Homeless Prevention Assistance
Since 2009, HPC has assisted families and individuals with homeless prevention funds. HPC works in conjunction with other community partners to provide the maximum amount of support with the most efficient use of resources. Examples of such assistance include: security deposits, back rent payments, and temporary subsidies. Eligibility for assistance is based on income.
HPC is grant-funded to provide one-on-one case management services to homeless individuals and families. HPC’s supportive services specialists utilize a strength-based approach that empowers participants to achieve their self-directed goals. Recognizing that homelessness is a complex and multi-faceted issue, HPC connects individuals to other services that address issues which may put them at risk of a reoccurrence of homelessness. These referrals can include: substance abuse treatment programs, mental health services, vocational rehabilitation services, social security/disability, subsidized housing applications, consumer debt counseling services, parenting classes, and more. HPC works with landlords to develop lasting relationships for the benefit of the landlord, tenant, and future renters. HPC continues to provide case management and support for up to one year after a family/individual is housed.
Housing Preference Certification Course
Our tenancy education is offered as part of our supportive services. Topics covered include: 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. This opportunity helps individuals with less than ideal rental histories move forward with confidence and hopefully prevent behavior that could lead to homelessness.
Housing Search Assistance
Housing Search Assistance including all eligible applications and subsidy programs.
People experiencing homelessness are often denied subsidized housing due to poor credit, poor rental histories or negative references. Applicants have a right to request an appeal if they are denied tenancy. This process requires strict adherence to deadlines for completing paperwork and ultimately involves a hearing in front of representatives of that particular housing agency. Our Housing Support Specialists are familiar with this process and act as a guide to help an individual prepare for an appeal, from gathering statements and completing paperwork, to advocating on their behalf in an actual hearing.
Eviction Prevention is central to our mission. Our 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 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
Gaps in education can lead to lower-paying jobs which undermine long-term housing stability. The value of completing a High School diploma, G.E.D program or continuing education is conveyed to all participants. Referrals will be made to VT Adult Learning, Community High School and Community College of Vermont.
HPC is a member of Creative Workforce Solutions and Sales Force. We conduct an initial employment search as part of the transitional program. When appropriate, referrals are made to community partners such as Vocational Rehabilitation, VABIR, VT Dept. of Labor, and Working Fields, for assistance with resume building, interview experience, and job placement.
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, a Housing Specialist will follow up with the household and their landlord at 30, 60 and 90-day intervals. This type of aftercare helps prevent a relapse into homelessness. By remaining accessible to both the household and the landlord, we can move quickly to help ensure stability if problems arise. Participants of the Family Supportive Housing program are eligible for up to 24 months of aftercare.
SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery)
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 income through SSI/SSDI can be 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.