In order to apply for an emergency grant, known as a one-shot deal, you must go to an HRA Public Assistance office (or Job Center). You can call 311 to find your local office or you can go to the HRA website. If you are in housing court and have received a Marshall’s notice, you can also apply in the HRA office in housing court. If you are disabled and homebound you have a right to have the application done in your home.
Eligibility criteria for one-shots is not advertised, as they are evaluated on a case-by-base basis, but generally there must be a reason that has prevented you from paying the unexpected expense and you must be able to show how you will pay the expense moving forward.
For example, if you are homeless and recently started working, but haven’t been able to save enough money to move into a new apartment you’ve found, a one-shot deal may be able to help cover the expenses needed to move into your new home – as long as you can show that you will be able to afford the rent going forward. Contributions from other charities or from the individual or family applying for the one-shot deal that reduce the total amount needed can also help in getting HRA to approve the one-shot.
Most one-shot deals will have to be paid back gradually through regular monthly payments, though this is generally not the case if you are receiving SSI disability benefits. When applying for a one-shot deal it is helpful to have all the documentation that may be required ready. A list of some of the documents that may be requested is below.
It is important to keep copies of any paperwork that you give to HRA and to keep notes on all your visits. You can be approved for a one-shot deal even if you have gotten one in the past, but when you got it and whether or not you have been trying to pay it back can influence whether another request will be approved.
Housing Court Answers and MFY Legal Services both provide additional information on the one-shot deal process that you may find helpful.
If you have additional questions, have been denied for a one-shot deal, or need further assistance with this process please come into our Crisis Intervention Program to speak with an advocate.