tenants. Most of them are paid for using grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. Some of the options including resources offered by the San Bernardino Continuum of Care, financial help for rent from the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), Shelter Plus Care (S+C), and other Supportive Housing Programs. Between these programs they can either help reduce the number of ongoing evictions in the county or get a family back into a safe, and affordable home.
Each year, HUD has a process in which grants are distributed to agencies in San Bernardino County as well as many other regions of California. There is a limited amount of funds paid out by the federal government each year, and most of the money is part of the Emergency Solutions Grant program.
The uses of these funds are for tackling homelessness. Whether it is offer short-term rental and/or utility assistance to prevent an eviction, or using ESG to pay for legal aid or moving costs to relocate a family, each agency can decide how to proceed with the money they were allocated. Note the funding is always limited. Once the grants are used up, that is it for the entire year.
Any eviction help is combined with case management. The tenant will partner with a staff member from one of the administering agencies. Together they will tackle the issue which caused the person to fall into arrears on their rent.
Whether the San Bernardino resident needs a new or better job, or if they need help reducing debts, then this and more can be provided. Other practical needs can be offered too, such as ESL classes for immigrants, bus passes, and more. In some cases, the eviction prevention process will rely on other non-profits in the area, such as attorneys or credit counseling firms.
The funds for eviction prevention are disbursed annually. Some of the agencies which may help include Inland Temporary Homes, Water of Life Community Church, Mercy House, Desert Manna Ministries, the San Bernardino Access Center or Hi Desert Domestic Violence Program. Those are some of the non-profits that may offer this service, but their funding may run out as well. If so, referrals to other homeless assistance programs may be provided.
Individuals that are defined as homeless per the HUD McKinney Vento Act can seek rehousing. For residents in the county that meet the eligibility requirements, the assistance provided may include the following.
There may be placement into a local shelter, which is often the first step to rehousing. These sites are for families that were evicted from their home, lost it to foreclosure, or had a similar crisis. If all of the shelters are full, then a motel voucher may be used in San Bernardino to get the family off the streets. When a client is placed into a local hotel/motel, this will only last for a matter of day(s) until another facility is available.
Case management is the next step to rehousing. This will help the applicant get on the path to being able to maintain their home in the future. All issues are tackled in a holistic way by the organization that is part of the Continuum of Care.
Once all of this has been done, if any Housing and Urban Development funding is still available, the applicant may be given a cash grant from ESG. This money will be used to pay for rehousing expenses such as moving costs, a security or utility deposit, and short term rental costs. Only a small number of applicants may qualify for ESG as the program is very limited in scope.
For more information, or is a resident is close to being evicted by their landlord, they should call for help as soon as possible. For referrals, in the City of Ontario dial (909) 391-2630. Families in Fontana cal dial (909) 463-0103 or in other parts of San Bernardino County, call (909) 723-1500.
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