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WARREN METROPOLITAN HOUSING AUTHORITY Transitions Program Participant Program Guide WMHA – TRANSITIONS PROGRAM Participant Program Guide WMHA 990 E. Ridge Drive Lebanon, Ohio 45036 Phone 513.695.1266 Fax 513.695.2520 April 2006 Table of Contents PAGES ATTACHMENTS A – N 1-5 History 6-7 First Briefing 8 Second Briefing 9 Rent, Repayment and UAPS 10 Life Skills – Tuesdays 11 Life Skills – Saturday 12 Points to Remember 13 Life Skills – Other 14 Home Visits 15 Points to Remember 16 - 17 Drug and Alcohol Assessments 18 – 19 HQS Inspections 20 Blue Change Forms 21 Sanctions Unemployment & Quitting School 22 Hearings 23 Annual Recertification 24 Financial Requests 25 - 26 Employment 26 Education 27 Section 8 28 Compliance 28 Terminations 29 Checklists 30 – 34 Contract 35 Agreement to work or go to school 36 WMHA Phone Numbers 37 County Switchboard 38 County Numbers 39 - 40 Address Pages W M H A T R A N S I T I O N S P R O G R A M G U I D E 1 Welcome to Warren Metropolitan Housing Authority – Transitions Program Transitions Program Transitions Program Development and Management In 1990 WMHA began a pilot Transitions program that housed nine families with funding from the Ohio Department of Development. The program’s 1991 application to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was denied due to its innovative use of non-facility based transitional housing. Thanks to the support of the Ohio Department of Development and the Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, the program received a waiver of site- control and was expanded in 1992 with funding from HUD, under the McKinney Act. The Transitions program can serve 58 - 66 families with children and provides aftercare for several additional families. Warren Metropolitan Housing Authority’s (WMHA) Transitions Program is a service based transitional program for homeless families with children. This program utilizes scattered-site rental units that the participant families select and rent, throughout Warren County. The rent for the units is subsidized through the Transitions program. As of the first publication of this manual, the staff responsible for these activities is: Ruby Tenney - Interim Executive Director Deborah Groves, LSW Transitions Director Bonnie Scuro - Housing Specialist Tracy Hugentober – Supportive Services Case Manager II 2 The non-facility based approach to Transitional Housing has numerous advantages, and one disadvantage, for both the program operator and the participating families: Advantages = Program Operator Advantages = Participants No utility cost Location! No maintenance cost Location! No lead based paint issues Choice in housing No NIMBYism Choice in neighborhood No zoning or community issues Anonymity No on-site staff required Autonomy No acquisition Non-stigmatizing No rehab No community issues No relocation issue/expense No NIMBYism Flexible unit size Child can stay in same school Flexible program size Becomes permanent housing Becomes permanent housing Disadvantage = Program Operator Disadvantage=Participants Proximity to participants Proximity to staff and other participants Once Transitions families are housed, the program strives to move participants from a position of dependence on society to a position of independent, self-sufficient tax-paying status. The primary contract agreement between the participants on the Transitions program is the requirement of working and/or going to school. Participants must sign a contract which confirms their readiness to work cooperatively with their Transitions case specialist, to attend all life-skills meetings, to remain alcohol-drug free, and to cooperate with required housing procedures. Case management includes client assessment, development of a case/service plan (goals, objectives and action steps), implementation (intensive counseling and referral), service integration, monitoring and aftercare. Staff from other social service agencies, members of local churches, concerned citizens, and Transitions Program participants’ donate to the program either by their time or services. 3 Warren Metropolitan Housing Authority’s Transitions Program provides the following services: EMPLOYMENT & EDUCATION GUIDANCE – This includes the guidance of assisting the participants who are not working, are underemployed and/or going to school to increase their marketability. Transitions provides testing, career direction, field trips to higher education institutions, The case worker sets goals with the family that enables the participant to achieve lifetime dreams. HOUSING - This includes rental and utility assistance, Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspections, assistance in locating rental units, negotiating rental rates with landlords, written information about landlord/tenant laws, arbitrating landlord/tenant disputes, and advocacy with utility companies, and assistance in obtaining Section 8 rental assistance. CASE MANAGEMENT - The program offers a wide variety of services to each individual family. These services consist of but are not limited to: regular scheduled home visits, help in acquiring financial and food assistance, guidance to other necessary resources, help in obtaining a GED or continued education and goal setting. A case manager makes meeting the family’s needs possible and aids in keeping them in compliance with the program guidelines. TRANSPORTATION ASSISTANCE - Warren County is a large rural county with limited public transportation. A transportation fund assists participants who need transportation to work, seek employment or pursue educational goals when no other assistance is available and paying this cost would be an undue financial hardship. The fund covers emergency car repairs and insurance. The staff at Transitions has two vans and a car that can be used to transport participants to needed meetings. CHILD CARE - The childcare assistance program provides child care during required life skills classes. A fund is also maintained to cover the cost of child care during counseling sessions or similar circumstances when care is needed and funding is not available through another agency. LIFE SKILLS - Life skills classes are held every other week with required attendance for all program participants. The classes last 2 hours and normally feature a guest speaker on such topics as parenting, budgeting, or local agency services. There is a monthly Saturday seminar for the families who are unable to attend the Tuesday evening life skill meetings. 