The Mayor and Council of the City of Hinesville were informed on how some of the America Rescue Plan funds would be dispersed during their June 17 meeting. Donita Gaulden presented a homeless prevention services program funded by the ARP. She said the City of Hinesville anticipates allocating $100,000 toward homeless prevention to residents adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Services include providing emergency shelter to those experiencing homelessness while working with the Homeless Prevention Program to access other
assistance resources, rental or mortgage assistance to prevent eviction/foreclosure and retain stable, housing and utility assistance to prevent disconnection of electricity, water, or gas service. In order to meet the emergency shelter criteria applicants must meet the Housing and Urban Development’s definition of homeless under:
Category 1: Literally homeless
Category 2: Imminent risk of homelessness
Category 4: Fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence.
Gaulden said people seeking emergency shelter through the Hotel/Motel Voucher Program are required to complete a Coordinated Entry Application and Assessment to determine eligibility for the Rapid Re-housing program. Assessments will be completed in order of application submittal. You can apply in person at the City’s Homeless Prevention Program, 115 East MLK Jr. Drive, Hinesville GA 31313 or online: http://www.cityofhinesville.org/521/Homeless-Client-Services
These allocated ARP funds may also be used for rental assistance. The lease holder must apply (joint leases require both parties to be included on application) and the home must be located within the City of Hinesville. Applicants need to have copies of past due rent/eviction notice issued by property owner/management and the financial hardship must be related to loss of employment or reduction in hours worked. Applicants must also bring their photo ID and a copy of their lease. Applications are only being accepted in person at City Hall.
Homeowners may also apply for mortgage assistance if their home is within city limits and they can show proof of a past due notice issued by their mortgage company. Application may be filled out at City Hall. Photo ID and proof of financial hardship required at time of application.
Utility assistance is also being provided to applicants who can show proof of financial hardship and a disconnection notice issued by utility company.
Gaulden then present to Mayor and Council the city’s Non-profit Public Service Program funded by the ARP.
She said the city anticipates allocating $150,000 to local non-profit organizations. Only IRS designated 501 (c) 3 entities located within the city and in operation as of March 1, 2020 would qualify. Applications will be accepted online and will require a service that responds to the COVID-19 health emergency.
The application period will be open for a period of 15 days and advertised in a variety of formats. Grant funding must be used for the provision of public services including but not limited to food, housing, homelessness, transportation, and education assistance. Gaulden said up to 25 percent of funds may be used for operational costs like payroll, rent, mortgage, utility and COVID mitigation
The City of Hinesville is also planning to allocate $250,000 of the ARP to provide
economic recovery grants in order to assist the local small business community.
For-profit businesses located in the City of Hinesville and in operation as of March 1, 2020 with documented loss of income are eligible. Previously awarded businesses must have satisfactorily filled all grant requirements to be
considered for funding. Application must be submitted online and the submission Business License and Income Tax returns is required. Grant funding must be used for business payroll, rent, mortgage, utility, or COVID mitigation.
Also, during the meeting, the city was presented with the Champion of the Year Award, by Dr. Karen Bell, Executive Director of Keep Liberty Beautiful. The award was for the city’s participation in this year's Great American Cleanup. The city had the greatest number of participants volunteer to collect trash on their roadways. In total, over 1,000 pounds of trash was collected, according to Public Relations Director Heather Teter.
Download the City meeting book below.