Back on Their Feet, Back in the Heat

By Laura Ann Sills - email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Being evicted from your rental or having your power turned off is scary at any time, but imagine it happening during this record breaking cold wave. A grant given to Russell County, AL couldn't have come at a better time.

The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Rehousing program, HPRP, has a simple mission.

"Do to their situation, they might have gotten burnt out, so we try to help their situation immediately.  These funds are to keep them from being out in the elements," says Johnnie Robinson from the House of Restoration.

The House of Restoration in Phenix City, AL fought for the $1,000,000 grant and is now bringing relief to the county.

Case Manager Cherrika Ashford understands just how important her work is, especially in this cold snap, "right now is a tough time in America.  People are suffering, they are getting through unemployment, or just for off their feet, so this program is to help them get started."

HPRP opened the application process on Monday, January 4th.  In just 2 days HPRP has already had over three hundred applications and the phone keeps ringing.

"We will start negotiating with power companies, land lords, along with residents to make sure that their situation stabilizes," says Robinson.

The application deadline is this Friday, January 8th.

If you would like more information, or want to apply, call 334-480-8894 or 334-480-8895.

There are other options for those facing the cold.  In Columbus, The House of Mercy's doors are open 24/7 and they offer 3 meals a day.  In Phenix City, The House of Restoration shelters men, women, and children.

For utility and rental assistance, The Salvation Army provides for Muscogee and Chattahoochee Counties in GA  and Russell County, AL.

House of Mercy: 706-322-6463

House of Restoration: 334-214-5522

Salvation Army: 706-327-0275

©2009 WTVM. All rights reserved.