Financial Assistance with Rent
The Housing and Financial Stability program offers assistance with rent and utility payments and gives customers the tools they need to become financially stable. All assistance is considered in-person at our office at 500A Spratt Street.
When to seek assistance:
Rent assistance is considered on a case-by-case basis. You must appear in person at our office to be considered for a rent screening interview. If you have a late notice for the current month, please bring that notice and all other documents listed below. If you have court papers or a writ of possession, you should come as soon as you can make arrangements and ensure you have all all the documents listed below.
Our offices open at 8 a.m. each weekday. Applicants are discouraged from arriving before 7:45 a.m. Assistance is NOT provided on a first-come, first-serve basis, but rather based on the urgency of your emergency.
How the process works:
Our goal is to help each customer receive the tools and support they need to move towards financial stability. To do that, we spend time with each customer understanding their unique situation and needs. This can be a time-consuming process, as each customer is evaluated on an individual basis.
When you arrive at our office, we will first verify that you have an immediate emergency. Next, we will verify that you have all the required documents (see What To Bring). We then evaluate each case and address customers with the most urgent needs first, which we classify as an emergency. An emergency can be someone who is facing eviction that day or has already been evicted. We do not see clients on a first come first serve basis.
For rent assistance, you may be given an appointment to return and meet with a caseworker to discuss your rent situation. Your appointment may be at our main office or our satellite site.
Once you are called by a caseworker, you will meet in a private office to discuss your situation. Our caseworkers are caring individuals who have been trained to understand many different situations and challenges. Their goal is to help you keep your home, keep your utilities on, and make a plan for avoiding a financial crisis in the future. Be prepared to discuss what resources you have to put toward the bill, what other resources may be needed, and how financial assistance will be used during that visit.
To meet with a Crisis Assistance Ministry caseworker, please bring each of the following items each and every time you visit Crisis Assistance Ministry:
- Documentation of your emergency including all late notices, eviction notices, court papers, etc.
- Rental lease.
- Picture ID for the applying client
- Social Security documentation for all household members: social security card, documentation from the Social Security Administration verifying social security number, W2 form from an employer or paystub indicating the nine-digit social security number, or W7 if applicable. If you are not registered with the Social Security Administration you are required to provide some form of identification.
- Proof of all household income for the past 30 days. Clients who are paid every week are required to present four current paystubs. Clients who are paid bi-weekly are required to present two current paystubs, and clients who are paid monthly are required to bring one current paystub. Clients who receive unemployment, SSI or SSA, VA Pension, Retirement Pension, Child Support, Disability, and/or income from family or friends are required to present a statement of income verification. Clients who are self-employed are required to present income verification.
- Any disconnection and past due utility statements. These should be in the applying clients name and that person must reside in the household.
What to expect:
Unless you already have an appointment for rental assistance, you may have to wait several hours to meet with a caseworker to assess your situation. During your interview, a caseworker will address your current situation and discuss with ways to help you move toward financial stability. On busy days, some customers will spend the entire day here. Following these tips will make your visit less stressful:
- Be sure you bring everything listed on the “What to Bring” section. We cannot serve you without all of this information.
- Bring a book or something to read.
- Bring a snack or lunch – there are vending machines, but they often empty quickly on busy days.
- Bring an internet enabled device (phone, tablet, laptop) and charger – we offer free WiFi in our lobby.
- Make childcare arrangements. If you must bring a child along, bring along books, crayons, or other items to entertain your child and adequate diapers and other supplies for a several hour wait.
- Wear weather appropriate clothing – we do our best to quickly seat everyone inside the building, but the line may extend outside, especially on busy days.