How to Avoid Being Homeless and Where to Get Help

For most people, the idea of being homeless is one they would rather not consider. But for many, this terrifying thought is more than an idea; it becomes a reality. However, homelessness isn’t a path anyone has to walk down. Instead, there are ways to help limit your chances of becoming homeless, including places to which you can reach out for help.

Whether you find yourself on the brink of homelessness or want to prepare yourself to never be in that situation, here are some tips to help you avoid becoming homeless.

Financial Counseling/Planning
The first line of defense against homelessness is financial planning. Numerous free services can really help make a difference in your life. Professional assistance on how you could or should organize your finances based on your situation is vital. Often, this means having enough put away in savings to help sustain you during unexpected financial emergencies. While many people assume this advice only works for those not experiencing any financial difficulties, it is actually more important for those struggling financially. Why? Because a single incident can leave a person without the funds they need to keep a roof over their heads.

Finding ways to save when you are living paycheck to paycheck may not be easy, but it is vitally important. Even putting away a few dollars a week can add up over time, so start with anything you can. Then, review your budget and see if you can pinch your pennies any further. Put every spare dime into a savings account until you can cover a few months of expenses, as this provides protection should disaster strike.

When planning, be sure to look at and take advantage of any subsidies or government benefits that can help pay certain bills and reduce financial pressures. Here is more information on how to lower your monthly costs by getting help with utility bills.

Build a Support Network
If you find yourself coming upon troubled times, make sure you have a strong network of friends and family members who can help you out in a crisis. Whether they can provide short-term financial assistance, helping you make ends meet when you otherwise wouldn’t be able, or even as a source of housing should you lose your home, having people there for you can alleviate a lot of pressure during an emergency.

While asking for help from loved ones isn’t always easy, it is much easier than the challenges that face the homeless in this nation. So, it is better to ask for help, even if it strains the relationship, than to deal with the alternative unnecessarily.

Find Charities
There are numerous charities designed to help those on the brink of homelessness. Some will provide emergency funding to ensure that your housing costs can be met while others support emergency housing for those losing their homes. Most cities have some charitable organizations that support housing associated needs, so you can likely find help if you explore your options thoroughly. Learn more about churches that help with bills here.

Government Support
In some cases, you may qualify for housing assistance from your state or local government. This can include discounted rental options, assistance with property taxes, and more depending on your local municipality. Often, you can contact the housing authority that operates in your area to see what services may be available to you. Some may relate directly to housing while others may include general cash-based assistance that can be directed toward any need, including the costs associated with keeping your home.

When it comes to facing potential homelessness, it is often wise to call around and explore every option available. You may be surprised what you can find. Here is more information on getting short and long term rental assistance.

If you unfortunately find yourself in a situation where you are evicted, get details on how emergency shelter assistance with free hotel and motel vouchers for temporary assistance.