Today I’m going to share with you Homeless Need Help with Apartment When There Is No Alternative Way.
In Pras Michel’s words, seven out of ten Americans are one paycheck away from being homeless and that severely emphasizes the rate at which this epidemic of homelessness is spreading. With nothing that they can do, the homeless need help with apartment spaces, government-supervised or otherwise so that they can find a place to call home.
The federal government acknowledges this grave issue and has various homeless assistance programs to help find apartments for homeless people.
Many non-profit organizations also provide homeless assistance in various ways by providing short term accommodation, aids to find apartments for homeless people, provision of food and any other form of help for homeless people that can manage to do so.
Introduction to Homeless Need Help with Apartment:
To find apartments for homeless people that come under their extremely low financial feasibility is no easy task, but the only way to put an end to homelessness is to provide specifically built, leased or reserved apartments for homeless people alongside other homeless programs mechanized in a way to make sure that they aren’t exploited and can find the proper and reliable means of homeless assistance that they need.
Some of these homeless programs that provide accommodation and related help for homeless families have been discussed below.
Emergency Housing Facilities:
If you receive an eviction notice or are facing some personal emergencies and are expecting to be a victim of homelessness, it is advisable to find quick emergency shelter for extremely low or no money at all using one of the homeless programs run by the government and aided by various non-profit organizations that is 2-1-1 motel vouchers or homeless motel vouchers.
These vouchers provide help for homeless families facing emergencies (like domestic violence, pregnancy, health issues with senior citizens, etc.) by crediting vouchers to hotel or motel rooms in registered places so that there is a provision for temporary basic apartments for homeless people till they can get their bearings and figure out their next step.
Also Read – 211 Motel Voucher Program For Homeless People
How to Avail Emergency Homeless Assistance:
To avail of emergency homeless assistance, you can call 2-1-1, which is a toll-free number and you will be connected to a government worker or volunteer that works towards helping the homeless.
They will assist you with the homeless assistance aids you might be eligible for and how to go about the application process for the respective homeless programs.
For instance, the federal government along with various non-profit organizations and churches avail homeless motel vouchers and 211 motel vouchers which provide temporary affordable apartments for homeless people in the form of semi-paid or fully paid motel rooms in hotels or motels that are registered in the specific homeless program.
Difference Between “211” AND “HOMELESS” Emergency Housing Assistance for Homeless People:
While homeless motel vouchers focus on providing emergency housing assistance for homeless people who have already been facing it for a while and need a roof over their head due to personal unavoidable circumstances like domestic violence, health of a senior citizen, etc.
The other homeless program i.e., 211 motel vouchers run on the same vision for providing short term homeless assistance to people facing any sort of emergencies.
It should be noted that all homeless programs, government mentored or otherwise, are highly competitive, so the eligibility criteria for 211 Emergency Housing Assistance for Homeless People have been narrowed down to homeless people who have a child below the age of eighteen in their family.
This distinction in the eligibility criteria is done to make sure that these homeless programs work towards helping homeless families that need them the most. You may be eligible for one or both of these homeless programs, so you should apply to the maximum amount of homeless assistance aids to maximize the chance of obtaining a voucher.
Make sure to discuss the same during your 211 calls who provide extra homeless assistance by informing them about all the opportunities they have, not only in terms of emergency housing but referring to other schemes that may help them to find a permanent home.
The services provided by homeless programs vary as per the need of the applicant. For example, seniors may require certain health, food or service assistance which will be considered before the allotment of their voucher.
Homeless shelters are also one of the means to obtain emergency housing assistance for homeless people. These provide help for homeless families by generally letting them stay in for completely free.
Although certain homeless shelters do allow homeless inhabitants to stay up to two weeks, there are also centres that only take in people for overnight stays if their situation (circumstances, threat to safety or health, etc., weather) is at it’s worse and staying under the sky, bare on the streets is impossible for them and the homeless needs help with an apartment.
The homeless shelters generally work in a dormitory fashion, as the funds for these institutes are tightly wound. So, the people staying do not have access to a lot of personal space or privacy.
These organizations have different ways to help the homeless, they cater to the basic living needs of the centre’s population by providing them with a roof over their head, meals, basic clothing and hygiene items.
