Georgia RYSE Pandemic Relief Information

We’re Here to Help

Are you between the ages 18 – 26 years old and spent time in foster care after your 14th birthday? Have you experienced financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic?  If so, you may be eligible to receive time-limited, Federal pandemic relief funds through the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 to help with things like rent, food, utilities, childcare, clothing, and transportation.

To apply for the supports please click here.

Overview

Georgia Resilient, Youth-Centered, Stable, and Empowered (GARYSE) Program is Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services Independent Living Program Independent Living Program (ILP).  Our mission is to provide eligible youth with opportunities to successfully prepare for adulthood through appropriate referral resources and connections provided by community partners. With adequate outreach and support, we hope to improve outcomes for youth/young adults who are still in or have left the foster care system by addressing their critical financial needs.

GARYSE received federal funding through the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 (CAA) to provide direct financial assistance and resources for youth and young adults between the ages of 18 and 26 who are currently in or have experienced foster care within Georgia. CAA was signed into law in December 2020.  This assistance is intended to provide relief for those youth and young adults who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding will be used to support the immediate needs of eligible youth and young adults who may lack access to stable housing, income, and other resources. The funding and flexibilities provided by the CAA are critical to ensuring current and former foster youth/young adults are protected and supported during this most uncertain time.

Pandemic Relief Requirements

To be eligible for assistance, you must

  • Be at least 18 on 7/1/2021 and no older than 26
  • Have spent time in foster care after turning 14
  • Spent at least six non-consecutive months in foster care (e.g., entered foster care at age 2 and spent four months; re-entered foster care at age 15 for six months – total time spent in foster care would be 10 months).

All applicants will be required to

  • Provide proof of your Identity and Citizenship
  • Attest to a reduction in income, significant costs, or financial hardship directly or indirectly due to COVID-19

Based on your situation and the assistance you request, you may be required to provide

  • A copy of lease or rental agreement
  • Past due rent notice or utility bills, provider information, and account number(s)
  • Receipts or invoices
  • Bank or mobile payment account information (PayPal or Zelle)

Required Documents

For Proof of Identity and Citizenship

An image (scanned or taken with your cell phone) of one of the following:

  • State Issued Driver’s License
  • State Issued ID Card
  • Passport
  • Work ID (with name and photo)
  • School ID (with name and photo)
  • VISA, Permanent Resident Card, or document validating permanent legal residency
  • Birth Certificate

Housing Retention Assistance

  • A copy of lease or rental agreement
  • Past due rent notice or utility bills, provider information, and account number(s)
  • Receipts or invoices

Housing Startup Assistance

  • A copy of rental quote or lease
  • Startup information/quotes for:
    • Utility providers (electric, gas, internet)
    • Furniture
    • Renter’s insurance
  • Receipts or invoices

Transportation Assistance

  • Driver’s License fee information
  • Vehicle bill of sale
  • Vehicle repair invoices or quotes
  • Auto insurance bills

FAQs

1. How do I know if I’m eligible to receive support through the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021?

To be eligible to apply for support you must

  • Be 18 years old as of July 1, 2021
  • Not be older than 26 years old (before September 30, 2021)
  • Have spent time in foster care after age 14
  • Spent at least six cumulative months in foster care

2. What types of support are available through the GARYSE Pandemic Relief Program?

Based on your specific situation, you may be eligible to receive

Support Type

Description

Stimulus Payment

  • A one-time cash payment of $400
  • A one-time cash payment of $750 if you are the parent of a minor child(ren) under the age 13

Housing Retention Assistance

To help you pay your past due rent or utility expenses.  Will be paid directly to the vendor(s) on your behalf.  
Total housing supports cannot exceed $8000 per youth

Housing Startup Assistance

To help you pay costs related to deposits, rent, utilities, furniture, and renter’s insurance.  Will be paid directly to the vendor(s) on your behalf.
Total housing supports cannot exceed $8000 per youth

Transportation Assistance

To help you pay for Driver’s License fees, public transportation passes, ride share gift cards, gas cards, vehicle purchase, vehicle repairs, and car insurance. Payments will be paid directly to the vendor, or items will be purchased on your behalf.
Total Transportation Assistance cannot exceed $4,000 per youth

Additional Training Opportunities

Applicants will be granted an opportunity to select one of the following trainings to participate. Upon completion the participants will be provided an additional cash incentive

Housing Literacy Training

A virtual training session that provides education and skills on being a good tenant.

Financial Literacy Training

A virtual training session to increase your personal financial management skills.

Parenting Enrichment Course

A virtual training session to increase and strengthen positive parenting behaviors.

Parenting Enrichment Course

Youth ages 18 - 22 who exited foster care due to aging out after January 27, 2020 may reenter foster care upon request.

What are the acceptable forms of proof of my identity?

  • You’ll be required to submit an image (scanned or taken with your cell phone) of one the following forms of identification
  • State Issued Driver’s License
  • State Issued ID Card
  • Passport Work ID (with name and photo)
  • School ID (with name and photo)
  • VISA, Permanent Resident Card, or document validating permanent legal residency
  • Birth Certificate

Am I required to submit documentation related to the type of support I’m requesting?

You’ll be asked to submit some documentation to prove that you actually need the support you’re requesting, as indicated below:

Housing Retention Assistance
  • A copy of lease or rental agreement
  • Past due rent notice or utility bills, provider information, and account number(s)
  • Receipts or invoices
Housing Startup Assistance
  • A copy of rental quote or lease
  • Startup information/quotes for:
    • Utility providers (electric, gas, internet)
    • Furniture
    • Renter’s insurance (if not included in lease)
  • Receipts or invoices
Transportation Assistance
  • Driver’s License fee information
  • Vehicle bill of sale
  • Vehicle repair invoices or quotes
  • Auto insurance bill(s)

How will I receive Stimulus or Cash Payment?

You’ll have the option of receiving a Stimulus or Cash Payment through any of the following methods

  • Direct deposit into a checking or savings account
  • PayPal
  • Zelle
  • Western Union or MoneyGram
  • Gift Card shipped to local UPS Store or sent electronically.  

Partnership with Truist Bank

There may be some young adults applying for assistance who do not have an active bank account but wish to open a secure account to receive their Cash Payment.  We also recognized that there may be some youth who have had a negative banking history and would like to re-establish a relationship with a reputable banking institution.  To support youth fitting either of those categories we have partnered with Truist Bank to assist those youth with a checking account.  Those who desire to do so may select this option when applying for assistance.

How will I receive gift or public transportation, or ride share cards?

You will be granted the option to pick up gift, public transportation, or gas cards at a local UPS Store. You’ll be required to present a photo ID to pick up your card(s). You may also receive gift cards, public transportation cards, or ride share cards electronically via the email address designated in your application.  

Can someone apply on the young person’s behalf?

No, the young adult must apply for the resources on their own, but may seek assistance from their supports to complete and submit the application, and obtain the required supportive documentation. All communication will be shared and communicated with the applicant.