Homelessness - ETH Grant

What is Homelessness?

Being without a safe, warm place to sleep, eat, and care for children; living without the security of familiar people and belongings—that is homelessness. The loss of one’s home, the most basic element of stability, is a profound crisis for anyone, but especially for families. Parents endure the heartache of being unable to provide a secure environment for their children. And children, who now make up 25 percent of our nation’s homeless population, are deprived of a fundamental requirement for healthy development—a safe, permanent home.

How Many People are Homeless?

Statistics vary depending on the source, but estimates are that 2 – 3 million people a year experience homelessness. The sad truth is that families with young children are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population –they now account for 40 percent of all those who are homeless.

Housing & Homeless Prevention

Program Description:
The Emergency Transitional Housing Program (ETH) provides rental assistance to individuals/families that are literally homeless. When an applicant is eligible, a portion of their rent will be paid through SWCAP based on their income. This payment will be sent directly to the landlord the first working day of each month. The tenant will be responsible for the balance.

ETH Program is comprised of two different subcategories:

  • Emergency Homeless Assistance Program: Security Deposit + Rent
  • Emergency Rent Assistance Program: Rent Arrears + Ongoing Rent

Rapid Re-Housing:
This program targets individuals/families that are literally homeless. It is to assist homeless persons living on the streets or in an emergency shelter transition as quickly as possible into permanent housing, and then to help such persons achieve stability in that housing.

If the applicant is approved, attendance at an interview/briefing session is required. During the briefing, the tenant is given a detailed explanation of the program and their responsibilities. When the tenant has located a unit and the owner accepts the assistance, an inspection is performed to ensure the unit is decent, safe, and sanitary under the Housing Quality Standards regulations. If the unit passes, the owner and SWCAP enter into a Housing Assistance Payment Contract. The tenant and the landlord enter into a lease agreement.

The Case Manager will conduct monthly home visits at least once a month or more if needed. Home visits will focus on individual goals, landlord/tenant issues, employment concerns, financial management, or other goals identified through various assessments. Attendance at workshops focused on self-sufficiency may be mandated. Follow-up services will be provided to families exiting the program.

SW CAP assist the participants on their path to a more stable and rewarding lifestyle for themselves and their families. With our programs in Iowa, Grant, Green Lafayette and Richland Counties, and with the coordination of services with other agencies, we are all working hard to end the cycle of poverty.

Eligibility Guidelines
Family income must be at or below 50% of the County Median Income

Application Process
Applications can be obtained by contacting the SWCAP office an assessment is done to determine eligibility.

How can you Help

$625 provides 1 month of shelter for a homeless family (apartment)
$65 provides 1 day of shelter for a homeless family (hotel voucher)
Any amount provides help for today and hope for tomorrow
Online donations of any amount may be made through our secure PayPal account.
All donations will help pay rent, utilities, and building maintenance at our shelters in Grant, Iowa, Richland, Lafayette and Green Counties.

In addition to monetary donations, we always welcome the following:

  • Personal Care Items (soap, shampoo, tooth brushes, toothpaste)
  • Bedroom pillows and blankets
  • Bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Linens (sheets, mattress pads)
  • Dishes, utensils, silverware, glasses, cereal bowls, etc.
  • Kitchen appliances (toaster, coffee makers, can opener)
  • Furniture (couch, love seat, chairs)
  • Gift Cards (Walmart, Kwik Trip, etc.)
  • Lawn Mowing services
  • Snow Removal services
  • Handyman/Repair services
  • We also welcome small groups and individuals who are willing to do yard work, painting, cleaning and general maintenance as needed. Call our offices at for more information.


Michelle Friedrich
Family Service Coordinator
608-935-2326 ext. 203