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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
540-483-5113
Fax: 540-483-8013

STEP provides prevention, aid to homeless

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

STEP Inc. (Support to Eliminate Poverty) in Rocky Mount is offering two programs that focus on preventing homelessness and helping those who have become homeless.

The homeless prevention program is state funded and provides services to residents who could face homelessness because of foreclosures and evictions.

"Diversion is the strategy that prevents homelessness for households seeking shelter by helping them identify immediate alternatives to homelessness and connecting them, if necessary, with services and financial assistance," said Brenda Manning, Homeless Prevention Program (HPP) coordinator for STEP.

The HPP program administered by STEP includes referrals to shelters in Rocky Mount and in Roanoke as one option, Manning said. Other options include referring people in jeopardy of becoming homeless to Helping Hands of Franklin County for assistance and to Franklin County Social Services.

Social services offers some financial assistance to persons who have been evicted, Manning said. However, those persons must have a court order showing they have been evicted.

The second program offered by STEP includes funds to be dispersed to persons who have lost their homes due to foreclosures or who have been evicted.

STEP has received $87,000 in grant money from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to help households who have become homeless, Manning said.

"We can provide grant funding up to $2,500 to those who have become homeless because of foreclosures and evictions," she said. "The grant funding will allow STEP to provide financial assistance to between 70 and 100 families this year."

The program goals are to provide effective and efficient assistance to reduce the length of time households experience homelessness and to reduce the number of households returning to homelessness, Manning said.

The two homeless programs also are being provided in Patrick, Henry and Pittsylvania counties and the cities of Danville and Martinsville.

For more information about the two programs, call Manning at 483-5142, ext. 3035.

 
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