BALDWIN — FiveCAP currently has funds available to help Lake County residents with an upcoming rent or mortgage payment or provide funds for a first month payment to those who are moving into a new home.

“Providing assistance before someone falls behind can be the key to them keeping their home,” said FiveCAP Community Support Worker Dawn Summers. “We have this money to help people stay current with their rent or mortgage payments, provided they meet the list of stipulations.”

The program, which is funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), requires residents provide a documented emergency that explains why they are in need of assistance with the payment. Summers said this can be an event such as a medical emergency, an unexpected household expense or loss of employment.

“FEMA does require there is income coming in and proof that the rent or mortgage payment is affordable going forward,” Summers added. “This funding is to help people keep current for 30 days going forward.”

Application for the program must be made sometime in the five days preceding the rent or mortgage payment due date and it doesn’t cover deposits for new housing, only payments for established residences.

The money is part of FEMA’s Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP), which is designed to help prevent and combat homelessness. It is distributed to local agencies to assist the specific needs of each community.

“We have so many people here in Lake County who are one emergency away from falling behind,” Summers said. “For many of these people, once they fall behind they have no means of catching up. I’m really pleased this funding came through so we can help prevent this from happening.”

To qualify for the program, a household must be at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $23,340 for a household of one and increase by $8,120 for each additional person living at the residence.

To apply, residents need to provide documentation of their emergency as well as 30 days proof of income and a valid ID as well as Social Security cards for everyone residing in the home. 

Applications can be made in person at FiveCAP’s Lake County office, located at 2476 West 44th St. in Baldwin. For more information, contact Summers at (231) 745-4617.