Strategies for Working with Undocumented Households with HPRP Funding<br />
In Alameda County, if a non-profit is the lead agency, HPRP funds can be utilized to serve undocumented households.
It is important to conduct outreach into communities that deliver services to undocumented households (medical clinics, day laborer centers) that will be less likely to access 2-1-1 for housing crisis.
Bilingual Intake Coordinator to greet monolingual households in Housing Resource Center and all HPRP materials available in Spanish. Take this opportunity to provide the household with all referrals to all services for which they may be eligible to receive (TANF, SNAP, and Educational Assistance). Most undocumented households seeking HPRP assistance have children born in the United States providing them the rights of citizenship.
HPRP documentation does not require a Social Security Number and most households have acceptable picture identification.
Many undocumented households are the working poor, paid ‘under the table’ and unable to negotiate wages. They are often the first to be laid off or fired with no ‘safety net’ or available options. Most are living in overcrowded conditions or places not fit for human habitation, but do not identify as ‘homeless’.
Many undocumented households are reticent to ask for assistance fearing INS intervention, being sent back to their prior country and breaking up their household.
Most undocumented households do not hold a lease when they are seeking homeless prevention assistance. HPRP has the negotiating ability to require a landlord to provide a W9 to determine ownership, pass a HUD Housing Quality Standard (HQS)/Lead Paint Inspection, and provide a lease if they are going to receive financial assistance in the form of unpaid rent.
If the household is requesting to move, unit does not pass inspection or the household qualifies for Rapid Re-housing assistance, all above documentation must be provided and the new unit must pass an HQS/Lead Paint Inspection.
At 90 day HPRP reassessments, aside from working on Housing Stability Plan and planning for self sufficiency, the undocumented household may be referred to legal, immigration and benefits counseling.
Having completed 2 years of HPRP financial assistance to undocumented households, they and/or their service providers are reporting success in housing retention and self sufficiency. As one household told their HPRP service coordinator, (translated) “You made us feel safe and gave us a chance to secure our housing and kept our family together. Now we are both working, have a large apartment (and a lease!) good schools for the children and we are planning on becoming citizens.”
For More Information, Contact: Sage B. Foster, MA, MPH, Rapid Re-housing Program Manager, <br />Abode Services, 7200 Bancroft Ave, Suite 262, Oakland, CA 94605<br />510.552.6927, firstname.lastname@example.org<br />Thanks to Abode Service’s partner agencies, Catholic Charities of the East Bay and Building Futures with Women and Children for helping to make a significant difference in so many people’s lives. <br />