4 The program also The program networks with the coordinates provision of following agencies in the coordination these additional services: of supportive services: Warren County Community Services Household Items Family Services Case/File Management Head Start Supportive Services HEAP Child Care Warren County Career Center Budgeting Classes LifeSpan through Butler County Drug & Alcohol Counseling Warren County Department of Human Services School Enrollment Education Warren County Adult Basic Literacy Education Assistance Abuse and Rape Crisis Shelter of Warren County Learning to Read Warren County Combined Health District Family/Mental Health Counseling Warren County Recovery Services Agency Networking Warren County Children Services Coordination of Services Hope House Employment Assistance Program Campfire Campfires for the children Franklin Community Services Legal Advocacy Lebanon Community Services 4-H St. Vincent De Paul Societies - (Lebanon & Franklin) United Way One Stop Ohio Bureau of Employment Services Salvation Army Interfaith Hospitality Network of Warren County The Ohio State University Extension Lakeview United Church of Christ Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation 5 Transitions is the move to permanent housing. The Transitions program places families directly into rental units they select from willing landlords. This approach has the distinction of allowing the family the choice to remain in the unit at the end of the two year transitional period, either through self-pay or with assistance through the Warren Metropolitan Housing Authority’s Section 8 Program. Transitions participants are required, as part of their Contract of Participation form, to sign up for and comply with all requirements necessary to receive assistance through the Section 8 Program. FRAUD Do you realize the WMHA — Transitions Program is a federally funded program and if fraud is committed there is a possibilty of being prosecuted? Do not allow anybody who is not on your lease to live with you. Do you wonder what kind of person would jeopardize your children’s home so they can have a free ride? If that individual is so important to you, have the person put on the lease and go through the correct procedure before moving the person into the home. Do not allow any person to jeopardize your housing. TO ADD AN INDIVIDUAL TO YOUR HOME 1. Get written permission from your landlord 2. Bring original letter to Transitions 3. Set up first briefing for person wanting to be added 4. WAIT until permission is given for second briefing 5. Person must sign lease and contracts at office 6. Contact landlord in writing that person has been officially accepted onto the Transitions program 7. Person required to follow through with Transitions requirements 6 The Process from Applicant to Participant The first step in the process of applying for the Transitions Program is verifying that an applicant fits HUD’s definition of homelessness and of a family. The verification of a family’s homelessness is offered through a shelter or social service agency. The shelters use a verification form provided by Transitions. The shelters or agencies fax the verification and then calls Transitions and arranges for a first briefing for the families with a Transitions’ staff representative. This meeting takes about 2 - 3 hours and during this time the staff representative and applicant review program requirements and documentation as required by HUD, WMHA and the Transitions Program. The applicant will be required to sign forms on fraud and HUD and WMHA guidelines (Attachment A). If an applicant or a participant violates the laws and regulations of HUD and/or WMHA, the applicant family could be prosecuted. Always be honest in everything you write down on documentation as misrepresentation of information is considered fraud. The applicant signs releases for police reports, income verification, and drug testing. There is certain documentation that an applicant must provide to the Transitions’ office. All of this information needs to be returned to Transitions before a second briefing can be conducted. Birth Certificates – all members of household Social Security Cards Marriage Licenses Divorce Papers Child Support Order Child Custody Order Active TPO or CPO State Identification Card or Drivers License 7 All adult applicants are required to sign a release so that the Transitions’ worker can send out police reports. The reports are done for the applicant’s last three years of residency. If there are certain violations such as drug charges or violent activities, or a felony an applicant may be deemed ineligible for the Transitions Program. All adult applicants are required to be drug tested (Attachment B) at a designated site and failure to be drug tested makes a family ineligible for the program. Any positive drug test will deem the applicant ineligible for the Transitions Program and other programs through WMHA for three years. When all the conditions are met by the applicant and all verifications are returned, a second briefing is set up with the applicant and the Transitions staff representative. During this time all alcohol assessments must be conducted and all recommendations must be followed. 8 Second Briefing When the second briefing is conducted, the applicant is given information and the necessary paperwork to find housing (Attachment C). The applicant is given the information to determine if a unit is over Fair Market Rent (FMR) and a Request for Tenancy Approval (RTA). The applicant must have the RTA filled out by the manager or owner and two places need signed by the applicant. The applicant must return the RTA to the Transitions office. A staff representative fills out the FMR and Rent Reasonable form and if the rent is acceptable, a call is made to the landlord or owner and a Housing Quality Standard (HQS) inspection is arranged. The staff representative does an inspection on the unit and if the unit passes, Transitions’ lease and contracts need to be signed by the landlord or owner and applicant. The applicant must be given keys to the unit. After all conditions (Attachment D) are met, the applicant becomes a participant. WMHA then pays full Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) to the owner. The lease and contract need to be executed by the Executive Director of WMHA.. At this point a participant is required to attend the next life skill meeting and a Transitions’ case manager sets up a home visit. 9 RENT A participant will be informed of the amount of the pro-rated rent and monthly rent. If the pro-rated rent amount is not over $200, the participant is given until the fifteenth of the next month to have the pro-rated rent paid. If the pro-rated rent is over $200.00 the rent is due upon a week of move-in. The first full amount of rent is due on the first. CHECKS OR MONEY ORDERS ONLY Please put your name, address on the check or money order and make check out to WMHA — Transitions. This information must be on the check or money order so that the person receiving the payment can give the correct person credit. REPAYMENTS A repayment is a written contract between the participant and WMHA to repay a balance of rent. A repay agreement is only used as a last means to assist the participant when there will be undue hardship in paying back the rent. Any participant who requests a repay on a rent balance must have two sessions of money management with a Transitions staff member. If an issue arises with paying the rent, a participant needs to talk to the Transitions Director. The Transitions Director and the Executive Director make the decision on repays. UAP – Utility Assistance Payments If a participant is informed that a UAP will be sent, do not send payment. The UAP is a check that is paid to the participant to assist with the cost of utilities. The UAP checks are sent in the mail after the first of the month. 