LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — If you’ve lost income because of the public health emergency and are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, you’re encouraged to apply for rental and housing assistance through the COVID-19 Emergency Solutions Grant, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) announced on Wednesday.
Local government units, nonprofits, and organizations that provide Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing services are accepting applications for assistance.
Eligibility depends on income and the county in which you live. Arkansans who need help can contact the organizations serving their counties to get more information on that group’s application process.
A list of groups by county can be found here, and the person applicants should contact is listed as the ESG contact for each group.
According to DHS, the state of Arkansas was allocated approximately $23 million under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the need among Arkansans who are homeless or at risk for homelessness due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Applications were accepted from organizations who proposed to use the funds in one or more of the following categories:
- Street Outreach: to engage those who are homeless and not staying in a shelter or other housing;
- Homelessness Prevention: offers rental assistance and other supports for those who are at risk of becoming homeless to allow them to stay in their homes or relocate;
- Rapid Re-Housing: help finding and paying for housing for those who are homeless and case management during the transition to stability;
- Emergency Shelter: support for shelter operations along with critical services to shelter residents such as child care, skills training, and transportation assistance.
“We know that the public health emergency has impacted Arkansas families, with many people facing financial difficulties that may put them at risk of facing eviction,” said DCO Director Mary Franklin. “These grant funds were awarded to organizations across the state to help meet those immediate and ongoing needs caused by the pandemic. Our hope is that Arkansans who are facing housing challenges will reach out to these organizations for support.”
The funds will be available to be used through September 2022, or until the funds are exhausted, which, according to DHS, will depend on demand and the number of eligible Arkansans who apply.