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Program helps tenants with rent

The Salvation Army is coordinating an effort to help those in need pay their rent.

The Tenant Based Rent Assistance program is funded by a state grant from the Department of Commerce. Low income residents in St. Croix and Pierce counties are eligible with priority given to those with mental health issues and/or chemical dependency and full-time family caregivers.

Salvation Army director Duana Bremer said the program allows individuals to live in housing of their choice. Approximately 30 percent of a resident's income must go for rent and utilities. The program offers the assistance for 18 months and it also includes the services of a case manager to help residents manage their finances and obligations including employment. Every effort is made to help participants find employment in the communities where they live.

The grant is for $100,000 annually with 35 families currently being served, most in St. Croix County. There are still some funds available in St. Croix County but more money is available in surrounding counties if people are willing to relocate.

Bremer said they are also looking for volunteers for a family mentoring program that would match families with similar interests to TBRA families who could use some additional support. The idea of the program is to have the families spend time together on activities they both enjoy while providing guidance and support. Mentors are asked to make a one-year commitment.

For more information about TBRA or on the family mentoring program, contact Bremer at Grace Place, (715) 247-2944.