Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Finding shelter and care opportunities for rural homeless in Appalachia key to recovery

One of the most frequent causes of homelessness in rural areas is "love eviction," when friends or families evict a loved one because of drug abuse, said Dani Caudill, a resident manager at Corner Haven Crisis Center (CHCC), a social-service agency in Eastern Kentucky "that serves a rural clientele with emergency housing, food and other services," Claire Boyd reports for the Daily Yonder. The problem, officials say, is that in rural areas, the homeless have limited options of where to find interim housing.

That's where places like CHCC, which originally opened in 1977 as a food pantry, come into play, Boyd writes. Though the shelters in the region might be few and far between, they provide help for those that need it. CHCC "can hold 12 clients for emergency housing of up to 30 days. It has room for 12 more clients to stay in transitional housing for up to two years. CHCC also supports three income-based housing complexes for the community—where rent does not exceed 30 percent of a tenant’s income. (National Alliance to End Homelessness graphic)
"These housing options are normally set aside for families and often have long waiting lists, some extending up to two years," Boyd writes. "CHCC also helps clients with the transition to permanent housing through grant applications and referrals. And it helps its clients apply for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) vouchers that can defray rent for some."

Caudill said the main concern is that awareness of such facilities is not widely known, Boyd writes. Getting the word out that there is help available could be key in helping those in need. Caudill told Boyd, “I’ve lived here all my life and didn’t even know it was here before I started applying for jobs." She "said she assumed that everyone had a place to go or family to rely on if they needed to. But that’s not always the case." Caudill said, “Most of the people that come to us come because they can no longer live with a friend or a family member." (Read more)

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