Beth-El Center, TEAM, Inc. join to aid COVID-impacted households

The Beth-El Center cares for and meeting the needs of those experiencing hunger and homeless in the greater Milford area.

The Beth-El Center cares for and meeting the needs of those experiencing hunger and homeless in the greater Milford area.

Contributed photo

MILFORD — Beth-El Center, a homeless shelter and soup kitchen in Milford, is partnering with TEAM Inc., a nonprofit human services agency in the Valley, to provide housing services and financial aid to individuals who’ve experienced hardship as a result of the COVID pandemic.

Supported by funding through TEAM from a Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) via the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this short-term housing assistance program will provide up to 15 households who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic with housing assistance, financial aid and case management services.”

“This program helps folks who are experiencing hardship as a result of COVID to find housing and it provides financial aid to help them make their rental payments,” said Ruth Menard, Beth-El Center Director of Programs and Facilities.

“Beth-El Center’s staff will work with tenants for six months to make sure they’re utilizing necessary resources that will help them maintain the housing,” Menard added. “The goal is for tenants to achieve self-sufficiency, sustain a healthy relationship with their landlords and to continue to stay housed long term.”

TEAM, Inc., who has an ongoing contract with CSBG, received additional funding for this emergency relief effort. TEAM chose Beth-El Center as their partner to execute the program and provide the housing assistance, case management services and administer the rental financial aid.

According to Jillian Ruisi, TEAM Director of Support Services, “Through the aid provided in this program, we’re able to help tenants with their security deposit plus first and last month’s rental payments. The program also provides landlords and property owners with a tenant liaison and support from an established community partner.”

To be eligible, households who have been negatively impacted by COVID must be experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk, demonstrate income at or below 200 percent Federal Poverty Level and live in Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Milford, Orange, Oxford, Seymour, Shelton or Woodbridge.

Landlords in these areas who are interested in partnering in this program will benefit by working with tenants who have secured housing funds including monthly rent, security deposits and utility assistance.

More information about this housing assistance program for tenants and landlords can be found at www.bethelmilford.org or by calling Beth-El’s Housing Case Manager Alisa Wilson at 203-876-0747.