Dec 29, 2017
To provide a financial boost for those affected by the Sonoma County fires, the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund (SOS) is offering special assistance grants to low-income residents for up to $3000. The grants aim to help those who lost possessions, jobs or income due to the fires: get or keep housing by paying a month’s mortgage, rent or security deposit; cover utility bills; buy essential household furniture, a wheelchair or other vital health aids; or cover costs of medically required dental care and non-routine automotive repairs for critically needed transportation.
Through April 30, 2018, residents can apply for a special assistance grant at one of the Sonoma County partner agencies listed below.* Aid may be available even if the resident received or will receive other fire-related grant monies.
SOS (https://seasonofsharing.org/) has long provided one-time, financial grants in nine Bay Area counties to help low-income residents with housing costs and emergency or critical needs. In Sonoma County, oversight of the program is by the County Human Services Department.
Regular SOS grants, under the program’s normal eligibility criteria, are available year-round by application through an SOS partner agency. All grant checks are written directly to the vendor or business – such as a landlord, utility company, dentist, furniture retailer or auto repair business.
For fire-related assistance grants only, some eligibility requirements have been relaxed from regular SOS grant criteria:
1) Anyone who has received assistance within the previous five years is eligible.
2) The applicant’s rent/mortgage does not have to be delinquent. Anyone who requires rent/mortgage assistance is eligible.
3) For anyone who lost a job, work or source of income, being able to show that they can cover rent the following month is waived.
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