IHS program helps people on the verge of losing housing - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

IHS program helps people on the verge of losing housing

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Barbara Heimrich's notepad is full of phone numbers, all programs she's contacted for help.

"I've got a a long list that I can't qualify for at all because I'm not homeless yet," said Heimrich.

She's lived in her Waikiki apartment going on four years. Injuries prevent the 57-year-old from finding work.  Her only income is a Social Security check.

"That totals $753 per month. I'm still $28 short just for rent. That's including nothing else.  I still have electric.  I still have a phone," says Heimrich.

Heimrich says to pay for everything she would need an additional $250 a month.

"I could actually live on that.  Barely but I could live," said Heimrich.

"Anyone who is at risk of being homeless that is currently in an apartment or housing can call IHS directly.  We do have a full housing office that can help prevent your homeless situation," said director of community relations for the Institute of Human Services Kimo Carvalho.

Carvalho says over the past year the city funded Homeless Prevention and Rapid Rehousing Program has helped 550 people.

"In many of these cases a lot of clients are two or three months back due in rent.  Sometimes they've received an eviction notice but they are in a place.  We want to leverage that opportunity to make sure we can keep them in a unit," said Carvalho.

Sometimes IHS will help a tenant with rent money. Case workers will often work directly with the landlord to negotiate more affordable lease. Carvalho says each situation is different.  

For Heimrich time is running out.

"I'm looking at November 1st right now," said Heimrich.

But she remains hopeful IHS can help her find a solution will work for her.

If you are in a similar situation call the Institute for Human Services at 808-447-2800 and ask for the Housing Program's Office.

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