Families who find themselves facing homelessness now will have another chance to find a new place to live thanks to a new partnership between Buncombe County Department of Social Services and Eblen Charities’ Neal Hanks Sr. Housing Assistance Program.

The new Emergency Relocation Program will  be working with the Buncombe County Housing Trust Fund to provide additional assistance to those in our community in offering housing stabilization to families and individuals who are at

risk of losing their homes or are already homeless due to unsafe living conditions caused by fire or other damage.

The Buncombe County / Eblen Emergency Relocation Program will provide first month’s rent, security and utility deposits, and moving costs up to $1,500 per family.

Additional assistance will be provided through other Eblen programs to make sure our families are able to get what they need during the difficult time of transition.

There is nothing more important in the numerous outreaches and partnerships of  Eblen Charities than helping  families stay together and helping ensure that they are safe, warm, and have a safe place to live.

For a number of years,  Eblen Charities has been honored to be part of a wonderful and unique outreach that has helped thousands of families stay in their homes  and not face eviction and be turned out into the streets to find shelter.

Through its many programs and partnerships, the Neal Hanks, Sr. Housing  Assistance Program assisted nearly 1,800 families remain in their homes with the piece of mind and heart so that the homelessness they were facing can be forgotten.

None of this would be possible without the kindness, generosity, and innovation of Neal Hanks and those at Beverly-Hanks & Associates Realtors and the ongoing partnerships with Buncombe County and Asheville City.

In addition to this year’s new Emergency Relocation Program, the Neal Hanks Sr. Housing Assistance Program has expanded during the past few years to include innovative and ongoing partnerships with Buncombe County and Asheville City to serve more families during these difficult economic times.

Through the guidance and support of  Buncombe County’s Planning Department’s Donna Cottrell and Cynthia Berkowitz, a security deposit program was added last year to our rental assistance outreach that has opened the doors to assist more individuals and families who may have the means to pay their monthly rent but lack the funds they need to pay their security deposit to move into their home.

We have also entered a new partnership with the Asheville Housing Authority  last year to assist clients in finding secure housing, and thanks to Anthony Goodson, Director of Assisted Housing, the often lengthy process was streamlined.

Thanks to this partnership, once a home is found, Eblen Charities is able to continue to work with the families to help make sure they can remain in their homes and assist them with any difficulties they may have.

Thanks to a City of Asheville grant the Neal Hanks Sr. Rental/Mortgage Assistance has been able to expand its work with Buncombe County and Asheville City Schools in serving students who are homeless or who may be at risk of losing their homes. By being able to provide as much as three-months of support, students and their families not only are able to remain in their homes but are able to remain in their own schools without having to change school districts.

As the need in our community continues and as more and more families are finding themselves being battered by the current economy, continuing to provide this assistance can be a daunting task at best, but through the Neal Hanks Sr. Memorial Rental/Mortgage Assistance Program hundreds of families still have a home.

Named in honor of community leader and businessman Neal Hanks Sr. the program serves as a living memorial for a gentleman who was known throughout our area as much for his compassion and love for the community as he was for the real estate company he built.

Our heartfelt gratitude to the Buncombe County Commissioners, Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene, Assistant Buncombe County Manager Mandy Stone, Mayor Terry Bellamy, the Asheville City Council, Anthony Goodson, Donna Cottrell, Cynthia Berkowitz, Emily Walters, Kate Perrotta, and Robin Merrill for all of their assistance.

For more information on the outreaches of the  Neal Hanks, Sr. Housing Assistance Program please contact Elizabeth Robinson, Brenda Wheeler, Sandy Kennedy, Ginny Eldreth, Amanda Putnam, or Philippe Rosse at the Eblen Charities at 828-255-3066 or visit our website at www.eblencharities.org. For more information on Beverly-Hanks & Associates, please visit their website at www.beverly-hanks.com.

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