If they have more people wanting shelter than they can accommodate, they may refer them to other homeless shelters that may provide them with the homeless assistance they need which may have the space or issue or tell them where they can obtain vouchers (discussed above) that can help them get a room in a registered hotel or motel for a short period of time so they can figure out their next move towards finding appropriate apartments for homeless people in a safe and healthy environment.
The special one-time assistance program or the sorta program pays for one year of rent for eligible clients of the department of health services who need help with housing facilities while they are moving within New York City.
Case managers and housing specialists identify clients who can be eligible for the Sota program.
To know more about the Sota Program, click on the following link:
Transitional Housing Program:
The transitional housing program is one of the ways to help the homeless with its aim being the provision of a temporary household till the applicant moves into permanent living quarters.
As the name suggests, this homeless program relates to the period of transition from homelessness to having a home.
Transitional housing provides apartments for homeless people, generally for a short period of time varying from two to twenty weeks or more according to the individual circumstances.
Although transitional housing’s vision aligns with aids that provide emergency housing assistance for homeless people (through 211 and homeless motel vouchers, discussed above) i.e., providing help for homeless families undergoing a crisis, their main focus is to be a pit-stop for these people before they find a permanent residence.
They provide homeless assistance through over 6703 registered transitional housing locations in their database.
They try to provide maximum information and pictures about available apartments for homeless people to make sure that the applicant makes a well-informed decision.
Even though apartment-style accommodation is available when it comes to transitional housing services, the living arrangement varies for each applicant. A homeless family may end up receiving a whole unit or room to themselves if the specific homeless program feels that they require it or there might be different rooms for males, females and children.
Homeless people recovering from substance abuse are also provided with homeless assistance and given apartments. They generally have a separate unit dedicated to them.
As transitional homes are temporary accommodation spaces, they have little to no distribution between living quarters and provide less privacy but it does provide an apartment for homeless people at negligible to no cost if the applicant successfully qualifies.
You may still wonder about the need of transitional houses or homeless programs that provide temporary homeless assistance as they are short-termed and just a phase between homelessness and finding steady homes.
Various homeless people have histories of eviction (more than one in many cases) which makes it incredibly hard for them to find a landlord willing to take them without the interference of homeless programs in as they believe that leasing them an apartment weighs in with a higher risk factor which forbids them for regaining their reputation, even if they might be doing better at the moment.
With the help of numerous homeless programs, during their stays in these transitional apartments, the homeless receive a chance to rebuild their credit, reputation, save money for finding permanent residence, etc.
To find transitional housing that provides apartments for homeless people in your state, click on the following link which will direct you to a list of transitional housing sites you can continue to research.
Different Providers and Means of Transitional Housing:
Various sources combine together to provide assistance for the homeless through transitional housing, some of which have been elaborated below:
1. Government-Subsidized Transitional Housing:
One of the ways to help the homeless is through grants that are provided substance abuse and mental health services administration to help people, including the homeless who struggle with alcohol and drug addiction.
These grants are provided to sober homes and transitional housing facilities to provide apartments for homeless people struggling with substance abuse.
2. Sliding Scale Fees Based on Transitional Housing:
Many homeless programs facilitating transitional housing provide accommodation on the basis of sliding scale fees. Sliding scale fees means that the amount of money that person pays for accommodation must increase with the level of his or her income with time.
This acts as a great help for homeless families as it takes one’s ability to pay into consideration and does not keep them on the same level as someone who is better off than them.
3. Non-Profit Transitional Housing:
Many nonprofit organizations contribute to helping homeless families by providing them with food, operating the 2-1-1 emergency phone line, collecting donated clothes for clothing drives and thrift stores, etc.
Additionally, they also help in transitional housing by providing payment and homeless assistance for those who need them. Each of these non-profit institutes has its own way of providing assistance for the homeless by providing transitional accommodation, so it is better to look them up and contact them for further details.
For example, nonprofits focus on providing apartments for homeless people to a certain group of people. Some provide for veterans while others cater to people suffering or recovering from substance abuse.
Other groups commonly covered by non-profits are single parents, mentally ill people, victims of domestic violence or chronic illnesses. There is also homeless assistance in the form of free of cost transitional housing for undocumented yet legal immigrants as well.
4. Faith-Based Transitional Housing:
As a part of their ministry services, various religious organizations run homeless programs that provide transitional homes for free if you qualify.
