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Contra Costa County eviction and rehousing assistance.

Organizations in Contra Costa County work together to prevent, or reverse, homelessness. Eviction assistance as well as rapid rehousing are the two main programs administered by agencies such as the Crisis Center, and each of these resources is focused on addressing a specific needs in the community.

There are multiple non-profits as well as government sponsored social service agencies that applicants can turn to. The eviction prevention programs involve organizations such as SHELTER Inc., the United Way, and those that partner with the Crisis Center. While each has their own forms of support, each wants as many families and individuals as possible to get the help they need to stay in their homes.

Financial help for evictions and rehousing

Free Emergency Motel Vouchers – This form of assistance is only available in Contra Costa County to individuals or families with a plan to break out of the cycle of homelessness. When available, it will only be offered when local shelters are full, and the voucher normally only pays for a very short term stay at a motel or hotel.

Agencies in Contra Costa and San Ramon (as well as nearby cities) will provide vouchers to pay for motels to people that have recently been evicted, families or single moms with children, and those with no drug or alcohol abuse problem. Any short term lodging will also require an ongoing case management process for the person.

Money for rent or energy bills - Some of the non-profits, such as SHELTER of Martinez California, may have money for directly paying housing costs. There may be grants for tenants that are in rent arrears that have an eviction notice. The applicant needs to be at imminent risk of homelessness. Other forms of aid, including interest free loans, may also be used as a form of eviction prevention, and those funds can cover utility, water, or other bills.

This form of support will come with the client enrolling into a plan for short to long term economic stability. Case managers, including those from the Employment and Human Services Department, will meet with the family that applies for help, and this will be done weekly. During the sessions, they will together work on keeping a budgeting, accessing social services including Cal-Fresh or CAPI, and really do whatever it takes for maintaining housing stability. The goal is to break a cycle of evictions and/or homelessness.





Legal defense/aid – Lawyers in the region, including from offices in Martinez, will ensure that any eviction letter is legal. They will review it on behalf of the tenant, often at no cost to them. With some landlords trying to evict families for everything from noise issues to delinquent rent, there are many laws in California that protect the renter. The Contra Costa County Legal Aid office can provide advice on this matter.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families helps military members and their families. The program, commonly known as SSVF, provides government grants for rent, security deposits, and other expenses to stop the eviction from occurring. Or it can cover upfront expenses for moving. Veterans can also enroll into intensive case management, which will help them meet their potential. Partners such as the United Way in the county want all of those who have served our nation to maintain permanent housing over the long term.

Contra Costa County Permanent Housing Placement – This is what rapid rehousing will work towards. This will be a service for formerly homeless families that have left an emergency shelter, such as that in Mountain View, or families that were living in a motel. It can sometimes also support those residents that were living on the streets, at a friends, or an unsafe home.

Many different programs are part of this. When someone was recently evicted, they may then be rehoused into transitional housing. Some agencies, such as SHELTER Inc., manage their own apartments in the county. There are also supportive housing sites for the disabled, mentally ill, or senior citizens.




With the cost of monthly rent being extremely expensive in the area and northern California, rehousing can be very difficult. In almost all cases, the applicant needs to save a significant sum of money on their own towards future expenses, including security deposits. The prospective tenant will also need to have a job with a life sustaining wage or significant amount of benefits coming in, including CalWorks. Non-profits can coordinate job training when needed.

Eviction help and homeless prevention assistance is provided in all sorts of situations. The teams at the Crisis Center as well as local non-profits understand the price of real estate and housing is excessive in Contra Costa County. Provided the tenant is living within their means, and is facing a true emergency, support may be provided to help stop an eviction from taking place. It even assists households on CalWorks, disability, or CAPI among other benefits. To apply, or fore more information, call 925-338-1038 or 800-808-6444.


By Jon McNamara

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