The Rotary Club of Fort Collins - Breakfast, because of this Covid-19 crisis, will provide $5,000 to Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N) to reduce homelessness and home displacement in Northern Colorado. We are asking the District 5440 Grant Committee to provide a matching grant of $4,000. The $9,000 in this District Grant request will provide a minimum of 12 months of rental assistance in Larimer County, Colorado.
SPECIAL NOTE: We understand the District Grant Committee is suggesting the Rotary Club of Fort Collins - Breakfast (RCFCB) provide the total sum of $9,000 to N2N upon acceptance of this District Grant proposal. This is with the understanding that the District Grant committee will reimburse the RCFCB the full $4,000 matching grant sum on or shortly after July 1, 2020.
Neighbor to Neighbor's Mission Statement: Neighbor to Neighbor envisions communities where everyone has opportunity and access to a stable home because a home is the foundation for success. Annually, N2N secures stable housing for over 5,000 local individuals by preventing homelessness and displacement, providing budget education, youth programs, homeownership education, and by operating affordable apartments for families and individuals.
The demonstrated human and financial need: Four hundred and two households have requested rent assistance in April 2020. 160 Households have received April rent assistance, totaling $105,685 (Previous average distribution = $19,000 to 56 households in Larimer County per month.) Average assistance = $660/household ($750 max per household allowed). One hundred and seventy-nine more households are pending for April or May assistance.
Programs to meet the need: Neighbor to Neighbor is the lead eviction prevention provider in Northern Colorado. In response to dramatically increased demand caused by Covid-19, N2N plans to distribute $130,000 or more in emergency rent assistance each month for the foreseeable future. To meet growing need and demand, N2N quickly implemented the following: (1) Expedited program processes including launch of an online application for assistance on March 31; (2) Increased staff from 3 to 5 counselors including bilingual staff; (3) Provision of rent assistance disbursements ranging from $500-$750/household depending on need.
How do people qualify for assistance: N2N's emergency rent assistance service is accessible 24-7 with an online application, followed by a response within 1-2 days from N2N counseling staff, and streamlined processes to confirm need and mail checks, written directly to landlords. To qualify for N2N assistance, households must provide the following: (1) Photo ID; (2) Copy of current lease agreement; (3) One month's worth of most recent pay stubs, or most recent income verification statement
N2N is also able to provide assistance to undocumented households, depending on funding availability. Households must have income below 80% of area median income. Current average income of applicants is 18% area median income.
N2N's focus is on quickly deploying assistance to as many households in need as possible, to divert further crisis caused by housing displacement. If households become displaced due to unexpected loss of income, their path to stability becomes exponentially longer due to low vacancy rates, wait lists for housing, and added stress on physical and emotional health of eviction and displacement.
How does N2N determine how much a family receives? N2N rent assistance is prioritized for families and individuals without other resources to pay rent. In alignment with national best practices, N2N follows a diversion model, which identifies other possible solutions for households before providing case assistance. As related to Covid-19 response, households will be asked what other resources they have available to help cover rent such as unemployment and/or loans from family members. Due to the magnitude of this crisis, significant gaps still remain in paying rent, even after exploring information supports. Average N2N rental assistance distributed per household is $660 per month and the maximum distribution per household is $750 per month.
How will N2N spend $9,000 from the District Grant for District 5440? With funds from the Rotary Club of Fort Collins - Breakfast, N2N will provide emergency rent assistance to prevent eviction, which will also improve the housing stability, economic health and security for households at greatest risk.
How quickly can N2N meet a person's/family's needs? Once the brief online application is completed and verification documentation provided to N2N by the client, N2N processes a rent check directly to the landlord within 2-3 days.
Who does N2N give the funds to? Landlord.
How does N2N ensure the funds go where they need to go? N2N receives a copy of the leases and addresses and mails rent checks directly to the landlord listed on the lease.
Renter Follow Ups: Rent assistance programs have been shown to effectively prevent eviction, and in many cases, homelessness. N2N conducts follow up calls with eviction prevention clients three months after services and again at 6 months after services.
Measures of success: Over 90% of N2N rent assistance recipients report continued stable housing 6 months after receiving N2N assistance. N2N is a long-time service provider in northern Colorado, celebrating 50 years of housing stability services this year. N2N has a long history of partnership with government entities and non-profit organizations to provide coordinated service. In 2019, 92% of partners responding to N2N's anonymous survey, felt N2N's impact in the community ranked in the top two levels of "significant" or "high", demonstrating the highest possible impact.
Involvements by Rotarians:
1. A staff member from Neighbor to Neighbor will present a program to our club describing how the funds helped reduce homelessness in Larimer County during the Covid-19 pandemic.
2. The Breakfast club will prepare an article for the District newsletter and/or the Coloradoan newspaper describing how this project helped reduce homelessness in Larimer County.