1 0 Life Skill Meetings – Tuesdays Life skill meetings are classes offered every other Tuesday and one Saturday a month. These classes offer the Transitions’ families an opportunity to learn valuable information to improve areas of their lives. Qualified individuals teach the classes and share their knowledge with the Transitions’ families. The Tuesday classes are taught at the WMHA. The class starts promptly at 6:00 PM. All participants are to adhere to the rules of WMHA. (Attachment E) Any children attending the life skill meetings are to be in a day care class or in Campfire. The children 5 and under are to be taken to the Transitions’ office and placed in the day care room. The children are not to be left unattended in the room. All children are to have a name tag placed upon the back of the child’s shirt. The parent is required to bring all supplies that a child might need for two hour duration. All parents need to make sure that the child is in a clean diaper and has a bottle or a sippy cup. All the items need to be labeled with the child’s name. There are to be no children in the meeting without permission from the staff in charge. The children, who are 6 years of age and older, are to be escorted to the Campfire meeting. The children will be doing activities with a certified Campfire leader and a Transitions’ staff representative. All children are to have a name tag to be placed upon their shirt. If a child has any allergies, this information is to be written on the child’s nametag. 1 1 Life Skill Meetings When Transitions started operating as a program life skill meetings were a major part of the program. In order for the family members to benefit by the program, life skill meetings and other trainings are required. If a participant does not drive or have a car, the family needs to use Transit to be transported to WMHA. Tickets will be provided by Transitions. The Transitions staff will get participants and the children home after the meeting. When special classes are arranged and a participant receives a letter to attend, please attend the special class. If childcare is needed fill out the childcare form (Attachment F) make sure that all necessary information is filled out on the form or the payment to the childcare provider may be delayed. 1 2 POINTS TO REMEMBER: If a participant needs transported to the life skill meeting he/she is required to notify the office within 24 hours. Participants are only allowed to miss two classes in the two year time frame while on program. All participants are required to fill out the life skill form (Attachment G) for any life skill meeting. Another sign in sheet (Attachment H) is required at all WMHA life skill meetings. If a participant works or goes to school Tuesday nights, the individual is required to give written verification to the case manger. If a participant works or goes to school on Tuesday nights, the participant is required to attend the Saturday class. If you or your child has any other activity (school activity or illness) on Tuesday, you are required to attend the Saturday life skill class. All participants are to give the speaker the utmost respect. This means no talking or interfering with the class instruction. Once you miss two classes, a participant will be brought into the office for a hearing. All participants who drive to the meeting are given a stipend for expenses. If another participant transports you, you should offer the money to the driver. If a Transitions staff representative transports you, you will not receive a stipend. 1 3 Other Trainings Offered as Life Skill Classes As a participant may be unable to attend life skill meetings on a Tuesday or a Saturday, the participant will have the opportunity to take classes at other times. The participant may be given an opportunity to meet with a Transitions staff representative for special classes or may be able to take approved classes (Attachment I) through local agencies or schools. In some circumstances, a participant may be required to attend these classes. The classes could include ARCS group meetings and special classes about money management or employment. Any class outside of those offered by the Transitions Program must have prior approval. These life skill classes also include assigned classes outside of the Transitions life skill meetings. The participant must return the life skill attendance sheet to the Transitions office in order to be given credit for the class. . Transitions will not pay childcare (Attachment F) to any household member to watch the child. There will be no authorization for childcare to be paid to the child’s parent. ********************************************************* Traintech Some of the participants are required to attend Traintech classes through Warren County Community Services. The director of Family Services facilitates these classes. This is a three-week, nine evening class. The participants are provided with funding for childcare through the Transitions Program and transportation is provided to the class. If the participants are coming straight to the class from work, a dinner may be provided to the participants. If a participant is required to attend these classes, the participants can be excused if undue hardship would occur from attending these classes. 1 4 HOME VISITS Home visits are required as a provision of the grant and the Transitions Program. The home visits are important as this gives the participant the opportunity to share with the case worker how the participant wants to become self-sufficient. The case manager meets with the participant for the purpose of assessing the individual in their home environment, setting goals and objectives (Attachment J), ensuring that the unit is clean, safe, and HQS are being maintained. Home visits are done on a monthly basis but the case manager has the option to go on more or less home visits as required by the need of the family. No participant is to have more than 60 days between home visits. The staff person is responsible for providing and maintaining written documentation of the visit. The Supportive Services Case Manager maintains a file on each family. The participant is to be given appropriate written notice of a home visit. If the participant fails to be home for two scheduled home visits, a hearing letter of termination prevention may need to be sent to the participant. If the participant fails to attend the scheduled meeting, the participant and landlord are to be sent a termination letter. ***************************************************************** 1 5 Points to Remember If the office staff has a phone number or an emergency number to cancel the home visit, the staff representative will call the participant. If the weather makes traveling a risk, the home visit may be canceled without notice. (Page the Transitions Director for information) If a participant wants to know what time the case manager plans on being at the home, the participant can call the case manager on the day of the home visit. The Transitions staff encourages participants to maintain a file of all papers given to them while a participant on the program. A participant needs to be home for the visit and must give 24 hours notice if the participant is unable to be home. 1 6 Drug and Alcohol Test and Assessment There are two areas of drug and alcohol testing that an individual involved with the program must complete. The Transitions Program was established to identify individuals who may have a substance abuse problem. The identification of this problem may give the applicant or participant an opportunity to change the behavior and become self-sufficient. The first step in identifying a substance abuse