Jul 092011

In today’s world it’s very hard for low-income families, in particular, to make ends meet.  There have been many times, where I have seen families literally leave their dwelling to live out of their cars because they couldn’t afford the housing.  What many of these people don’t know is that there is help via low income housing programs to help with this living expense.

That being said, where do these people turn to find out about these programs?  Back in 1986, my son’s father walked out on us, literally on the day of our son’s second birthday party…never to return.  I was left with a disabled child to care for…left to figure out how we were going to survive.  I had quit my teller position of 8 yrs – just two months prior – to care for our son full-time (my ex-husband had kept his because he made a lot more money as a firefighter).  So there I sat panic stricken…wondering what was I going to do? I knew I could go to Health and Human Services to apply for what was then called TANF and food stamps – and I did.  These programs were a big help, but certainly not enough to cover all living expenses.  In addition, the child support I received was counted towards our assistance…so that didn’t help me much either.

Then in 1991, I learned of our city’s local housing authority.  They offered a housing program for low income individuals and families.  Let me tell you, I was on it like you know what!  I applied, was found income eligible and placed into a handicap accessible unit within two months.  Finally, there was a light at the end of the tunnel – but only because I had discovered this assistance on my own.   Health and Human Services never once mentioned any low income housing programs; nor did our city’s Health and Human Services ever tell me about any housing assistance when I had gone to them for help to pay the rent. And back then, there was no Internet to turn to.   

However today there is the Internet.  And today, there are several programs out there to help low income individuals/families – especially low income housing programs.  Lowincome.org is one of many sites out there however this site actually cuts through the chase of finding out about where one can find low income housing.  The site lists over 50,000 low income housing units including pictures, detailed descriptions, and who to contact.  You will also find other low income programs available on the site, such as link-up (a telephone service).  And, the site also touches base on how to find college funds for low income students and how to deal with foreclosure amongst other helpful topics for low income households.  

Whether or not you have a need today for low income housing or other income based programs – some day you may.  It certainly doesn’t hurt to be informed.    

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