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Library, nonprofits offer events to help prevent evictions

by Joe Gamm | November 6, 2021 at 5:20 a.m. | Updated November 6, 2021 at 5:20 a.m.

Jefferson City area nonprofits will host two events intended to help people fill out rental assistance applications and avoid evictions.

Caseworkers will be on hand during the “Eviction Help” events to assist renters as they fill out State Assistance for Housing Relief (SAFHR) forms. The SAFHR program provides rent and utility assistance for eligible Missouri residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

SAFHR covers up to 12 months (total) of rent and utility bills (gas, electric, water, sewer and trash). Money is paid directly to the landlord or utility company. More information about the program is available at www.mohousingresources.com/safhr.

Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri, Common Ground Community Building, Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA), the Salvation Army and Missouri River Regional Library (MRRL) are collaborating to help renters fill out the forms.

The first event is 4-8 p.m. Tuesday at the new Catholic Charities location, 1015 Edmonds St.

The second event is 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday at the MRRL main branch, 214 Adams St.

Applicants must bring the following items:

• A lease that includes the date the lease started, rent amount, the renter’s name and address, the landlord’s name and address, rent due date and terms of lease. The lease must be signed by the renter and the landlord. Please provide the current amount owed.

• State photo identification. It does not need to be a driver’s license, but must have a photo.

• List of household members, including names, ages and last four digits of Social Security numbers.

A Congress-approved COVID-19 relief package approved in December distributed more than $323 million to Missouri for rental and utility relief. However, SAFHR has not kept up with demand for the money. The federal government gave a Dec. 31 deadline for using up the money. It later extended the deadline to Sept. 30, 2022.

If you can’t attend either event, contact one of the partner agencies to make an appointment for help.

• Common Ground Community Building, at 573-522-4314, provides relationship- focused approaches to addressing needs of clients in poverty. Common Ground developed from a ministry of downtown Jefferson City churches into an independent nonprofit that offers solutions to problems surrounding homelessness.

• Catholic Charities, at 573-635-7719, serves all that come to its doors for aid. Its mission is rooted in seven social principles — life and dignity of the human person, a call to family, community and participation, rights and responsibilities, putting the needs of the poor and vulnerable first, the dignity of work (and rights of workers), solidarity with all humans, and care for God’s creation.

• CMCA, at 573-635-4480, uses federal Community Block Grants and community support to help clients with employment, education, housing, nutrition, emergency services and health, and to better use available income.

• Salvation Army, at 573-590-4460, exists to meet human need wherever, whenever and however it can, and is part of a global mission to do good.

• MRRL, at 573-634-2464, provides comfort for those in need. It opens its doors as a cooling site when temperatures are very high and as a warming site when temperatures are very low.

People wishing to apply for SAFHR assistance on their own should go to safhr.smapply.org

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