December 17, 2016

Renting Houses and Subletting Rooms

With our long term goal of building a community for people in transition to live, people still currently need a safe place to sleep, eat and stay clean so they can keep a job. But in order to afford a place to live, you need to have a job. It is a vicious cycle that requires a multi-faceted approach to break.  Our goal is to coordinate resources from all agencies and create safe places to live for people who are working toward independence.

Of primary importance is obtaining places for people to sleep, and individuals aren’t normally open to taking strangers into their house.  We understand the fear and risks involved with taking someone into your spare room.  However, we find that we cannot even find home owners willing to rent houses to Koinonia so we can sublet rooms.

A temporary shelter can only be built in Office/Institutional, General or Neighborhood Commercial zoned areas. A hostel has a wider variety of zoning options (basically all zones except Light and Heavy Industrial) but is a 30 day or less solution, and both options are expensive due to the building being considered commercial, and requiring sprinkler and fire alarm systems.

Our solution is to find home owners who are willing to rent their house to us and allow us to sublet the rooms while Koinonia takes responsibility for the rent, utilities and maintenance of the house.  It is the most cost efficient method to house the homeless, as hotels normally start at $50/night, costing at least $350 a week, or $1400 per month.  2 full-size bunk beds in a room at $100 per bed per week would allow a single mother with children to have a safe place to live for only $200 a week, or $800 a month, a savings of $400 per month.

What if someone doesn’t have any money?  That’s where donations will have to cover the cost. You can become a monthly sponsor for any amount, or donate funds on a case by case basis.  Houses and utilities are expensive, so people will have to work to pay for the beds, with supplemental income from donations on an emergency basis.

In order to do this, we would need to do the following:

  1. Locate existing houses that Koinonia can lease so we can rent bedrooms to displaced people referred to us by an associated agency.  No deposit or security would be required for renters and utilities would be included, but they must pay for their bed so Koinonia can cover the rent and all associated costs.
  2. Secure donations for people without any money. Those without any present income are eligible for short-term sponsorship as funds are available.  We will ensure that recipients of the fund are actively involved in the process of becoming financially stable enough to find a permanent residence, as well as meet weekly with personal financial advisers regarding their progress.
  3. Assemble a team of volunteers who will offer services such as:
    – make daily visits to the residences to ensure that the houses are well maintained by the residents
    – help with the maintenance of the houses
    – ascertain the needs of the residents to help coordinate provision of food, clothing and other necessities
    – locate home owners who are willing to rent houses to us for subletting rooms, or who will allow one of our clients to rent a room directly from them

If you can help us in any of these 3 areas, please Contact Us.