problem is through mandatory drug testing at a selected laboratory. All applicants are required to go for testing and the results must be returned to Transitions before a second briefing can be conducted. If a test comes back as positive, then the applicant is ineligible for any of the WMHA programs for three years. ***************************************************************** TIMELINE FOR 2nd BRIEFING A) (B) (C) (D) Test – Go to local recovery center – Recommendations - Transitions 2nd briefing for assessment returned to Transitions (Transitions must have written proof of assessment from Mental Health Recovery Center) 1 7 The second compliance issue involving drug and alcohol assessment that an applicant/participant must complete is an assessment at the local drug and alcohol center. This assessment must be completed by all of the participants on the program. The applicant/participant must physically go to one of the Mental Health and Recovery Centers in Mason, Lebanon, or Springboro and fill out the paperwork. A release needs to be signed so that the report can be sent to the Transitions staff at WMHA. When attending this first meeting proof of income is shown. All questions about this process can be answered by calling the local recovery center. The assessment involves more than one visit. This is a mandatory requirement of the Transitions Program and the entire assessment needs to have been done in order for the second briefing processed. The WMHA – Transitions requires written proof of this meeting. 1 8 HOUSING QUALITY STANDARD INSPECTIONS (HQS) Transitions' applicants/participants are required to have housing inspections. There is an inspection completed before move-in to a unit and one is done 90 days out from the year anniversary of move-in. These inspections are mandated by HUD (Housing & Urban Development). These inspections are done by a certified inspector. The inspection is necessary to assure that the unit is decent, safe, and sanitary. The inspector will walk through the unit and walk on the outside of your unit to look for maintenance issues. All applicants should get an emergency number from the landlord in case of a maintenance problem that needs immediate attention. If the HQS inspection is being done upon move in and the unit passes inspection, the applicant can not move into the unit until lease and contracts are signed. If an individual moves in prior to signing of WMHA lease and contracts, the applicant will be held liable for the rent. Around 90 days before a participant’s move in date, a letter will be sent to the participant with the date of an HQS inspection. 1 9 The responsibility of the participant upon the annual HQS inspection includes: 1. Be present for inspection 2. Reschedule appointment with inspector if unable to be home 3. If unable to be home and somebody else will be there, this individuals must be 18 years or older 4. Allowing the inspector to inspect the unit as needed 5. Housing assistance payments will cease if this inspection is not completed in a timely manner After a participant moves into the unit and a concern with the maintenance arises with the unit you need to call the landlord in writing or by phone. If the problem is an emergency, contact the landlord immediately. Keep a copy of the letter or document time and date of the call and what was told to the landlord. If the issue is not resolved in a timely manner (around three days), call a staff representative at Transitions. The staff will address the problem with the landlord. There will be an HQS inspection set up to check out the problems. ***************************** ***************************** Failure to report income or household composition is considered fraud. ***************************** ***************************** 2 0 BLUE CHANGE FORMS All participants are responsible for reporting income and household composition changes within 15 days. This information needs to be reported on a blue change form (Attachment K) which is at the Transitions office. This blue change needs to be filled out by the participant and needs to be returned to the housing specialist through the mail or returned in person. A call to the Transitions office for a loss or a gain of income or household member(s) does not make it unnecessary to fill out the form. A form needs to be filled out upon each and every change. A participant needs to take the responsibility for the return of a blue change form. If a participant fails to report the change within 15 days, the participant is held responsible for an immediate rent change for the next month. On the change form all blocks need to be filled out and any area that is not applicable needs to be marked as N/A. On this form specify the amount of hours that is worked in a week, if a report of employment is being made. If a participant changes jobs on a constant basis the rent will be adjusted for projected annual income. Rent is to be paid at the office on 990 E. Ridge Drive in Lebanon and the rent must be paid by money order or check. Rent payments are due by the first of each month and must be processed on a business day of work. If rent is placed in the drop box on Saturday or Sunday or a holiday the rent is not entered into the program until the next business day of work. If rent is received after the 5th of the month, a $20.00 late fee will be charged. As rent is match money for the Transitions program, repayments will only be decided with a meeting with all the Transitions staff. 2 1 COMPLIANCE ISSUES In order for the participants to effectively benefit from the Transitions program the following issues are to be followed. If a participant does not adhere to working, going to school, or following through with WCDHS, the participant will be sent a termination of services and a hearing letter for the Transitions program. In order for any participant to increase the income into the home, the participant must follow through with work, school, or WCDHS. SANCTIONS If a participant is using WCDHS as the area of compliance for the family, the participant must avoid being sanctioned by WCDHS. If any participant is sanctioned the participant needs to immediately contact a Transitions worker and come to the office for an appointment. The participant has to get back in compliance with WCDHS. UNEMPLOYMENT If any participant quits a job or is fired, the participant needs to contact the Transitions staff immediately and come to the office for an appointment. The participant has two weeks to get another job. SCHOOLING If a participant quits school or is expelled for any reason, the participant needs to contact the Transitions staff immediately and come to the office for an appointment. The participant has two weeks to get a job or start at WCDHS. If an individual is staying in school, Transitions staff needs all copies of schedules and grades as issued. This is to be done within a week of receipt of schedule and grades. 