One family disaster can lead to loss of home, due to job loss, medical bills, rent increases, domestic violence, or other issues. The first step is to find temporary shelter and support to keep family members together. Then comes the more difficult step: moving from homelessness. That’s where Homeless to Renter (H2R), a Temple Beth Am partnership with Jewish Family Service (JFS), helps.
H2R has been helping families for nearly 19 years and continues to meet the challenges of family homelessness thanks to support from TBA members. Since 2004, H2R has helped over 480 families including more than 590 adults and more than 1075 children to secure or maintain safe housing. During FY 2022, July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022, we assisted 105 individuals among 33 families. 8 of those families had move-in support, while 24 families received eviction prevention assistance. H2R has focused on helping families with eviction prevention efforts during COVID. Families who are currently housed but facing eviction either now or down the line due to temporary causes such as illness or injury are also now also eligible for one-time rent assistance through the H2R Program.
Purim to Pesach Fundraiser for Homeless 2 Renter
There are many ways to help the homeless, to honor the teachings of Isaiah to feed the hungry, and clothe the naked. One way we have done this at Beth Am is to support our Homeless to Renter (H2R) program!
H2R invites you to join in their annual Purim-Pesach fundraiser! Join in honoring the four mitzvot at Purim: to read the Megillah, to give to the needy, to send gifts of food to friends, and to feast.
Should you choose to give to the needy through H2R during the Purim to Pesach Mitzvah Fund Drive, please use this donation link!
Want to get involved?
Contact Susan Covey and Fred Diamondstone.
Homeless 2 Renter in the Temple Beth Am Community
Homeless 2 Renter has collaborated with Youth Learning Program to run age-appropriate programming about homelessness in The Gan, encouraged b’nai mitzvah students to incorporate H2R in their service learning projects and hosted fundraisers including a last year’s comedy night with comedians Adam Ray and Joel McHale!
COVID-19’s Effect on Homeless 2 Renter’s Assistance
In December 2019, before the COVID-19 outbreak, Temple Beth Am’s Board of Directors authorized H2R and JFS to provide even more eviction prevention assistance, both to existing H2R families and to new families who did not need move-in assistance, just eviction prevention. This enabled JFS to respond to requests for eviction prevention assistance due to COVID-19. They then authorized an increase in maximum grants to families, from $1200 to $1500. In September 2021, H2R again increased the grant allowance to $2000, at the request of JFS.
How do families find out about Homeless 2 Renter?
The 211 “hotline” and agency case managers refer families to JFS, which assists families who are ready to rent. Families locate an apartment they can afford, and H2R helps with deposits and move-in costs. Through the years, the Knitzvah Knitters and LDS Church friends have helped with personal items, such as hand-made afghans, quilts, scarves, and hats.
Jasmine’s is one of many Homeless 2 Renter success stories. A single mother who could only work part-time after a ruptured aneurysm required brain surgery, Jasmine had Section 8 housing assistance but needed help with the deposit and fees. Listen to her story in her words.
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