PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — At Jewish Family Services Danielle Hartman is used to seeing the need for social services up close.
“Providing everything from food, to financial assistance to counseling, affordable counseling to case management and information referrals,” Hartman said.
Hartman says one of the biggest needs is housing assistance. She says in the last year they’ve helped more than 100 families in Palm Beach County.
“Before the pandemic we might help a family with one month’s rent,” she explained. “Now, we are helping them with two, three, sometimes four months' rent.”
Totaling to $183,000 in relief through donations and CARES Act funding.
“You know we are bracing for surges when stimulus funds run out or moratoriums cease,” Hartman said. “So, we are always bracing for what’s going to happen next.”
“Right now, we are seeing a lot of tenants facing evictions despite the moratorium,” Tequisha Myles said.
Myles is the supervising attorney of housing programs at legal aid and is on the board for Adopt-A-Family.
“The moratorium is extended until March, but their leases have expired,” she said. “So, the moratorium has impacted whether their leases will be continued, and landlords have the ability not to continue the leases.”
According to a recent survey by the U.S. Census Bureau out of the nearly 3 million renters in Florida more than 20 percent are behind on payments. Both Hartman and Myles say more affordable housing is desperately needed.
“Not having the ability to come up with first, last and security and be able to move onto the next place and I just worry about what happens to our housing market,” Myles said.
If you are need of assistance visit https://ralesjfs.org/.