By Sam Nickels, Exec. Director at OCP
How can someone obey the governor’s orders to “shelter-at-home” when they are homeless and must leave the shelter at 7am each morning? OCP’s top case management goal right now is to find apartments and rooms and houses for as many homeless persons as we can. Every person or couple we find housing for reduces homelessness just a bit, allows more people to shelter in place and be safe, allows us to focus our limited resources on other folks, and improves the well-being and employment prospects for that person or couple.
But we can’t do it alone. Many landlords do not take housing vouchers. Could you? Many landlords and rental companies will not rent to people with less than sterling credit histories. Could you? Many landlords won’t rent to someone with a criminal record. Could you? What if OCP were to help you as landlord—what if you could call on us to help you deal with your renter on any issues that arise, like disagreements, or late rental payments, or access community resources to help your renter through a tough time or temporary unemployment? What if OCP was managing the person’s disability check (as rep payee) and OCP paid the rent directly to you? If these supports were in place, would you be willing to rent a room to one of our community members?
We hope you will. Please contact [email protected] to explore these ideas more.
Curious about who is looking for housing? Here are some example of our folks….
- A couple and their friend have employment and disability income. They can afford a private-pay rental at around $900/month (including utility costs). They need a two-bedroom apartment near public transportation.
- Two young men looking to share an apartment, one with employment and one with disability income. They can afford around $600/month rent.
- Older man 70 with SSI retirement income and a HRHA Choice voucher that will pay 70% of his rent. Access to public transportation.
- Single man with ability to pay $350/month, employed. Has a car for his own transportation.
- A young couple with disability income, prison history, mild intellectual disability. Looking for single room apt, ability to pay $350/month in rent, or have a HRHA Choice Voucher that will pay up to 70% of rent.
- If you have a house for rent with several bedrooms, perhaps we can cut a deal where you rent to several of our folks and we provide supportive services to everyone in the house to help them resolve issues and stay current on their rent payments and to learn to take care of the property. Nice idea, huh?!