Homeless Prevention: A rent supplements and support services

By: Susan A., Published: May 18, 2020 | Related: Rental Assistance


Homeless prevention refers to intervention, policies and practices that reduce the possibility of individuals becoming homeless. It also involves providing homeless people with the necessary support and resources to sustain their housing needs and enhance social inclusion. This will reduce the risk of homelessness. The causes of homelessness include personal factors, structural factors and failure of the government in protecting the people from becoming homeless. This leads to the conclusion that homelessness prevention strategies should not only be targeted at individuals but also broader structural reforms that will address the key drivers of homelessness. Strategies should involve the homeless people, community and all levels of government.

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Purpose of the service

Homeless Prevention Program provides assistance to individuals who are at risk of losing their homes. The program provides utility assistance, rental assistance and other supportive services to individuals and families who are in danger of foreclosure, eviction or being homeless. The program is designed to assist families and individuals to secure affordable housing, stabilize families and individuals in their current homes and reduce the time families and individuals stay in shelters. Eligible persons are normally provided with financial assistance to enable them manage an unexpected financial crisis such as loss of job or a medical emergency.

Who can receive the services?

In order to be eligible for the program, an individual or family must prove that it is in immediate danger of foreclosure, eviction or being homeless. Those who are already homeless are also eligible for the program. The individual must be able to document a temporal economic crisis beyond his control, he should also be able to demonstrate that he has the ability to meet the projected utility and rental obligations once the assistance has been provided, this will be based on the projected income of the individual or family. Depending on the assistance required, the services are provided for once annually or biannually.

What services are provided?

Homeless prevention services are provided by a network of care organizations. These include the local governments, nonprofit organizations and community organizations. They provide the following services:

• Payment for utility bills and arrears: The program can cover essential utilities of the home. This includes electricity, gas, water and telephone.

• Payment for rent arrears so as to prevent eviction: Homeless prevention program can pay rent arrears for up to three months. This will enable the family or individual to stabilize and avoid eviction. It also provides for mediation with landlords.

• Payment of security deposit: This will enable the individual
or family move to a new home quickly reducing the time spent in homeless shelters.

• Provide support services to prevent homelessness: They include both short term and long term measures that will address the root causes of homelessness and prevent it from recurring.

• House location and inspection: The program helps homeless individuals and families to locate vacant houses and carry out inspections them.

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• Housing subsidies: Some local authorities provide housing subsidies to eligible families and individuals.

• Employment services: The program helps people who have been laid off to find work. Employment training is provided to impart skills enabling the homeless individuals get back to work quickly.

• Counseling is provided to people who have been evicted from their homes to reduce the traumatic stress arising from the same.

• Follow-up: The program makes a follow-up on how the people and families that sought assistance form the program are faring on.

• Outreach: Community outreach is important to create awareness on the prevention of homelessness.

• Case management: The program provides a one term case management service.

It is also important to fix the systemic problems that lead to homelessness. These include income and wealth inequalities, lack of affordable housing and lack of well-paying jobs.

How can one get the services?

Individuals and families interested in seeking homeless prevention services should contact the homeless prevention provider near his area of residence. You can also contact the program through the hotline number provided.

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Homeless Prevention Program is a very important service provided to the community. It has assisted individual sand families to avoid eviction, foreclosure and being homeless. It acts as insurance for tenants and homeowners can hang to as they ride through a financial storm. However, broad strategies that target the individuals, families, communities and all levels of government are required to make the program to be successful.


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