Gazebo Gazette

The Harrison County Board of Supervisors approved the hiring of Open Doors Homeless Coalition to administrate and facilitate a more than $6 million grant for emergency rental assistance.

The grant was made possible through the U.S. Department of Treasury to assist Harrison County residents negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has been very hard for many of us and this grant is a way for Harrison County to help some of those who have been directly affected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Board President Beverly Martin said. “Harrison County is one of only two counties in the state that has received this grant.”

The Harrison County Emergency Rental Assistance Program will allow for up to 12 months of rent payments and an additional three months of forwarding payments for a total of up to 15 months of rental assistance for qualified residents as well as assistance with utilities where allowed.

“We are looking forward to providing emergency rental assistance for Harrison County residents who have fallen behind on their rent due to COVID 19,” Mary Simons, Executive Director for Open Doors Homeless Coalition said. “This is a great opportunity to help individuals and families as well as landlords in our community to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic.”

To qualify for the assistance, applicants must meet the following criteria:

If you have been impacted by COVID 19 and have fallen behind on your rent, please first check with your landlord to see if they have already begun the process with Open Doors Homeless Coalition. If so, they will schedule a time for us to meet with you and them to gather the necessary paperwork. If your landlord has not been in touch with us, please call 228-604-8011 and leave a clear message with a call-back number. We will return your call and ask questions to determine your eligibility for assistance and, if eligible, set an appointment to gather documentation.

  • Your income must be below $48,700 if you are a family of 4 or below $34,100 if you are an individual. Please make sure you have 1 month of paystubs if you are working or a copy of your unemployment benefits if you are not. If you receive SSI or any other benefits, have a copy of your benefits letter. We need income information for everyone in the family. If you do not have any income, we will have a form for you to sign.
  • Please bring any documentation you may have that shows your situation was caused by the pandemic. If you do not have documentation, please write a statement that tells us how your hardship is related to COVID 19.
  • We will need a copy of your lease and your landlord will need to sign some documents. After a review, if you are eligible for assistance, we will contact both you and your landlord to complete the process. Any checks for rent will be made out to the landlord on your behalf.

For more information, call 228-604-8011. If you do not live in Harrison County and need emergency rental assistance, please apply at