Mountain View Voice

News - February 11, 2011

Stimulus helps CSA provide homes

Rent-free housing is available for jobless who qualify

by Daniel DeBolt

There's a few spots left in a program administered by the Community Services Agency which saves people from homelessness when they've lost their jobs and face eviction from their homes.

With the use of federal stimulus funding, the Community Services Agency has been able to help 56 people who faced unfortunate situations after the recession hit — usually people who were out of work or had run out of unemployment insurance and were about to be evicted from their homes. The program temporarily pays the rent for qualified individuals and families.

Lately there's been a decline in requests for help from the program, said CSA's assistant director Maureen Wadiak. There is funding to help up to 12 more people, Wadiak said.

Applicants must be either on the street or about to be evicted or foreclosed on with no place to go, such as a family relative's home. The CSA also examines whether a person or family has any assets that could be sold to pay their rent.

There's also a test. Applicants are chosen based on their scoring in a "self sufficiency index." Scoring too low or too high is grounds for disqualification. Basically, the program is for those who have it together, relatively speaking, but find themselves in dire circumstances.

Those who are able to join the program will be asked to work with a case manager over the longer term. The program will pay the rent entirely at first, and gradually reduce the financial help over time.

The program was funded by stimulus funding in the 2009 Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Act.

The CSA continues to work with the chronically homeless with the Alpha Omega program, which now aims to find permanent housing for the chronically homeless.

To learn more call 650-968-0836, see www.csacares.org or visit the CSA at 204 Stierlin Road in Mountain View.

E-mail Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

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