They even offer payment assistance which collectively is a great step towards helping the homeless. Following are some examples of homeless assistance in terms of provisional housing:
- Family Promise:
Churches that are tied up with Family purposes provide assistance for homeless families with children by providing transitional housing and many other ways to help homeless families by providing them with other services like helping their inhabitants explore employment opportunities, finding low-income apartments for them to permanently move into, explore government (and other) schemes that help homeless acquire the same, etc.
These churches provide basic necessities like food, clothing, legal assistance (if applicable), etc to even free gas to drive up to a job interview!
- National Church Residences:
National church residences are one of the nation’s most successful faith-based groups that provide homeless assistance, specifically focusing on vulnerable groups like the disabled, elderly, etc who seem to need immediate action taken, in terms of housing.
They not only provide transitional short-term apartments but also low-income apartments for homeless people who can qualify.
- The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army is one of the most popular non-profits that arrange a variety of aids for the needy. They have different ways to help the homeless; by arranging food and cloth drives, cheap thrift stores, etc.
They also provide homeless assistance by running numerous overnight shelters (like homeless shelters, discussed above) and other transitional units across different states, free of cost.
As the salvation army caters to a wider mass, the monetary terms and conditions for homeless assistance are not the same, some of these accommodation units are free (with respect to the homeless), while the rest are cheap and income-based (for the low-income strata).
As mentioned above, the epidemic of homelessness houses many small diseases within itself, alcohol and drug abuse being one of the most frequent ones.
The salvation army provides special aids and helps for homeless families with people who are recovering from the same along with other people facing extreme social or personal hardships (like violence, health illnesses, etc)
A type of transitional housing program is a post-domestic violence housing and homeless program. As the name suggests, non-profits or the government provide homeless assistance to focused groups of survivors of domestic violence.
They create accessible, low income, affordable rental housing facilities and apartments for homeless people specifically targeting women and children coming straight out of a domestic violence institute or shelter.
The women or families taking shelter in these places also get homeless assistance apart from free housing as well as free access to legal advocacy to ensure their safety.
Most people availing emergency housing assistance for homeless people or free transitional housing and homeless programs are homeless people who lack serious credit to be leased living spaces too.
So, it is important to enquire about advocacy and case management facilitates that are provided by non-profits or social workers when one enters a transitional housing program or an emergency shelter.
This service provides homeless assistance to people in terms of legal and documentation issues as well alongside the constant fight for basic human rights, provision of basic substantial meals and medical care.
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Permanent Housing Program:
If someone is expecting to be homeless (for instance if they receive an eviction notice) and can afford a new place but need time and assistance to make it happen, they should pursue permanent housing programs.
While seeking a long-term housing plan but in the meantime the homeless need help with apartments temporarily, they should seek a permanent housing program.
Permanent Supportive Housing Program:
“Supportive” being the addition to the permanent housing program a lot of value to this homeless program, these services are made available to help homeless families with specific circumstances that need to be taken under consideration.
For example, people with disabilities not only need four walls and a roof to survive but also special support like a facility to obtain the prescribed medication, wheelchairs, etc. This type of homeless assistance is provided by permanent supportive housing programs.
As discussed above, special attention, preference and care are given in different ways to help the homeless who have lost their homes to domestic violence as they are more prone to chronic homelessness.
Housing first is a homeless program that works on a simple ideology that needs that are considered basic and necessary by most, like getting a job and attending to existing issues that comes secondary to finding a home and getting access to food.
They, as their name suggests, believe that finding appropriate housing and apartments for the homeless comes first.
Housing First program works towards providing rental and homeless assistance to people by having their consumers sign a standard lease, the duration of which depends on the applicant’s circumstances.
They are provided with any help they require to go through with the process alongside extra homeless assistance in the form of promotion of housing stability and other services volunteers might pitch into an individual’s case.
Housing First had two homeless program models, both having the same foundation but differ slightly in how they are implemented. They have been discussed briefly below.
- PSH or permanent supportive housing program has already been discussed above in the article. Recapping, this model focuses on people with a specific set of needs and support like people with chronic illness, mental health, etc who are more vulnerable to being prey to the claws of homelessness. They provide long-term housing, rental and homeless assistance alongside supportive services.
- Rapid re-housing is the second model of this homeless program which opens up its windows to a wider number of people (who are not facing specific issues alongside homelessness). They try to get people to access to accommodation quickly while increasing their self-sufficiency so they can manage to keep being housed without further public homeless assistance. The main key features of rapid rehousing can be finding a house suitable for the applicant that resonates with both their needs and income levels, help in settling and moving in and as discussed earlier as well, the provision of case management services.