2 2 HEARING PROCEDURE All participants are given an opportunity to address concerns with the program requirements. If a participant fails to maintain program requirements, a hearing appointment letter is sent to the participant. If a participant fails to attend the meeting or fails to maintain the agreement that is decided upon in the hearing, the participant will be terminated from the program and HAP will cease with 30 days written notice to participant and landlord. A participant can request a hearing in writing if the participant has a compliant regarding the program or a staff representative. Any complaint against the Transitions Director needs to be addressed to the Executive Director of WMHA. The hearing procedures used by the WMHA must comply with the following: 1. The hearing must be conducted by any person or persons designated by the WMHA, other than a person who made the decision under review. This individual will be a part of the hearing. 2. The person who conducts the hearing may regulate the conduct of the hearing in accordance with the WMHA hearing procedures. 3. At the participants own expense, he/she may be represented by a lawyer or other representative. 4. The WMHA and the participant shall be given the opportunity to present evidence and question any witnesses. 5. The person who conducts the hearing shall issue a written decision, stating briefly the reasons for the decision. Factual determinations relating to the individual circumstances of the participant shall be based on the evidence presented at the hearing. A copy of the hearing decision shall be furnished to the participant within ten working days from the date of the hearing. 2 3 ANNUAL RECERTIFICATIONS All participants must live in the unit for a year before requesting to move to a new unit, unless the participant and landlord agree to a mutual termination. Participants are required to meet with the Transitions’ staff 90 days before the anniversary of the year on the program. These meetings are mandated by HUD and staff has no other recourse but to terminate housing assistance if the participant does not come in for the annual recertification. When a participant lives in the unit for eleven months, the participant must give Transitions staff a letter stating that the participant plans to remain in the present unit on a month to month basis or another year. HMIS HUD has been directed by Congress to work with jurisdictions to gather homeless data by 2004. The following reports and materials provide communities with valuable direction and technical assistance resources on strategies to collect information on homeless persons. Congress has indicated that jurisdictions should be collecting an array of data on homelessness, including unduplicated counts, use of services and the effectiveness of the local homeless assistance system. HUD has been directed by Congress to collect homeless data by 2004. (HUD web page http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/homeless/hmis/index.cfm) The HMIS is designed to be flexible, secure and protect client confidentiality. The HMIS allows organizations providing services to the homeless to: Collects individual client information (gender, age, ethnicity, etc.) Collects household information (housing status, services provided, income, etc.) Lets providers dynamically query individual/household data. Allows providers to selectively share client data with other service providers. Produce reports required by funding agencies. The goals of the HMIS goals are to improve the delivery of services to the homeless by: Allowing providers to efficiently organize their client files in a secure, flexible electronic system that protects client confidentiality. Allowing providers to generate reports based on aggregate queries of client data to demonstrate the level of need and gaps in services. (http://hmis.sourceforge.net/) 2 4 REQUEST FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE Transitions has funding for child care, car repairs, car insurance, and some educational training. This assistance is not just given by a verbal request, but a participant must follow the correct procedure (Attachment L). If a financial request is denied, (Attachment M) a letter will be sent. TRANSPORTATION REQUESTS A participant can request financial assistance for transportation to places of employment, but will only be used when no other assistance is available and paying this cost would be an undue financial hardship on the family. This financial assistance is set up for emergency car repairs and insurance. In extreme hardship cases Transitions may assist with car tags. The participant needs to provide a car title in an adult household member's name, a valid driving license, a request for assistance and why help is needed. A budget (Attachment N) must be done with a case manager. Transitions has the appropriate forms for request and for budget. CHILD CARE A participant can request child care with documentation from WCDHS that the agency can not assist with paying. A participant can request financial assistance with child care while seeking employment and in hardship cases where the participant needs to go to counseling and is unable to pay for the child care. In all instances the participant must request the child care in writing and the participant must have the correct child care form from Transitions. A budget must be done with the request and proof must be given of seeking employment or going to counseling. At the present child care financial aid is based on each child - $10.00 up to 5 hours and 1.50 per hour after five hours. 2 5 EMPLOYMENT The reason for the Transitions program is to enable participants to become self-sufficient. One of the many ways that this can be achieved is by increasing educational level or working. All participants will be required to work either on a part-time or full- time basis and/or go to school. If a participant is going through WCDHS and is in compliance with OWF program the participant will be deemed to be in compliance. If a participant is unable to work or go to school temporarily, the participant will be required to follow through with Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation. The participant will be required to attend an employment meeting on a weekly or daily basis with a Transitions case manager. The case worker will establish requirements that must be followed by the participant in order for the participant’s family to remain on Transitions while unemployed. The program receives match money from the participants' rent and money is taken out of the grant to pay the landlords. The participants who fail to follow through with WCDHS will also be sent a hearing letter to address the issue and failure to show for the hearing or follow through with the goals agreed upon at the hearing will be reason for termination of housing assistance payments. When a participant is unemployed, the participant can be required to attend classes at the One Stop. The One Stop provides services needed to find employment. 