Marlaina

Pittsburgh, PA
July 3rd, 2020|

I am a single mom of a 7yr old. Her dad has never paid anything. The court even made his payment to be $60 a month for 3 months and gave him that time to get a job. A job which he never got. I also am an only child and my dad had a major stroke, so I am the sole caregiver for him. I am also disabled due to getting hit by a car.

My landlord passed away and he was the only one I ever dealt with, so his wife and kids never knew about the arrangements we had made. For 3 years it was all verbal agreements. We trusted each other (big mistake). The house needed work, so he told me that I didn’t have to pay 3 months of rent until he was able to get the work done. It was stuff I chose I could live without because that was a lot of money for me to have in my pocket for the time being.

When he passed away, his family took me right to court, and I lost because it was my word against theirs. I was in the process of moving. I went back to the house, and there were people there throwing all my stuff in a dumpster. I walked in the house and asked them to stop. It turned into an argument. It ended up being my landlord’s kids. Not only did they throw my stuff away, they busted everything. My furniture they cut in half, cut legs off of tables, my kids toys were all broken into little pieces, her stroller and car seat were sliced up. The worst of it was they smashed my only computer (turns out I ended up needing it for my kid to do home school on), and I could never afford to replace it yet. This was in Feb 2020. I called the police and took pictures, but they said it was a civil matter and I had to take them to court.

I am very poor to begin with, and I had to try and replace what I could. I wasn’t able to come up with my security deposit and first and last month rent (it was already going to be hard to do) because I had to buy new everything, from pots and pans and silverware to a bed (for all 3 of us) and a couch and a new car seat and toys. The worst part of this all is that they ripped up and threw away all of our pictures from my dad being a kid, myself as a child, me being pregnant, my other 3 older children as kids, and my youngest kid’s pictures. Along with all the things and pictures they all made me. I am now struggling to pay rent so my landlord can afford to live himself because this is his income. And I already owe him 2000$. If I don’t find a way to pay him, I’m never going to catch up, and we are going to be evicted again and I’ll never find a place to live with 2 evictions on my credit report.

I don’t know where to turn for help. I lose sleep every night worrying about what I’m going to do. If it was just me, I could deal with being homeless and living in the streets. But it’s not just me. Prayers haven’t got my rent paid let alone my gas water and electric. I wouldn’t be able to be online writing this if it wasn’t for the Obama phone that I was eligible for. It kills me because my kid’s dad isn’t homeless. He has money to be able to buy alcohol and drugs. He has never went to jail for child support. I don’t know what is wrong with Pennsylvania child support court that they would let him get away with not paying a penny in 7 years. I don’t know where to turn for help.

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