Housing Support - Housing Assessment Resource Agency (HARA)

BWCA Housing Support is designed to provide outreach, housing search, rental assistance, resource advocacy and supportive services to homeless and at-risk populations.

 As the HARA, BWCA provides centralized intake and housing assessment for individuals and families who are homeless or who are at risk of homelessness; assisting families with rental costs, eviction notices and/or utility shut-off notices, as well as information and/or referral. Please Note: BWCA is not able to help all people experiencing a housing crisis with immediate housing access.

 What to expect when seeking support:

 Intake: The initial point of contact includes prioritizing households based on the severity of their housing crisis and targets the most appropriate response. The intent is to discern primary need and the urgency of the need.

  • All households will be screened either by phone or in person
  • Households with immediate safety issues will be re-directed appropriately (Domestic Violence or 911)
  • Intakes are required to determine primary issues
  • If the intake concludes there is not an immediate housing need (but other needs are present), households will be referred to the appropriate resource to address the need (e.g. food assistance through DHHS, mental health through CMH, etc.), and a housing plan is not necessary.
  • If the intake concludes there is an immediate housing need, households will proceed to a full housing assessment or be scheduled for a housing assessment within two business days if possible.
  • Sharing of participant information – an executed sharing QSOBAA is required to allow sharing within HMIS between agencies.

Housing Plan: A housing plan must be completed for all individuals that receive a housing assessment and are determined eligible for services. (If the household does not meet program eligibility, e.g. over income, a housing plan does not need to be done). The Housing Plan is intended to be a guide for both the household and the service agencies. Housing Plans must be framed to include:

  • A focus on obtaining or maintaining housing;
  • Defined goals, outcomes and timelines, as well as documentation of frequency of meetings for follow-up;
  • An identification of needed community resources; and
  • Referrals to mainstream services as needed.

 Required Documentation:

  •  Current Michigan ID with residency in St. Clair County for all adults
  •  Social Security Numbers for all members in the household including children
  • Birth Certificates (All members)
  • Homeless verification – Shelter verification
  • DHHS State Emergency Relief Determination (SER)
  • Court Ordered eviction notice/shut off notice
  • Proof of Income

 Please have documents ready before screening if possible. If all documents are not present, we may still conduct the screening, however determinations will reflect the lack of proper documentation and will result in disqualifying the client from programs until all documents are turned in. All programs through Blue Water Community Action HARA are for St. Clair County residents only.