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Funds Available To Help Those Who Are Homeless Or Nearly Homeless

Persons in Crawford, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties who have no place to live or in jeopardy of losing their home may be eligible for rental assistance and other services through a new program funded with federal stimulus dollars.
With Phelps County serving as the lead agency, the seven-county area was awarded some $528,202 of Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program grant funding by the Missouri Department of Social Services, in late 2009 to assist families who are homeless or nearly homeless.
The purpose of the HPRP is to provide homelessness prevention assistance to households who would otherwise become homeless — many due to the economic crisis—and to provide assistance to rapidly re-house persons who are experiencing homelessness. The funds under this program are intended to target individuals and families who would be homeless but for this assistance.
The funds will provide for a variety of assistance, including: short-term or medium-term rental assistance and housing relocation and stabilization services, including such activities as mediation, credit counseling, security or utility deposits, utility payments, moving cost assistance, and case management.
The Phelps County Commission selected three sub-grantees to serve as providers for the funds:
•  Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA), serving Osage County
• Washington County Community Partnership (WCCP), serving Washington County
• Missouri Ozark Community Action Agency (MOCA), serving Crawford, Gasconade, Maries, Phelps and Pulaski counties
Persons in need of assistance may contact these providers for more information at the following location:
•CMCA, 305 Main St., Linn, MO—573-897-3528
•WCCP, 104 Hickory St., Potosi, MO—573-438-8555
•MOCA: Crawford County, 102 S. First, Steelville, MO—573-775-2502
•MOCA Maries and Gasconade counties—606 E First St., Belle, MO—573-859-6190
•MOCA: Phelps County at 1051 Kingshighway, Rolla, MO— 573-364-8696
•MOCA in Pulaski County—9 Ichord Ave., Waynesville, MO—573-774-2156, or 306 S. Pine, Richland, MO—573-765-3059
Meramec Community Enhancement Corporation serves as the fiscal agent for the grant on behalf of Phelps County.
“The focus of the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) is twofold: it targets individuals and families who currently have a place to live, but are at risk of becoming homeless as well as individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness—those who are living in an emergency shelter or on the street—and need temporary assistance in order to obtain and retain housing,” explained Luci Flaim, a community development specialist working with MCEC.
“We cannot pay mortgage payments, so we cannot help with a foreclosure, unless the family has left the home and has no place to live,” Flaim explained.
“We have had a lot of interest in the program in Washington and Phelps counties, and we need to make sure that we are getting the word out to persons in Crawford, Maries, Osage and Gasconade counties that there is help if they need it,” Flaim added.
Applicants must meet HUD income requirements to be served by the program. The HPRP funds are available for three years unless they are spent sooner than that.

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