2 6 A participant may request assistance with work shoes and the amount will be based on need. The request can be for work supplies or educational classes necessary to enhance his/her job qualifications. The participant must get a bill for the needed resource and a letter of request. The participant will need to do a monthly budget with a Transitions staff person. The participant will be required to get a letter from WCDHS stating that this agency is unable to pay for the needed resource. If the participant is seeking to increase the level of education, a request can be made to assist with paying for a child care provider while the participant attends schooling. The child care provider can not be a member of the participant's household, if Transitions is paying for the child care. EDUCATION All participants are to be working or attending some kind of program that will assist them in their goal for self-sufficiency. A participant (adult members) may receive financial assistance with training if the participant takes a class that is relevant to the career that the participant is pursuing and the participant can not receive financial assistance through other funding. All cases are reviewed upon an individual's needs and the reason for request. The participant's amount of financial support will be based upon need and completion of other assisted education training. The participant's children can be assisted with school fees or camp fees if the family's income shows need. The participant must present a letter of request, a copy of bill, complete a budget with a Transitions staff person and be in compliance with the Transitions Program requirements. The housing specialist and the case manager will sign off on the office's request for assistance. 2 7 A participant who has not obtained a GED will be required to pursue one through Adult Basic Literacy Education classes. The participant will be allowed to count these classes as life skills and will need to have the life skill attendance form filled out and returned to the Transitions staff before the participant can be given credit for the class and paid a stipend. A participant who is unable to read will be referred to the Adult Literacy New Readers program. The participant will be able to count these classes the same as the participant who is in GED classes. SECTION 8 Signing up on WMHA Section 8 waiting list is required and necessary. A participant can only be assisted with HAP (Housing Assistance Payments) to the landlord for two years through the Transitions program. At the end of two years, a participant will be required to pay the full rent or get assistance through Section 8 or Public Housing. A participant needs to sign up at 990 East Ridge in Lebanon when the waiting list is open. Participants who are on the waiting list need to do a change form when their situation changes. When a participant reaches eighteen months on the Transitions Program, the participant needs to complete a preference form stating that the participant has 18 months. A participant will only get this preference if the participant has a six month work history and is in compliance with Transitions. 2 8 The Supportive Services Case Manager is responsible for reviewing the participant’s status on the waiting list. The case manager will send out letters to any participant who has not signed up for Section 8 and if the individual fails to sign up within 30 days the participant will be sent a letter to come to the office to address this issue and other issues of noncompliance. If the waiting list is closed a letter will be sent to the participants as soon as the waiting list reopens. Rules – Section 8 Sign up when open if not signed up Absolutely return all information that the waiting list coordinator requests to be returned GO TO ALL APPOINTMENTS REQUESTED OF YOU When you are called in for a meeting to start the process for Section 8 please follow through on process. You will be required to roll to Section 8. When you are told that your time is up on Transitions and you have not followed through with Section 8, you will still be removed from Transitions. The exception to this would be if the process is held up by Section 8. If you have any questions please feel free to ask a Transitions staff representative about the above information. OUT of COMPLIANCE A participant is out of compliance for failure to follow Transitions contracts. A participant needs to stay in compliance with paying the rent, life skill meetings, home visits, office visits, Section 8, drug and alcohol assessments, housing requirements of program and employment and/or education. 2 9 TERMINATIONS and RESCINDS At times participants fail to stay in compliance with the Transitions Program. If any staff member who is assisting the participant believes that the out of compliance issues warrant a meeting with Transitions staff, a hearing letter is sent to the participant. The Housing Specialist will send letters regarding preventions, terminations, and rescinds to the participant and landlord. A termination prevention hearing must be set up with the participant and all Transitions staff. The termination prevention letters need to be signed by the Housing Specialist. If the participant fails to attend the meeting, a termination letter will be sent to the landlord and to the participant. The participant has 10 days to have a written appeal sent to the Transitions or Executive Director. If a decision is made to rescind the termination, the participant must be willing to abide by the rules and follow through with contract rules and make amends within a month. A review of the file will be done at the end of the month to determine if the participant honored the contract. The Housing Specialist sends out another termination for the next month and if the participant fails to follow through, the termination will stand. If the participant abides by the contract rules, a rescind letter will be sent after the month probationary period. 3 0 CHECKLIST FOR TRANSITIONS Goal To Be Date Completed Accomplished Read Manual All Required Papers To Transitions = 2nd Briefing Test At Lab Attended T.I.M.E. WCCC – Career Direction Test Attended Traintech Attended Life Skill Meetings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. First Home Visit Report Job or loss Report Child Support Sign Up On Section 8 First Month’s Paid Rent To WMHA Three Meetings at center 1. Assessment at center 2. Face to Face at center 3. Recommendations Received 3 1 CONTRACT FOR TRANSITIONS CLIENTS WARREN METROPOLITAN HOUSING AUTHORITY Transitions is a self-help educational and employment program designed by Warren Metropolitan Housing Authority. I, ____________________________, ask Warren Metropolitan Housing Authority’s permission to be a Transitions participant. I, ____________________________, agree to the items below to confirm my place as a Transitions participant. 1. I agree to make a maximum commitment of two (2) years to the TRANSITIONS program. This means that the education, the life skills- classes, the meetings and appointments will be first priority in my life. 2. I will reach my goals by my own hard work. I fully understand that only I am responsible for my success in this program. 3. It is to my benefit to obey all the rules and regulations of the TRANSITIONS program. I will be honest enough to ask questions so that I am sure to understand everything. 4. I will bring difficult problems to the attention of my case specialist. I will ask for needed help BEFORE THE PROBLEM BECOMES UNMANAGEBLE OR UNCONTROLLABLE. 5. I will work (to the best of my ability) with all agencies and my case specialist to develop my goal plans and to make them work for my family and me. 6. I will meet as required with my case specialist and representatives. I will attend all appointments on time. In an emergency, when I am running late or unable to my appointment, I will call before my appointment time to make a new appointment time. 7. I will attend all require life-skills meetings to improve my skill levels. 8. I will honor and respect private information shared at group meetings. I will not gossip about others in the TRANSITIONS program. 