Manual - Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio

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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.

				
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