Information provided by the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Monterey.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Monterey announces the availability of emergency rent and utility assistance for San Benito County residents through its Hope in Home program.
Catholic Charities was awarded $7,000 for emergency rent and utility assistance from the Community Matching Impact Grant from the Community Foundation for San Benito County, according to a recent release. Catholic Charities will leverage this grant with additional matching funds from its own fundraising efforts and allocations from the National Emergency Food and Shelter Program.
According to recent data, nearly one in ten residents of San Benito County were living at or below the federal poverty level and Catholic Charities anticipates that this percentage will go up by the end of the 2020 Census Count. From this group, approximately 59% identify as Hispanic or Latino, 35.4% as White, 2.6% as Asian, and 3% other. According to the San Benito County 2017 Homeless Census & Survey, approximately 81% of its homeless population were 25 years old or older, 10% under age 18, and 9% between the ages of 18 and 24. Of the 121 homeless persons surveyed, 19.8% were families (24 families with 95 members).
“Catholic Charities’ emergency rent and utility assistance program allows San Benito County families and individuals at risk of eviction due to an unexpected cost (medical or family emergency, etc.) an opportunity to stabilize and avoid becoming homeless,” said Ana Ventura Phares, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Monterey. “Keeping families, single individuals, and seniors in their homes is also key to their well-being.”
This award will provide rent/utility assistance and minor program expenses, the release said. Catholic Charities staff will provide these services to San Benito County residents of all faiths and backgrounds at its offices at Sacred Heart Catholic Church (680 College Street, Hollister, CA 95023) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment at (831) 536-4235.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Monterey offices typically receive 30 requests per month, peaking at 120 requests during the months of November, December, January, and February. Funding from the Community Foundation for San Benito County will assist approximately four to six households with rent assistance and 18-20 households with utility assistance. Rent and utility assistance is paid directly to the landlord, property management, and/or utility service provider, and the people show proof of their financial burden of choosing between rent and the unexpected cost.
The mission of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Monterey is to provide services to people in need, to advocate for social justice, and to call other people of good will to do the same.
For more information, please visit www.CatholicCharitiesDoM.org.