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BHCS EveryOne Home Fund

Introduction  

The Housing Services Office operates the BHCS EveryOne Home Fund. This revolving fund was created to provide a flexible source of financial assistance to help BHCS consumers and their families move out of homelessness into stable housing of their choice and to prevent them from becoming homeless. The Fund is intended to help individual consumers obtain and maintain long-term, stable housing. In order to maintain the funding source, recipients are encouraged to give back to the EveryOne Home Fund in order to assist others who may be in need.

Who Qualifies   

Applicants for assistance must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. An adult with a serious mental illness or child with a serious emotional disorder with an identified on-going BHCS-funded specialty mental health service provider. Only County or BHCS-contracted mental health service providers with the capacity and expectation of ongoing consumer follow-up for at least one year are eligible to assist applicants to access these funds Full service partnership programs and ACT-level service teams are not eligible to access this fund because their budgets include flexible funds that can be used for a similar purpose.
  2. The individual or household that is currently homeless or at-risk of homelessness:
    • Homeless means living on the streets, or lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence. This includes shelters, transitional housing, and motels and living situations in which the individual has no tenant rights.
    • At risk of homelessness includes: Individuals discharged from institutional settings with no identifiable place to reside upon discharge: Hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric health facilities (PHF), skilled nursing facilities (SNF) with a certified special treatment program for the mentally disordered (STP), crisis or transitional residential settings, local city or county jails, mental health rehabilitation centers (MHRC), foster care or juvenile hall.

      Individuals temporarily placed in Residential Care Facilities upon discharge from one of the institutional settings cited above;

      Individuals who have been assessed and are receiving services through BHCS and who have been deemed to be at imminent risk of homelessness, as certified by the BHCS Housing Services staff. This may include individuals about to be evicted from their own apartments or doubled up with others and being forced to leave.
  3. The assistance is expected to help stabilize the individual or household in housing of their choice over the long-term.
  4. The service provider and applicant make a commitment to work together to achieve long-term housing stability. This includes developing a housing stability plan and budget with the applicant and may also include periodic home visits, regular contact, and working relationships with the property manager to address housing-related concerns.
  5. The applicant agrees that the service provider will provide the Housing Services Office with information about the applicant’s housing situation and stability through six and twelve month check-in calls after receiving assistance.

Eligible Expenses  

Eligible expenses include:

  • Unpaid, late or back rent to prevent eviction/loss of housing;
  • Security deposits and first month rent to assist with move-in;
  • Short-term rental assistance or temporary housing assistance to prevent imminent homelessness or end homelessness while more permanent housing is obtained;
  • Longer-term rental assistance for clients enrolled in the BHCS or other sub-payee program with pending Social Security funds.
Payments from the EveryOne Home Fund are made to the housing provider, landlord, or property management company.

What are the Assistance Limits?   

No formal financial limit exists for this program and typical amounts are related to the monthly cost of housing. The average amount of financial assistance per applicant or household is $1,100/year. This average amount may be considered in evaluating requests.

How are Requests Approved?   

Eligible service providers must submit a completed application and signed assistance agreement for the use of these funds on behalf of a particular applicant. Applicants must help develop the application, and review and sign the Housing Assistance Agreement.

Applications must include copies of rental or lease agreements and documentation of any additional expenses owed, such as back rent. If back rent is owed, the service provider and applicant should provide a detailed account of what happened in the past and what steps will be taken in the future to avoid the risk of homelessness. For applicants who are awarded Section 8 housing vouchers or subsidized housing, additional documentation and explanation of efforts to remedy the situation with the Housing Authority prior to approval may be required.

If an applicant’s situation is uncertain or unusual, or if the provider is unfamiliar with the Fund, it is recommended that the provider contact the Housing Services Office prior to preparing an application for assistance to determine whether or not the request is appropriate and eligible for consideration.

Within 2 - 4 working days of submitting a completed application, the provider will be notified if the application has been approved and under what, if any, conditions. Approvals will be based on the principles outlined above with extra value given to requests where short-term financial assistance is likely to a have a positive long-term, measurable impact.

How are Housing Fund Payments Made   

Once a request has been approved, the service provider or landlord must provide the necessary documentation from the landlord for a payment to be made. This includes an original invoice from the property owner (faxed copies are not accepted), a W-9 form and a vendor update form. Without these documents from the landlord, property management company or housing provider, the BHCS Finance Department staff cannot issue payment.

Once all the Fund paperwork is received, checks are typically provided within five (5) business days. Checks may be mailed to the property owner or held at the Housing Service Office for pick up by the service provider. All funds are issued to eligible third parties, typically the landlord, property management agencies or hotel/motel operators. Funds are never paid directly to applicants.

What is Giving Back?   

The best way to ensure that the Housing Fund will be able to continue to serve persons in need is if those who receive assistance agree to give back to the Fund. Recipients are encouraged to give back if they are able.

Recipients who opt to give back commit to making a small monthly contribution to the Fund when they sign the Assistance Agreement. During the first year after receiving assistance, recipients will receive quarterly acknowledgements of their payments and reminders. These reminders may be sent to the service provider, the recipient, or both, as elected by the recipient. After one year, reminders will cease for persons who are not contributing. Recipients who agree to make contributions may revise their giving back agreement at any time.

Applicants may make contributions through a check or money order made to: “BHCS EveryOne Home Fund” and sent to the Housing Services Coordinator by QIC Code, personal drop-off by service provider staff, or through the regular mail. Contributions can be made via payee service deductions if the applicant is utilizing BHCS payee services.

Forms & Applications   

EveryOne Home Fund Policy (PDF)

EveryOne Home Fund Application (PDF)

EveryOne Home Fund Application (Fillable PDF)

EveryOne Home Landlord/Property Management Instructions and Forms (PDF)


Housing Services Office, Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services
Attn: Arlene Albury
1404 Franklin St., STE 200; Oakland, CA 94612
QIC Code: 26201
Tel: (510) 891-8930; Fax: (877) 341-5867; everyonehome@acbhcs.org

This program is part of the EveryOne Home campaign to end homelessness in Alameda County:www.everyonehome.org