A new grant means one Bluffton-based organization can help homeless families find and afford a home faster.
Family Promise of Beaufort County, which shelters homeless families, has received a $65,000 grant from the S.C. Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity. The money will be used for the organization's Rapid Rehousing, which helps families settle into new homes soon after they find employment.
Family Promise director Elliott Brown said the grant will assist families with security, utility and other deposits, as well as rent for about three months. After that, the family can receive coaching on budgeting and other needs.
"We'll hopefully get (the families) to realize they have more options than they thought and that there are people out there -- both agencies and individuals -- to help them," said caseworker Kate Oresic, who oversees the program.
Currently, Family Promise can house four families at a time for as long as 90 days at area churches -- 16 families a year, Brown said. The families rotate to a new church each week, and congregation members donate food and other supplies.
With Rapid Rehousing, five additional families can be helped annually.
Brown said the goal is to help 30 to 40 families a year by 2015.
Families can pick their homes. Oresic said she's identifying landlords and property management companies to work with the program.
"I'm hoping (the landlords) will see how they can be a part of a family's success in terms of stable housing," Oresic said.
The organization hopes to place its first family in a home next month, Brown said.