Homeless assistance programs in DeKalb County Georgia.

Non-profit agencies in DeKalb County Georgia are committed to ending homelessness. Many of them that offer eviction and rehousing assistance are part of the Continuum of Care, which is a group of organizations that partner together on solving a number of housing needs. The groups use HUD funding and raise money from the community so that programs such as Project Take Charge can help tenants with an eviction notice.

The DeKalb County Continuum of Care has over 5 different agencies that are part of it. Some of the primary contributors include the Decatur Cooperative Ministry, United Way, as well as Hagar's House. Each of these has a different focus on what forms of assistance they provide and who qualifies.

Homeless prevention for renters and tenants – There are many different aspects to this. Some of the solutions involve financial help, some offer legal aid, and in all too many cases, resettlement is the best solution. Each applicant will need to meet with a staff member at the assessment center.

In order to receive a grant for rental or mortgage arrears, the adult members of the household need to be employed. This can be full time, or part time if they are enrolled in a job training program. Any financial aid for utilities or paying rent from Project Take Charge is limited and requires a contribution from the household.

Tenants need to have an eviction or pay or quit notice from their landlord. Or they can have a shut off notice from their electric or water company. The grants from the federal government funded HPRP are a last resort only, so someone applying for help needs to be out of all other options and be able to prove it.

Homeowners in DeKalb County also need to have written documentation of their situation. Most commonly for them will be a foreclosure notice from their bank. They too will need proof of income, residency, and more. The type resource provided to a homeowner is free foreclosure counseling, and funds for helping with a payment are very rare.

Programs to stop the eviction, rather than allow the renter to go homeless, will always be stressed. Those will be the first solutions as it reduces dislocation that could result if a family goes homeless. It also minimizes the cost to the community, as it is more expensive to rehouse a family, provide them welfare or social services, and other support. Therefore agencies will do whatever they can to stop an eviction from occurring in the first place.





Any assistance that keeps the tenant in their current DeKalb County housing will require than to participate in counseling and case management. They will need to develop a savings plan as well as budget and sign up for financial management classes. Or if the barriers are say lack of computer skills, then classes will be held. All of this, and more, is required in order to receive eviction help.

DeKalb County Continuum of Care rehousing programs will place the short and chronically homeless into a new home (or apartment). While anyone can apply for this part of HPRP, it is more likely that a just evicted client will be enrolled as their situation is often easier to resolve. There is also a priority for single moms, the vulnerable such as seniors and disabled, and veterans.

Any rehousing from non-profits such as Family House are income based homes. This means that the applicant needs to meet savings goals. They also need to pay for some of the rental deposits or moving costs, and in general they need to pay up to 30% of their income to share some of the costs.

To help prevent an eviction from occurring, families will also learn about mainstream government benefits. The most common will be SNAP food stamps, and by enrolling into them, it will save a tenant some of their monthly income. They can then use that money for their future housing costs. Another potential program is ESG grants in Deklab County Georgia, and this will offer money for security deposits and other ongoing eviction prevention services.





Sources of eviction and rehousing assistance in DeKalb Georgia

The Decatur Cooperative Ministry and partners have staff on call that will screen all applicants. If this initial application goes smoothly, then a phone screening will also take place. The nest step to applying for eviction help may be a home visit, or the individual will be asked to come into the office for an in person meeting.

Applicants should bring proof of income, a copy of their lease for the lawyer to review and utility bills, and the eviction notice from their landlord. They should also bring any utility disconnect notices as well as information on their monthly budget. More information may be quested too.

One benefit to using the  DeKalb County Continuum of Care affiliated agencies is they will not only help with the eviction or foreclosure needs, but they will also provide referrals to everything from food stamp application sites to provide MARTA fares or HUD vouchers. For more information on Project Take Charge or other resources, call 404.284.4411 for intake.




By Jon McNamara

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