Program offers assistance to homeless

Special to the NEWS

START CenterThe South Texas Adult Resource and Training (START) Center has a new program for the citizens of San Benito.

The Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program is willing to give assistance for those who are homeless or at-risk for homelessness by giving them temporary financial help, including rent and utility assistance.

“We have had some challenging times,” said Case Manager Rosemary Garza. “People are having their hours cut. Also, a lot of our population is seasonal, so their income has been lowered. Still, they have the burden of bills and food with their families.”

The program, which started in last October, was set up with the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. What it does is simple: It determines the root cause of the current situation of the case, usually a lack of income or employment, and sees they have any eligibility for help. There is a two month cap with the assistance, but Garza stresses that “it all depends on the individual.”

Requirements for the program include that the total household income must be below 30 percent of the average monthly income, proof of homelessness or a demonstration of risk of imminent homelessness and an initial interview with a Housing Resource Specialist.

Families with young children are encouraged to apply.

“It’s a really good program,” said Jose Medrano of the START Center. “I’m glad that we have this in the city.”

For more information about the program or to set up an appointment, call the START Center at (956) 399-1322.

Read this story in the Feb. 24 edition of the San Benito News, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.

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