Stimulus money to be used to pay rent for refugees

Refugees (and others living in poverty) fearing eviction in Georgia (or unable to pay utility bills) will soon be able to dip into funds set aside by Congress in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 originally promoted by the White House and Congress as a jobs creation bill.   We all thought we were going to be fixing bridges and such.

In a memo dated May 19th, Georgia’s Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources, BJ Walker, announced the funding availability under the Georgia Fresh Start Program.

The Georgia Fresh Start program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and is designed to assist low income families with a specific critical need. This program is being piloted in 13 metro Atlanta counties, Augusta and Columbus through partnership with the United Way. The program will be active statewide as of June 7, 2010.

Fresh Start is a short-term crisis oriented benefit that will provide a one-time assistance payment for needy families to get the caught up on past due shelter and/or utility expenses, or assist them with move-in costs associated with renting a new dwelling. The maximum payment per family shall be up to $3000.

I didn’t find much about the program on-line except this United Way notice to come and get your money.  Regular readers know I hate these so-called public-private partnerships.  If the government is giving out money, then the government should be administering it, not the United Way (what will their cut be?).

If you would like to learn more about this new program, contact the Georgia Dept. of Human Resources (in Atlanta) directly at 404-651-8409.

Other states are probably getting this “crisis” program going too.   Of course, it will once again just postpone the hard decisions that must be made at the federal level about how many refugees we admit to the US in an economic recession.

Go here and see that we are right on target to bring the highest number of refugees to the US since 2001 (before 9/11 when the numbers dropped precipitously).

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