COLORADO SPRINGS — The Salvation Army in Colorado Springs is ready to offer more rental assistance in preparation of the eventual lifting of eviction moratoriums.
The Salvation Army began began its rent assistance program back in April as people began losing jobs and other sources of income due to the pandemic.
“Quickly, we just allocated our own money,” Colorado Springs Salvation Army Captain Doug Hanson said.
They helped who they could with what they had.
“But then the state saw how quickly we got up to speed,” Hanson said. “In 2020, the state alone gave the Salvation Army of Colorado $2 million.”
They put money that to work.
“We’ve helped out around 180 families with rental assistance, and that’s for $310,000 here in the El Paso County area,” he said.
And it’s significant help too.
“$1700 is the average size that we’ve paid for someone’s rent” he said.
This year, the state’s upped the money to $5 million--something the Salvation Army welcomes with open arms.
“We think the ramifications of the rental assistance--the need is going to increase exponentially shortly,” Hanson said.
That’s because, up until now, the state has had a moratorium--preventing landlords from evicting tenants.
“We think we’ve just seen a trickle of what’s behind the dam,” he said.
Eventually, that moratorium will come to an end.
“We think a lot of landlords have been forced that they can’t evict people, now the moratoriums on evictions are gonna happen, and that will be the beginning of the floodgates,” Hanson said.
It’s why local Salvation Army leaders are bracing.
“We’ve also cross-trained a lot of our case managers, we’ve brought on more case managers,” he said.
They’re making sure all the infrastructure is place.
“Our biggest brace really was the website,” he said.
And they’re trying to get the word out--there is assistance if you need it.
“Often we see families that waited way too long,” Hanson said. “They waited until they were on their last hundred dollars.”
If you are unable to make rent due to the pandemic, you can complete an application for rental assistance by visiting their website. After you submit your application, a case manager from The Salvation Army or partnering agency will contact you.