You can get help finding referrals to non-profits and financial aid programs from Harris County Housing and Community Resource Center. The agency connects with different organizations throughout the county to assist people who are having difficulty paying their bills, concentrating on housing requirements. Families can get help from resources and learn about ways to prevent evictions or a foreclosure.
The organization does not provide money itself to people who are struggling, but it connects them with either government grants or agencies in Houston that offer emergency financial assistance. There are funds available to help with rent, mortgage, and utility bills like natural gas, electricity, phone, and water. This means that clients can only rely on this support for a limited time each year.
The last resort for all support cases. If you need financial help, you should get assistance from more than one agency or non-profit. So they need to attend credit counseling, call on different agencies in Harris County, and take other steps first.
When applying for assistance, agencies will require documentation such as a final notice of a utility or phone bill, an eviction notice, payroll stub, Social Security cards of all household members, photo identification, and a Social Security disability verification letter. Individuals should check with individual agencies regarding any other needed documentation as each organization and program administered has different requirements.
Gulf Coast Community Services Association (GCCSA) is a partner of HCRC and helps with providing resources. GCCSA provides financial assistance or non-interest loans for rent and mortgage payments, clothing, housing counseling, mediation for landlord-tenant disputes, and free food for low- and moderate-income families. The agency’s phone number is (713) 393-4700.
Staff from Harris County Housing and Community Resource Center help clients find affordable housing that is safe to live in. The organization has an online database that allows families to search for available affordable housing at any time. This is a great way for families to find affordable housing without having to go through a middleman. If anyone needs help searching the database, they can call (877) 428-8844 to speak with customer service who have been trained to provide hands on assistance for this process.
There is another organization that can help with meeting basic needs, Cathedral Health and Outreach Ministries. This organization provides resources and support to homeless individuals throughout the region. The Community Health Outreach Mission provides case management services to help with essential needs like hot meals, free clothing, laundry services, and immunizations. They also operate a day center where people can come to get these services.
The agency provides a transitional residence service for homeless women who have been released from the Texas jail or prison system. There is also help for single parents. If you are impoverished or homeless, you can get free legal services and representation. CHOM also manages a community health clinic that provides medical and mental health services to homeless children, men, and women.
The CEAP – Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program provides energy assistance to low-income households in Texas. Sheltering Arms Senior Services administers the program and provides assistance to eligible households. This program helps low-income families, disabled individuals, and senior citizens pay for gas and electricity bills. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has established minimum income standards for people who receive financial assistance or a cash grant through CEAP. To find out if you meet the standards, call (713) 956-7456.
The Housing and Community Resource Center also provides weatherization services to low-income households in Harris County. Weatherization is when you make your home more efficient in order to save money on energy bills. These services help to make your home more weatherproof by sealing up gaps and adding insulation. The agency gives preference to any conservation measures to elderly and/or physically handicapped individuals. For more information, call (713) 685-6513.
The Ways to Work program at Family Services offers car loans with low interest rates. This is meant to help people who don’t have a lot of money to get a loan for a car so they can go to their job. The interest rates for the loan are very low. To make an appointment, please call (713) 861-4849.
If you are 65 years old or older, you may be able to get help with your taxes and be exempt from some taxes. This means that seniors who live in Harris County, Texas, can get a $10,000 exemption from school district taxes. To get more information, they can call the Harris County Appraisal District at (713) 957-7800.
There are various forms of assistance available for people reaching the age of 65, such as property tax deferrals. This means that the owner does not have to pay the taxes right away, but they will accrue over time with interest added on. The HCRC recommends that homeowners contact their local tax office to see how much of their property taxes can be legally deferred. Keep in mind that the taxes and interest will still need to be paid if the homeowners dies, moves, or sells their property. If you have a mortgage on your home, the deed of trust for that loan may allow the lender to foreclose if you don’t pay your taxes on time.
Contact for Harris County Housing and Community Resource Center resources
The HCRC also provides other support services, information, and guidance. The organization is called 1212 Prairie Street, Houston, Texas 77002. The phone number is (713) 220-9737. This means that staff can help guide callers to the right person or department that can help them with their specific issue.