The local housing authority is ready to ramp up its efforts to help homeless families who have fallen on hard times.
After recently connecting one family who had fallen on hard times with a landlord who had space available, the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority is seeking more property owners who are interested in helping.
“It might give them some help filling a vacant property, which otherwise they wouldn’t be able to fill,” said program manager Heather Hoy.
Barbara Huppee, the housing authority’s executive director, said the housing connection is designed to help families who need emergency and temporary housing. They are mostly single mothers with small children, Huppee said. The program is in response to a request from the Community Commission on Homelessness.
Social service agencies work with the families to help with stable employment and other arrangements.
With funding from the city and other sources, the housing authority expects to invest about $70,000 into the program.
About $500 per family is available to help initially with rent. The program leaders also will negotiate with landlords.
“This is looking at making a match and a win-win situation,” Huppee said.
She said they are still working out the inspection process for the properties, but the housing authority is performing criminal background checks on potential clients.
Service providers have referred six families to the housing connection so far.
Any landlords interested in participating in the voluntary e-Housing Connection can call Hoy at 785-830-2248. They can be added to a list to receive e-mails about families in need.