Rental assistance available to SC families suffering financial setbacks

South Carolina News

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) — Rental assistance is now available to some South Carolina families suffering from financial setbacks due to the pandemic.

Now those folks are getting some local help signing up online.

Advocates from SC Stay Plus have camped out at the Beaufort library all week long. So far 52 people have come in for help. People like Teresa.

“My husband passed away during the pandemic and I couldn’t work,” Teresa said. “And my brother, our mom passed away, his mom my adopted mom. And then he had a stroke and couldn’t work, so he needed help too.”

That’s why Teresa and her Brother Darryl came to the Beaufort Library to get some help before it’s too late.

“It means a lot because you will be out of electricity you will be evicted,” said Teresa.

SC Stay Plus is a program designed just for people like Teresa. People who COVID-19 has affected by taking away their jobs, their money and leaving them with no place to turn.

“We can pay up to 12 months of back rent and an additional 3 months into the future,” says Justin Milstead, an SC Stay Plus Advocate. “And then we will get them caught up with their utility bills or whatever bill they are behind on.”

“You do have to show you have had a COVID-related impact. Whether you were sick or terminated from work you have to provide documentation proof of income proof of lease and rent owed,” Milstead added.

Advocates for the program are all across the state looking up information, giving folks the help finding documents they need, and in some cases, even more.

“We can actually sit down and have a face-to-face conversation with an applicant who might have had challenges with something as simple as technology,” says Shawntey Wallace-Johnson, an SC Stay Plus Advocate.

“It is easy for you or I to go to our smartphone and upload a document but we are experiencing individuals who are not tech-savvy and uploading the documents is a challenge that will prevent them from completing the application process.”

A few minutes which could be worth so much more to folks who feel like they have nowhere else to turn.

“When someone comes in you can tell they are worried they aren’t really sure where they are going to help from,” explains Justin. “and the general sense when applicants walk out, they have a little bit of hope.”

“You feel like you are actually making a difference in a community helping the citizens of South Carolina,” said Shawntey.

Those representatives will be here all next week during regular library hours to try and help you find what documentation you may need how to log on to begin and how to get back on your feet.

If you would like to learn more or fill out the application for help. just go to https://schousing.com/home/SC-Stay-Plus

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