Friday, July 16, 2010

Helping Families Avoid Homelessness through the TANF Emergency Fund

A new report, Using TANF Emergency Funds to Help Prevent and Address Family Homelessness, authored by Liz Schott, describes the opportunity for states, localities, and service providers to combat homelessness using the TANF Emergency Fund. Providing specific state by state examples, the report describes how 15 states are drawing on TANF Emergency Fund reimbursements to provide short-term, non-recurrent aid to families in the form of case management services, rent or mortgage payment assistance, and re-housing assistance. For example, through the TANF Emergency Fund, New Jersey was able to expand its’ existing Social Services for the Homeless (SSH) program, which provides much needed support for residents who are at risk of homelessness but are ineligible for cash assistance. Unfortunately, the TANF Emergency Fund is set to expire on September 30, 2010. Congress is still considering a one-year extension to this vital support for children and families.

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