9. I will give all the required information needed, to be accepted into the program. I will give any information needed to show my right to remain in the TRANSITIONS program. 3 2 Note: Participants who fail to provide requested information into the program in a timely manner, without showing good cause to the satisfaction of the WMHA, will be considered no longer in the need of assistance and will be disqualified for participation. Participants who give false or incomplete information will be disqualified for participation and are subject to prosecution in accordance with State and Federal law. 10. I am now free of drugs and alcohol, and I agree to remain drug and alcohol free. I will cooperate with pre-screening drug testing and random interval drug testing to give absolute proof of my right to remain in the TRANSITIONS program. 11. I agree to cooperate with a Drug and Alcohol Assessment and follow up with recommended program, if necessary. 12. If at all possible I will try to remain pregnancy-free wile I am a participant in the TRANSITIONS program so that my TRANSITIONS goals will get my full attention and energy. 13. I will report, in writing (drop off at office or in the mail) any change in income or family member directly to WARREN METROPOLITAN HOUSING AUTHORITY within ten (10) day of the change. 14. I agree to try to get child support, if appropriate and applicable, with the help provided through the TRANSITIONS program. 15. I further promise that if I came to TRANISITIONS through referral from any Abuse Shelter, I will not allow the abusive person to inter my unit. (See also #26) 16. I will tell WARREN METROPOLITAN HOUSING AUTHORITY if I have been evicted, (forced to move from an apartment, house, and ect.) or broke my lease in any Section 8 or public housing program during the past five (5) years. 17. I will contact WARREN METROPOLITAN HOUSING AUTHORITY by telephone on the first working day of each month to ask if the waiting list for Section 8 is open. 18. I understand that, if I fail to sign up for Section 8 Assistance when the waiting list is open, I may be removed from the TRANSITIONS program. 19. When I am told that the Section 8 is open, I agree to come in and sign up on the Section 8 waiting list on that date. 3 3 20. I agree to attend all appointments and do all that is necessary to receive Section 8 help. 21. I understand that if I fail to attend appointments, provide required documentations, or otherwise jeopardize my ability to receive Section 8 Assistance (other than by achieving an income exceeding the Section 8 income limit) I may be removed from the TRANSITIONS program. 22. Once I am receiving Section 8 help, I agree to keep working towards my contracted goals for the TRANSITIONS program. 23. I agree to meet all terms and conditions of the WMHA Rental Agreement with the Landlord/tenant laws. I agree to report any money that the landlord asks me to and YOU SHALL NOT pay any to the landlord unless first approved IN WRITING by the WHMA. 24. I agree to pay the full portion of my Total Tenant Payment to the WMHA, by check or money order, on the first working day of each month. I understand that my total payment must be RECEIVED BY THE WMHA no later that the fifth (5th) of each month. I understand that there will be a $20.00 late charge if my Total Tenant Payment is not RECEIVED by the 5th of any month. I understand that if my rent is not RECEIVED by the 10th of any month I will be subject to program termination and housing assistance payments will stop. I understand that if I frequently pay my rent after the 5th, I may be subject to termination from the program and housing assistance payments will stop. 25. I understand that if my landlord evicts me for good cause while I am participating in the TRANSITIONS program, I will be removed from the program. 26. I promise that I will have no other person in my unit except those listed on my lease. NOTE: in certain cases ―guests‖ visiting the unit on a frequent recurring basis or for an extended period may be considered as ―living in the unit‖ (This does NOT include children born to participant wile on the program, or children visiting no-custodial parents per court ordered visitation agreements). Applicants with questions or concerns should talk with their WMHA case specialist. 27. I understand that I have to agree to work fulltime hours or go to school. I agree that I can also go to school and work for as a full- time combination. 3 4 28. I understand WMHA and my landlord may give written permission to allow another person to be added to my lease, and I will ask for permission if I need to. (This DOES NOT include children born to me while I am not on the program or children visiting a non-custodial parent per court ordered visitations agreements). NOTE: if an applicant was referred to WMHA through any abuse OR homelessness occurred due to about; WMHA will NOT approve the abuser(s) to be added to the Rental Agreement NOR will be permitted inside the TRANSITIONS unit. 29. I understand that any member of my household, 18 years of age or older, must also sign and cooperate with all agreements and contracts of the TRANSISIONS program. Failure of any family member 18 years of age or older to cooperate will mean removal or the program. 30. I promise that I will not be absent from my education and/or training program except for personal illness or death in the family. If I am doing life skill meetings through another agency I understand that I am to turn in the appropriate form of attendance within a week in order that I get credit for a life skill meeting. 31. I promise no to quit or ―no show‖ for my education and/or training program without first talking to Warren Metropolitan Housing Authority AND REACHING A RESOLUTION OR AGREEMENT. 32. Warren Metropolitan Housing Authority holds the right to change and/or amend this contract, on a date named, with written notice to the signer. 33. Warren Metropolitan Housing Authority holds to the severability of this contract, i.e.: this means that if on item proves illegal or incorrect, it stands alone and does not cause the rest of the contract to also be judged illegal or incorrect. 34. I understand that I have received all the materials and information on the requirements for the TRANSITIONS program. 35. I promise to keep in touch with the TRANSTIONS program (by phone or by mail) to allow for the necessary follow-up for statistics and research. This includes any change in address during the next five (5) years. 36. I will make every effort to cooperate with TRANSITIONS housing quality standard inspections ad be present in the unit. If I am unable to be there, I will arrange for a responsible person, 18 years or older, to represent me during the inspection. 3 5 37. I understand that I must be free of criminal record or of a record of criminal activity against persons, property or drug related convictions. 38. I understand that if evidence is obtained that a family member under the age of 18 is using drugs or alcohol, the family member will be referred to a local rehabilitation, evidence must be provide to the WMHA that the family member is cooperating with the rehabilitation program or my family may be removed for the TRANSITIONS program. 39. I understand that where ordered support may be counted as income, even though it is not received, unless I am actively and verifiable attempting collection, or unless the WMHA determines that pursuing collections would be inappropriate. 