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Homeless prevention programs in Fairfield County Ohio.

Both profit and non-profit agencies in Fairfield County Ohio work to stop homelessness, including Opening Doors FC. The groups also partner with the government on this goal, and together a wide number of eviction as well as foreclosure prevention programs are offered along with rapid rehousing, and more.

The assistance can come in many forms. Homeless prevention and/or rapid rehousing involves everything from government grants for paying security or utility deposits to free legal aid, homeless shelter, transitional housing, foreclosure prevention, back rent help, and more. There is also Housing First Collaborative Programs, or HFC. In other words both monetary as well as non-financial assistance is given in Fairfield County by ODFC and other groups.

Homeless prevention

This is a service for anyone who lives in their own place, whether it is a homeowner in a house/condo/townhome or someone who rents an apartment or house. Since the cost of housing, in particular mortgages, are so high, financial assistance is not common. However it is possible. There will be an assessment done as part of the application process.

Fairfield County Ohio homeless prevention may include some grant based aid, which is mostly paid for by HUD - Continuum of Care and also the Emergency Solution Grant program. This will be primarily for rental arrears or energy bills (if the unpaid utilities can lead to an eviction). The funds come from one of 3 places in the Fairfield County area, and they include:

  • -ESG government grants
  • -The United Way and their fund raisers.
  • -Charitable donation programs.

Much of the eviction prevention is non-monetary aid. This is also true of foreclosure prevention. As paying out funds to help pay housing costs, whether it is rent, a mortgage payment, or utility bill is usually pointless if there are underlying reasons why the family is struggling. The non-monetary parts of homeless prevention in Fairfield County include the following.

 

 

 

 

-Legal aid. This is for both renters (who can get representation in eviction court) as well as homeowners. Lawyers work with struggling, low income families for free. More information on free legal aid from lawyers in Ohio.

-Mediation. Tenants can work with landlords and homeowners with their bank/lender on payment plans, abatements, moving agreements, and more.

-Help moving. Some cases the house or apartment is not sustainable over the long term. The best homeless prevention option may be to move, and Opening Doors FC can help coordinate this as part of Permanent Supportive Housing [PSH].

-Other options include credit counseling, job placement, budgeting, holistic case management, debt reduction and more from homeless prevention programs.

Homeless prevention normally is most effective when cash assistance (such as grants) is combined with other forms of ongoing support from Permanent Supportive Housing. As paying rent or a mortgage is not effective (over the mid to long term) unless the Fairfield County Ohio family has a plan and the tools for long term stability.

Fairfield County Rapid rehousing

This is for when an individual or family is currently homeless. The goal is to get the person back into a stable, affordable place to live. There are also rehousing programs from ODFC that are tailored for the disabled as well as veterans.

Whether the homeless person is living on the streets, or is a teenager who was forced to move from their parents home, assistance is available. Rapid rehousing is for anyone who needs a permanent home or apartment, as well as additional support in the form of long term stability.

Rapid rehousing part of Fairfield County Ohio homeless prevention is a multi-step process. It involves (1) identifying the homeless person then offering (2) emergency shelter along with meals/food/medical. The third step is transitional housing, which touches upon employment, budgeting, building credit and more. The forth step is finding, and moving into a permanent home. Then comes long term stability to make sure homelessness doesn’t occur again in the future.

 

 

 

Applications and next steps

There are multiple agencies and non-profits that work together on this homeless prevention program and process in the region. They include the Salvation Army, Department of Human Services, community action, and United Way among others. Many are part of the Continuum of Care in the county.

Whether the resident of Fairfield County is homeless now, or facing a future eviction or foreclosure, the rapid rehousing and homeless prevention programs from ODFC of partners in the county may assist. Dial 211, option 3 then option 1 for more details.

 

By Jon McNamara

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