Valley Homeless Connection is searching for landlords with available rental units

The Valley Community Services Board is one of the organizations involved in the pilot. |...
The Valley Community Services Board is one of the organizations involved in the pilot. | Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 4:19 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — The COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in homelessness has led to more people in the Valley needing a place to call home.

“We’re in a public health crisis. That is why the government has made these funds available so that people have access to shelter and reduce their exposure and risk COVID-19,” Lydia Campbell, Adult Mental Health Case Management Supervisor for the Valley Community Services Board, said.

The Valley Homeless Connection has two permanent housing programs. One helps people experiencing serious mental illness and homeless, and the other supports people experiencing chronic homelessness. There are also two rapid rehousing programs, one of which is funded by the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the other is funded by HUD.

These programs offer support to the homeless population, and they have the funds to do so, but Campbell said they are searching for landlords who can help by offering a space for those in need to live.

“There are lots of barriers, and so we need some landlords who are willing to relax those barriers and give folks a chance,” Campbell said.

There are currently 63 people living in emergency housing in motels, and if they do not find permanent housing soon, they could result back to an unsheltered status.

"It's frustrating to have the funds and to not have enough units that meet the criteria," Campbell said.

One bedroom or efficiency units followed by two-bedroom units are the largest needs.

The Valley Community Services Board does offer assistance to minimize the risk for landlords, including providing a security deposit and first month’s rent initially. A re-certification process happens every three months to see how a families’ needs have changed.

"Any one of us could be one disaster, a medical disaster, a plumbing disaster, just one away from being in the same situation," Campbell said.

Despite the hardships the pandemic has brought, Campbell said it has been good to see the community step up and come together to help the homeless community.

Contact Lydia Campbell of Valley Community Services Board at (540) 887-3200 x7602 for details.

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