Services provided :
Our tenancy education is offered as a four week class where students are expected to complete homework assignments, take pre and post exams and participate in class room discussion. Some topics covered: Rental Affordability, Money Management, Understanding Leases, How to be a Good Neighbor and Rights and Responsibilities of Tenants. Successful completion of this course provides individuals with a certificate that can be used as a positive reference.
- Referrals will be made to other community resources for credit repair or continued budgeting.
Housing Search Assistance
Housing Search Assistance including all eligible applications and subsidy programs.
Appeals Assistance denials for subsidized housing are common with people experiencing homelessness due to poor credit, poor rental histories and negative references. The applicant has a right to request an appeal if they are denied tenancy. This process requires strict adherence to tight deadlines for completing paperwork and ultimately involves a hearing in front of representatives of that particular housing agency. The Housing Support Specialists are familiar with the process and act as a guide to help the individual prepare for the appeal from gathering statements and completing paperwork, to advocating on their behalf in an actual hearing.
Eviction Prevention is part of our mission, the Housing Specialists work with both the tenant and the landlord in cases where proactive interventions can prevent an eviction. This service includes mediation of tenant/landlord disputes, assisting with repayment plans, applying for any eligible funds to assist with back rent, and providing Aftercare services to ensure a continuation of support.
Advocacy for housing opportunities.
Education referrals Gaps in education contribute to low paying jobs which threaten long-term housing stability. The Value of completing a High School diploma, G.E.D program or continuing education will be conveyed to all participants. Referrals will be made to VT Adult Learning, Community High School and Community College of Vermont.
Employment Search Assistance
Employment Search Assistance, as a member of Creative Workforce Solutions and Sales Force. Employment information can be seen from all states bordering Vermont; we will conduct an initial employment search as part of the transitional program.
- Referrals are made to community partners (Voc Rehab, VABIR, VT Dept. of Labor, etc.) for resume building, interview experience and additional assistance if needed.
As the Community Housing Grant (CHG) and Emergency Solutions (ESG) grantee referrals are made for intake/screening and housing related services.
Leveraging of Resources
Our ability to provide rental assistance and case management support has opened the door to richer interagency collaboration. We will attempt to match funds with a household seeking assistance or a referring agency to stretch limited resources. The Housing Review Team is another opportunity for us to stretch financial resources and continue the teamwork of providing service to our community.
Once in safe, affordable housing the Housing Specialist will follow up with the household and their landlord at 30, 60 and 90 day intervals. This style of aftercare helps prevent a relapse into homelessness by remaining accessible to both the household and the landlord should any problems or concerns arise we can move quickly to help problem solve and ensure stability. Participants of the Family Supportive Housing program are eligible for up to 24 months of aftercare.
SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery
RCHC’s PATH Outreach Coordinator attended the SAMHSA sponsored SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery) Stepping Stones train the trainer event in early June 2012. The main goal of SOAR is to obtain expedited approvals for SSI/SSDI applicants who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and have a mental illness. Receiving SSI/SSDI is a tool in recovery, from mental illness and homelessness.
We invest equally in our case plans and take ownership with our clients. The Individual Service Plan (ISP) is created with participating household members and defines responsibilities for both the Housing Specialist and participant.