February 18, 2009

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I apply for Interfaith Services?

We take all requests for jobs over the telephone. Call us during regular business hours.  We record the information you give to us and verify home ownership.  We will ask you to provide copies of your proofs of income (or no income) to a job Supervisor when your job is screened.

  • What is a “proof of income”?

Typically, a proof of income is the current year’s award letter from Social Security or Supplemental Security Income telling you how much you are to receive each month.  If you or someone in the home works, we will ask to see 6 months of pay stubs.  Letters from the Veterans Administration, or notice of pension payments are also proofs.

  • What happens after you’ve taken my request?

Your job request will be placed on the waiting list unless your request qualifies as an emergency. Once your job request is activated IHMS will contact you to make an appointment to come out and assess the job you have asked us to do.  Once the job is screened a supervisor will contact you to schedule a time to come out and do the work.  If we need to order something for your job such as windows or doors, we have to wait until IHMS receives those items before we can schedule the job–sometimes 3 to 6 weeks, depending upon the items

  • What if someone in the house is over 18 years old but isn’t working?

For an adult staying at the house who has no income, he or she must provide us with verification from the Department of Jobs and Family Services or One Stop Ohio that he or she is unemployed and, if appropriate, seeking work. If the adult is a full-time student, he or she simply has to provide proof of full-time student status.

  • What if you can’t reach me when it is time for my job to be done?

The easy way to avoid this problem is for you to make sure that we have your current telephone or cellular phone numbers. If your phone number changes, call us and let us know so we can update your record. We will attempt to call you up to 3 times.  We will leave a message if you have a working answering machine. If we cannot reach you we will attempt to send you a letter asking you to contact us. During this waiting period we will move on to the next person on the waiting list.  If we do not hear from you after the date we put in the letter, we will remove your application from the active file and you will be required to submit another application and go back on the waiting list.

  • I know I have to be the owner of record of the house.  What does that mean, exactly?

We determine ownership by verifying that your home is in your name according to the Mahoning County Auditor’s Property Search. We add to the household income the names of everyone listed as owners. If you own the home with someone who is not living in the home, we will still have to include that person’s income unless that person is willing to grant to you a life tenancy of the home.  You can obtain a sample of a life tenancy letter from the IHMS office, or any other source you prefer.  The life tenancy letter must be signed and notarized by any other owner or owners of the home you live in. There are many circumstances where someone else’s name is shown as owners.  Generally, IHMS will require you to make sure that the home is in your name and has been in your name for at least one year before we can work for you, but you should contact us with any questions you may have in this matter.

  • What if I am buying the house under land contract?

Unfortunately, we are unable at this time to do work in a home being purchased under land contract but once you become the owner of record and have been so for 1 year or more, you can put in an application.

  • If I rent a room to someone do you count the renter’s income?

Yes, we include all income from all sources for all people staying at the house.  We will count the renter’s income and we also count the dollar amount of rent paid to you as part of your income.