GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – Homes can be a source of stress instead of comfort for some families. They can also be a health hazard.
A record number of homeowners and renters have turned to Greensboro Housing Coalition for help. Executive Director Josie Williams says they have helped about 3,500 clients each year for the past two years. Two of the nonprofit’s main departments focus on preventing homelessness and foreclosure. They also have a Healthy Homes Department and a Community Engagement Department to combat environmental or social injustices.
“When it comes to how we find housing, that’s a collaborative effort where we have to partner with the city and other nonprofit organizations, other community-based organizations,” Williams said. “We do that also by working with developers and have good relationships, in many cases, with a lot of the landlords that manage the properties that we work with.”
Stephen Smoot got connected with Greensboro Housing Coalition in 2017 when his apartment on Avalon Road needed major repairs. The nonprofit stepped in to make sure the complex’s new owner made the necessary improvements.
“They were involved consistently,” Smoot said.
Updates aren’t always possible to improve the safety of living spaces. When certified inspectors determine a property is condemnable, Greensboro Housing Coalition works with landlords and The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro to find people another place to live. The Emergency Tenant Assistance (ETAP) Program provides financial assistance to make the move. Williams says it saves lives.
“When we work with them and able to get them out of that situation and to decent and safe housing, the chances of those risks continually decrease versus you living in something that’s literally continually making you sick.”
You can make a donation to Greensboro Housing Coalition or Emergency Tenant Assistance (ETAP) Program online.