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Group hoping to prevent evictions


XENIA — City officials are working with the United Way of the Greater Dayton area to help local families avoid homelessness brought on by eviction.

A proposal for the Strong Families Initiative was presented to Xenia City Council and United Way believes that although the causes of homelessness are complex, the solution of housing retention provides family stability. Strong Families utilizes a two-generation approach (parents/caregivers with school aged child), that addresses the school mobility problem through multiple focus areas: Helping families stay in their homes, become financially stable, and increase academic success.

The collective impact to service provides a natural framework for Strong Families Greene County service and system partners to focus on meaningful outcomes through sharing program data each month in an effort to continually improve performance and increase the number of Greene County families with successful gains to family stability.

According to the proposal, Strong Families Initiative requests a total of $300,000 for fiscal years 2021-24 (dispersed in yearly increments of $100,000) to accomplish these objectives. These funds will work toward increasing support to the project provisions of: Immediate family needs/client assistance ($20K per FY), mental health/health support ($10K per FY), case management provisions/capacity building ($10K per FY), adult employment and certification services ($30K per FY), and youth services ($30K per FY).

This request meets the funding guidelines for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), NACO-Assistance to Individuals and Families, homelessness assistance, tenant based rental assistance, emergency rental assistance, and education and child care which allows the county to fund the requested money entirely from these sources. USGDA is seeking this one-time ARPA funding from the city to sustain programming activities in the proposal.

The following organizations represent a collective that supports the initiative:

Job and Family Services, Family Promise (IHN), Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Community Support Center, Bridges of Hope, Clark State (Greene County offices for certificate program), Family and Children First, Family Violence Prevention Center, Fairborn Economic Development Department, Greene CATS (transportation provisions), Oho State Extension Greene County, Greene County Public Health District, Help Me Grow, Homeful (provides case management support that assists families in locating and retaining suitable housing), TCN Behavioral Health, Xenia Area Association of Churches and Ministries, YMCA, Sinclair’s work force development programs, and Dayton Regional Manufacturers Association (DRMA).

“We are working with more than 12 social service agencies to provide services for these families so they can be in a stable family environment. This is the first homelessness prevention program to be launched in Greene County,” said Will Urschel, Xenia City Council. “They’ll be working with two municipal courts and Greene Met to work with families that are headed toward eviction so we could provide mediation services so they can avoid getting evicted and becoming homeless. It’s very critical at this time because there was a moratorium on evictions but it ended.”

According to United Way Greene County Director Rebecca Cantrell, her organization is the “back bone” of this support initiative.

“We identify funding opportunities through a grant and workplace initiatives,” she said. “Currently, we have the dollars to support 50 families in Greene County and we want to expand to help 100 families in transitional housing. We have funds and grants to help those families get up to date or at least on a payment plan. Sometimes the family just needs some guidance and they’re on their way. We want to establish financial stability, housing security, and academic success (so students stay in school), with our clients.”

Cantrell said that late last year UWGDA submitted an ARPA proposal to Greene County for $100,000 dollars annually for three years. To bolster the proposal, UWGDA seeks investments from Xenia, Fairborn, and Beavercreek, whose recipients will benefit from Strong Families Greene County intervention and prevention services.

The requested funds will support the expansion program for Xenia residents in several ways.

— Immediate family needs/client assistance.

— Adult employment/education services for short-term certificate programs to help families looking for job readiness and better career opportunities.

— Youth services will support activities to bolster school attendance and academic. Additionally, the fund application will help enrolled SF families while at work or training.

— Capacity building support to ensure wrap around services, evaluation, and reporting.

By Karen Rase

[email protected]

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.