The Wayne County Community Foundation and the Wayne County Housing Authority are collaborating on a new fund to help people with emergency housing needs and create opportunities for people facing this crisis and those interested in contributing financially. I am. County commissioners approved an allocation of $10,000 in seed money on Jan. 11.
This new emergency aid tool can help in a number of ways. Examples include:
- We will provide after-hours assistance for one- to three-night hotel stays to assist unhoused people and households until business hours resume and more permanent options are available.
- We will provide you with a taxi or bus ticket to get to or home from the shelter from another county or state.
- If you need transportation to get to a shelter or get home from a shelter in another county or state, buy a gas card for $25 to $50.
- We offer grocery gift cards ranging from $50 to $100 for emergency groceries.
- Provides one-time assistance to homeowners who are behind on their mortgage or utility payments.
- We help homeowners with the cost of repairs that affect livability, such as replacing water heaters, oil tanks, and repairing roofs.
- We will help you with moving costs, such as hiring a moving company or renting a truck.
- Funds part or all of the cost of bed bug removal in situations where there is an immediate danger of homelessness.
- Buy a trash can to make the situation less livable.
- Other urgent housing needs will also be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Foundation Executive Director Ryan Jennings said the discretionary fund has been in the planning for the past several months. “When the Housing Task Force started talking about how people are experiencing homelessness and our county doesn’t have a lot of good options to quickly address this, the housing study was released. , this is part of it.”
He said this is just the beginning of a solution, giving the housing authority discretionary funds to use.
Donations through the foundation are tax deductible, she said.
Commissioner Brian Smith said the partnership with the foundation will “enable people in our community who have philanthropic funds to participate in efforts to improve people's lives.”
“We have a better understanding of what we need here, and last year's housing study is finally gaining traction in the community,” Commissioner Joseine Kramer said. “Like many other great partnerships in this community, we know what we can and cannot do right, and the community is moving forward with solutions that help people.”
Jennings agreed, adding that these issues are so large that partnerships are needed to get things done. She noted that Wayne County lacks emergency shelter and creative solutions are needed.
“Every action has a reaction, and we finally have an opportunity to solve the problem much faster than before,” Commissioner James Schock said.
“People experiencing homelessness are our neighbors. They're out there, sometimes hidden in plain sight, sometimes in the community,” said Honesdale Mayor and Community Foundation Staff Derek Williams. These are also the people who spend the night in their homes.” Some live in their own homes, sometimes with the generous support of other neighbors to stay overnight…so there is community support and this adds up to even more It will certainly amplify it to make it happen. ”
The $10,000 approved by the commissioners comes from Pennsylvania Act 137 of 1992, the Discretionary Affordable Housing Funding Act. This allows Pennsylvania counties to collect additional revenue that goes towards affordable housing needs by increasing the fees charged for recording deeds and mortgages.
The foundation is also committing $2,000 from its Founders Fund. Jennings said the foundation is also seeking additional grants to support the fund.
Fund disbursements are made through referrals from the Wayne County Housing Authority. Eligible recipients will be screened to determine whether their current circumstances meet the selection criteria.
To donate to the Wayne County Emergency Housing Discretionary Fund, visit WayneFoundation.org, click Donate, and select the fund from the list.
Residents facing a housing crisis and who have exhausted all other options can request a housing caseworker by calling 570-253-6758 or emailing Housing@WayneCountyPA.gov.
Peter Becker has worked for the Tri-County Independent or its predecessor publications since 1994. Contact him at email@example.com or ext. 570-253-3055. 1588.