LIFT (Living Independently For Today)

Human Services administers the LIFT program, which includes several programs, funded by various federal, state and local funding sources, to assist homeless households. All financial benefits focus on assisting clients to secure and retain permanent self-sufficiency and stable housing. Participants may receive assistance with move-in costs including first and last month's rent, and security and utility deposits. Applicants must have been a resident of Lee County for at least 12 weeks.

The referral process is an important component of these programs. Most referrals come from programs operated by local shelter agencies designed to assist clients to become "housing ready." Typical referrals come from the Salvation Army, SalusCare, Community Cooperative or ACT.

All candidates are also screened for program "appropriateness" based on the following criteria, focused on housing readiness specifically related to the ability to secure and retain stable income and housing:

  • Household income needs to be sufficient to maintain housing and other expenses.
  • Applicants with substance abuse, mental health or domestic violence issues need to be willing to deal with those issues with an appropriate community provider.

Goals are developed based on the individual's and Coordinator's assessment of each household's situation with respect to their assets and needs, including consideration of any issues with respect to eligibility. Participants receive case management after housing placement and are required to maintain regular contact with the Coordinator. The purpose of service coordination is to assist participants with referrals to, and networking with, other local agencies who might play a role in connecting the participant with available community resources.