HOUSING RETENTION & FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Rockdale Emergency Relief has been helping residents of Rockdale County retain their housing stability and keep their utilities turned on for decades. As the needs in our community has increased, so have the demands for such services. At the present time, our Housing Retention & Financial Assistance Program is generally limited to households who have not received emergency financial assistance from RER before.
NOTE: Program dependent on funding availability which varies seasonally.
RESTORING HOME PROGRAM (in coordination w/ the Restoration Storehouse Center partners)
After forty-nine years of providing financial assistance services to the citizens of Rockdale, RER is excitedly in process of reinventing itself to better respond to the changing needs of our community in advance of another half-century of service.
Like others, we believe that too often not-for-profit organizations find themselves working separately, at best collaborating but not really coordinating their activities. Too often, service agencies like ours can get caught up in thinking and acting in silos. We need to evolve in the way we serve, and we are working hard to do just that.
To that end, RER is taking a leading role in bringing multiple local not-for-profit organizations together under the aegis of the Restoration Storehouse Center to assist neighbors in need more effectively and efficiently,
- leveraging rather than duplicating resources,
- reducing transportation challenges by co-locating client services on a single campus,
- gaining greater access to funding sources even beyond Rockdale County, and
- going beyond the provision of temporary relief to successfully equipping people for sustainability.
In the fall of 2016, we began piloting a new way of doing emergency financial assistance. Our new progrm - Restoring Home - marks the first cooperative operational effort of the new Restoration Storehouse Center coalition. The Resoring Home program will continue to hold to our tried and true standards of
- double-checking two database systems to better evaluate demonstrated need against any previous history of requesting assistance;
- verification of current residence in Rockdale County; and
- never providing assistance checks directly to clients, but only to vendors (e.g. a landlord or utility company).
The Restoring Home program is modeled on "housing first" and "rapid re-housing methodology," the idea being to identify qualified homeless households (individuals or families) and help them obtain a permanent housing situation (with a lease agreement in their name) as soon as possible. The Restoring Home program will be leveraging the strengths of multiple organizations to better ensure the success of those we provide this type of financial assistance. Referring organizations are expected to commit to ongoing case management support even after an individual or household is accepted into the cohort. Assessments and recommendations will be made as part of a multi-disciplinary team committed to assisting in the holistic restoration of those clients served. With the Restoring Home program, it is not just RER standing behind a homeless household offering resources and support; rather, it is a broad and deep continuum of care, working together to meet some of the deepest needs and help some of the hardest to serve in our community.
In keeping with the coordinated approach at the very heart of the Restoring Home initiative, we are asking that referring organizations do the following:
- Referring organizations will complete initial intake form and barrier to housing stability assessment (see attached)
- Referring organizations will verify homelessness eligibility (see attached), and
- Referring organizations will commit to ongoing case management contact with the referred program participant for at least 6 months (to include weekly contact and monthly care management conference calls)
NOTE We will not be able to accept referrals from the general public for this initial cohort - every participant needs to be referred through an organization capable of providing ongoing services before and after referral.