First Month Apartment Rent or Deposits Help:
Just finding apartments for homeless people is not the only challenge, while moving in or leasing a renting space or house, the security deposit alongside the first-month rent for the apartment poses a huge challenge for the homeless as it is a considerable amount of money to chunk out for someone with their income status.
There are various institutes that incline the provision of aids regarding the same as a part of their homeless programs. Some of them have been discussed below”
From Charities for Homeless People:
1. Salvation Army:
As discussed above, Salvation Army has always been a popular name when it comes to helping the homeless irrespective of the condition of the homeless person asking for help, if he or she is someone old, young, suffering from illness or not, the Salvation Army tries to extend a helping hand to all.
Contact the salvation army centre closest to you and explain your situation to them and double-check your eligibility for any homeless program they might be having as the salvation army provides homeless assistance where they try to provide help for homeless families struggling to pay security deposits and first-month rents through various donations and charities that they run.
2. Catholic Charities:
Catholic charities are non-profit organizations that envision the elimination of poverty and provision of basic day to day requirements for all people who need it. They provide assistance for homeless people despite their limited amount of monetary base they have, they would be more than willing to extend it to an applicant if his or her situation is that dire and devastating.
3. Community Action Agency:
Community action agency works towards the collective welfare of the community. Community action agencies consist of a hybrid of elected public officials and private sector representatives that try to provide assistance to the low-income population of the country and provide help for homeless families.
They work towards helping the homeless by pitching in with rent, utilities, food assistance, and security deposit, but the amount of homeless assistance provided depends upon the severity of the situation of the applicant
4. Security Deposit from a Financial Institution:
Although this may sound like a long shot, certain financial institutes do try to provide help for homeless families. One can ask for security deposits from lenders and local banks as well as there are a few of them who provide money or loans for security deposits with lighter terms and conditions when it comes to homelessness assistance.
5. Federal Government Resource:
The Department of Social Service is a government source that provides homeless assistance and helps in finding apartments for homeless people.
HUD’s Initiative to Help the Homeless:
The United States department for housing and development supports and contributes to the relentless efforts to help the homeless by introducing new homeless programs and finding various non-profits, state and local governments so they can work on quickly rehousing the homeless and providing them with other homeless assistance they might need.
- Continuum of care program tried to expand community-wide commitment to the vision of putting an end to homelessness. Minimizing trauma and dislocation while trying to look for suitable apartments for the homeless is on the agenda list. It tries to maximize the effect of existing mainstream homeless programs and promote self-sufficiency among homeless individuals so they can start standing on their feet without any public support.
- Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program is a comparatively new program designed to provide homeless assistance in the form of grants to institutes and communities that are working towards preventing and putting an end to youth homelessness. They share successful strategies and resources for homeless programs with other communities across the country so people can inspire or adapt them to help the homeless in their localities as well. One of the points in the agenda of the YHDP is to provide homeless assistance to selected communities, covering rural, suburban, and urban areas throughout the country using a coordinated community approach to wipe out youth homelessness and to provide help for homeless families.
- Emergency Solution grants program is a homeless program that provides grants to states, units of general local government, and insular areas to support essential services and homeless assistance related to emergency shelter and street outreach, rehabilitation and conversion of buildings to be used as emergency shelters, operation of emergency shelters, short-term and medium-term rental assistance, and housing relocation and stabilization services that can potentially be a great help for homeless families.
- Rural housing stability assistance program provides grants to institutes, government-based or otherwise, that work towards improving the housing situations of homeless that need help with housing based in the worst housing situations in terms of geographic area.
- Veterans Affairs supportive housing program has Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to provide help to low-income or homeless veterans with homeless assistance through the provision of Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance, case management, etc. Similarly, the same homeless assistance is provided by the Tribal HUD-VASH program as well, they try to provide help for homeless families belonging to Native American veterans who are homeless.
- Title V program – Federal Surplus property is a homeless program that helps the institute’s set out to extend help for homeless families by making the most of “unutilized, underutilized, excess, or surplus” Federal government properties as opportunities and assets than can be used to assist the homeless.
- Pay for Success Permanent Supportive Housing Demonstration is a different type of homeless program, it has been developed to test the effectiveness of homeless assistance provided by Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) which uses the financing model of Pay for Success (PFS) and follows a Housing First approach.