40. I understand that I may be removed from the TRANSITIONS program if my family ceases to qualify as family with children, as defined within this plan. An exception may be made, at the discretion of the WMHA, if my family ceases to qualify as a family with children solely because the youngest family member reaches the age of eighteen (18), or do to the circumstances similarly beyond my control. 41. I agree to comply with all terms; conditions, qualification and criteria contained within the TRANSITIONS program Rental Agreement, Contract for Transitions Clients, Client Information on Drug Screening, and supplemental materials. 42. I understand that, failure to comply with and requirement can result with removal from the Program and termination of Housing Assistance. 43. I understand that I will be dropped fro the TRANSITIONS program and housing assistance will stop if I do no meet the above conditions. 44. By my signature below, I attest that I am signing this contract of my own accord and understand my responsibilities and commitment to the Transitions program. 3 6 Warren Metropolitan Housing Authority Transitions AGREEMENT TO WORK AND/OR GO TO SCHOOL Being a participant on the Transitions program includes working, going to school full-time, or staying in compliance with Warren County Department of Human Services. A copy of the self- sufficiency form from WCDHS must be presented to Transitions within 30 days of move-in. I understand that my participation on the Transitions program requires that I work and/or go to school. By my signature below, I agree to be working or going to school within 30 days of my move- in date. If I am not in compliance with the above requirements, a termination letter of services will be sent to my landlord and me. I understand that if I become unemployed or quit school, I have two weeks to get in compliance. My goal regarding working and/or going to school is: __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________ ______________________ Applicant Date _______________________________________ ______________________ Transitions Staff Date 3 7 W A RR E N ME T R O PO L I T A N H O US I NG N UMB E RS PHONE LINES: L E B AN O N: 5 1 3 - 6 9 5 - 1 2 2 6 S P RI NG B O RO / C A R L I S L E / F R AN K L I N: 937-425-1226 M I D DL E T O W N: 5 1 3 - 2 6 1 - 1 2 2 6 CINCINNATI: 513-925-1226 FAX: 513-695-2520 TRANSITIONS CELL PHONE: 513-464-0862 3 8 COUNTY AGENCIES PHONE NUMBERS If a call is needed to any county agency, a call can be made to the county switchboard and your call can be connected. COUNTY SWITCHBOARD PHONE LINES: L E B AN O N: 5 1 3 - 6 9 5 - 1 0 0 0 S P0 RI N G B O RO / C A RL I S L E / F RA N K L I N: 937-425-1000 M I D DL E T O W N: 5 1 3 - 2 6 1 - 1 0 0 0 CINCINNATI: 513-925-1000 To call from your locality, change the 695 to: Springboro, Carlisle, Franklin 937-425-**** Middletown 513-261-**** Cincinnati 513-925-**** Example: Abuse and Rape Crisis Shelter County Line 1107 513-695-1107 937-425-1007 513-261-1107 513-925-1107 3 9 DIRECT LINES TO COUNTY OFFICES Adult Education (ABLE) 695-2987 Mental Health and Recovery Center Lebanon: 695-1131 Mason: 398-2551 Springboro 937-746-4296 Child Support Enforcement 695-1580 Children Services 695-1546 Warren County Community Services 695-2100 (includes HEAP, Head Start, Family Services) Fair Housing 695-1259 Help Me Grow 695-4769 Health Department 695-1228 Warren County Department 695-1420 Human Services One Stop 695-1130 Warren County Career Center 695-2505 Ohio State Extension Office 695-1311 Hope House 513-423-HOPE Interfaith Hospitality Network 934-5250 4 0 ADDRESSES AND PHONE NUMBERS Name: ________________________________________________________ Contact Person: ________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________________ City: ______________________ State: ________ Zip: _________________ Phone Number: ________________________________________________ Fax Number: __________________________________________________ e-mail address: _________________________________________________ Name: ________________________________________________________ Contact Person: ________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________________ City: ______________________ State: ________ Zip: _________________ Phone Number: ________________________________________________ Fax Number: __________________________________________________ e-mail address: _________________________________________________ 4 1 ADDRESSES AND PHONE NUMBERS Name: ________________________________________________________ Contact Person: ________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________________ City: ______________________ State: ________ Zip: _________________ Phone Number: ________________________________________________ Fax Number: __________________________________________________ e-mail address: _________________________________________________ Name: ________________________________________________________ Contact Person: ________________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________________________ City: ______________________ State: ________ Zip: _________________ Phone Number: ________________________________________________ Fax Number: __________________________________________________ e-mail address: _________________________________________________ 4 2 FRAUD NOTICE DEAR RENTAL ASSISTANCE APPLICANT/ TENANT: The Department of Housing and Urban Development is seriously concerned about fraud in the Public Housing/ Section 8 /Transitions programs and asked us to give this reminder to all families in the program. Abiding by these simple rules will help you stay in the program and help the program run fairly and honestly. Not following these rules could result in referral of the matter for investigation, your termination from the program, and possible criminal charges filed against you. When we ask you for information about your income and your family size, be certain you inform the agency of all income and family members. This information is used to ensure that you are paying the right amount of rent and that your dwelling is the correct size for your family. Also, if at any time during the year your income or family size changes, you are required to notify this agency immediately. Failure to do so could result in termination from the program. It is very important that you report immediately, in writing, all changes and any change in the number of people living with you. We remind you of your responsibility to report any changes in order to remain in compliance with all regulations so you do not jeopardize your rental assistance. Another important regulation which you must adhere to is that your rent payment to your landlord must not be more than the amount that Warren Metropolitan Housing Authority has put in writing for you to pay. Payments made to landlords on the side are illegal. We urge you to comply with your responsibilities, so you do not jeopardize your housing assistance. If you know of any cases of fraud or if you have any questions on fraud, please feel free to contact the office. All information is strictly confidential. You do not have to give your name. I have read and fully understand the information above.
"Manual - Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio"