In case you weren’t aware, right now there is a lot of help available to those who have fallen behind on mortgage, rent and utilities because of COVID, or on rent and/or utilities because of financial setbacks during the pandemic. LSS is one of several agencies processing these applications and there is a huge backlog. We and so many others are working diligently to get the help out there to those who need it and who qualify.
However, one of the things we struggle with is when to wear our counselor hats and when to wear our application processor hats. As counselors, we try to look at the big picture and find longer term solutions. When we are reviewing applications, we can see the patterns and circumstances that we have seen in so many of our clients. However, those facing eviction or foreclosure are in crisis and want us to just be application processors. So sometimes we have to take off our counselor hats for a while and just get the applications done. That said, we still want those people to know that we are here for them once they are no longer in crisis.
For many of those seeking help, they are now working and doing okay, just having a hard time catching up. And many of them can get help. But some are still struggling to find work or to deal with longer term effects of COVID, both medical and financial.
For the bulk of the funding, there is a limit to how long it will be available. And so those who may continue to need help after that will have a tough transition if they have not begun to prepare for that day. For renters, if they qualify for assistance, we can pay the rent ahead a few months. That takes a lot of the pressure off, at least for a short time. So that’s an excellent opportunity to try to get caught up on other things or to work on a plan for how things will go after the assistance is no longer available. That’s where we get to put on our counselor hats again.
If I could tell clients one thing, it’s that they don’t have to wait until things are terrible before they come in for help. We can often work with them to avoid or delay a crisis, if we can get the plan in motion sooner. If you know the days of difficulty are coming, let’s talk about it now, and try to help you come up with a strategy for dealing with those days, and then maybe they won’t be so bad after all.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mortgage, rent or utility payments because of COVID or rent and utilities during the pandemic because of other financial difficulties, consider applying for assistance. The link to apply is https://sdcareshousingassistance.communityos.org/sdcares2021 Just be aware it may take a while that request gets worked on.
Even if we can’t help with direct assistance, we may be able to help with coming up with a plan to help restore some normalcy and peace of mind. Contact us at 1-888-258-2227 or at www.lsssd.org.
Remember, we all need help sometimes.
Written by Sylvia Selgestad, Financial Counselor and Educator
Photo credit: barbarawade.com
LSS Center for Financial Resources
Consumer Credit Counseling Service | Housing Resources | Sharpen Your Financial Focus | Financial Fitness Education
705 East 41st Street, Suite 100 | Sioux Falls SD 57105-6047
605-330-2700 or 888-258-2227
Strengthening Individuals, Families & Communities