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How Can You Help the Homeless?
Donate any amount that is financially feasible for you to any non-profit organization that works towards finding apartments for homeless people. Do not worry, every cent counts when it comes to helping the homeless.
- Reaching out to Government Representatives:
You can try to get the attention of the government officials of your locality towards the rising number of homeless people on your street and how you feel they can contribute to helping homeless people.
Officials hardly receive any visits or letters about social subjects. But if they start receiving a significant amount of attraction towards any social issue, they do notice and try to do something for their people and may start providing basic homeless assistance to the people!
- Write to Corporations:
Some of the largest co-ops in the country help provide homeless assistance and low-income housing.
Through the use of homeless programs, tax credits and grants, they are helping federal and state governments and nonprofits to build low-income housing spaces in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, etc which provide apartments for homeless people.
You can write to various co-ops asking them to join the hustle to help the homeless!
- Habitat for Humanity:
This Christian housing ministry builds houses with the help of volunteers so there is an availability of apartments for homeless people. Their projects are funded through donations and charities from numerous churches, co-ops, etc.
- Help the Homeless Apply for Oid:
Even though various homeless programs have been designed to provide homeless assistance, these schemes are not necessarily accessible to the ones who need them.
A huge fraction of homeless people doesn’t have existing mailing addresses which makes the application processes for various homeless programs much more difficult.
You can help by directing the homeless to middlemen who provide assistance for the homeless like homeless centres and other non-profits that guide them through the application process.
You can move a step ahead and act like an intermediary for the homeless yourself by contacting these institutes for them.
- Publish Shelter Information:
Many homeless people are not even aware of the various homeless programs that are active and eager to provide help for homeless families like them. You can start by contacting local newspapers.
Church for their bulletins, civic group’s newsletters, etc so they promote the various homeless assistance and services available so the masses can be more informed. These promotions also attract new volunteers!
- Buy Street Sheet:
This homeless program is active in nearly every major city in the country and is devised to help the homeless by depositing five cents for every paper sold into a savings account that helps them save money for rent.
Saving is made possible through this initiative to further hunt for apartments for homeless people. Look for street sheets, buy and promote them!
Donate Your Old Products and Services:
- Clothes and Toys:
Every non-profit takes donations to help the homeless in any form. They take in used clothes and toys where they sort it on the basis of age and gender. Their volunteers then take to the streets and distribute the collected items to the homeless.
- Volunteer in Shelters and Soup Kitchens:
Institutes that run homeless programs, shelters and soup kitchens always welcome any volunteers as there is always a need for people to promote, manage, run charities and drives, feed the poor, etc
- Volunteer Your Professional Skills and Hobbies:
Your skills are one of the most valuable assets that you own and you should try to pass them on to the homeless as that helps them get employment!
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How Do I Get Temporary Accommodation?
Call the toll-free number 2-1-1 to get information and check your eligibility in various programs that offer emergency housing assistance for homeless people and map out all feasible options that are present and begin applying to all the homeless programs that you can.
2. What Are My Chances to Get Accommodation Through Government Homeless Programs?
All these homeless programs are highly competitive so make sure to fill in all applications that you cross the eligibility bar for to maximize the chances of finding a suitable apartment.
3. Should I Trust Non-Government Organizations and the Homeless Assistance They Claim to Provide When It Comes to Finding Apartments for Homeless People?
Make sure to go through their websites which generally have details about their homeless programs and their terms and conditions before signing anything.
4. Can I Get Assistance from the Sota Program More Than Once While Moving Again?
No, the Sota program provides one-time homeless assistance only.
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Ending the Article:
According to a Point-in-Time Count from January 2015, 564,708 people were homeless on one night in the U.S. but less than 20% of them are chronically homeless.
These people can be helped greatly through these homeless programs but one should keep in mind, getting into these programs are tough and competitive and that is why homeless programs have diversified while branching out, catering to certain groups of people.
So, one should always check the eligibility for all the programs they can appear for and fill all of them up so there is a higher chance for them to find aided accommodation.
More steps and various ways of providing homeless assistance are being taken towards eradicating homelessness every day, so you should be well informed about the various sources where you can obtain any aid.
The majority of the country is working towards the epidemic of homelessness, there will always be helpful for those who direly need it.