My story started long before Covid-19. I got evicted from the townhouse that me, my husband, and our two children had called home for 16 years. I had been diagnosed with a lump in my breast and had just had surgery the day before a sheriff and his team came to put us and our belongings out. My life changed forever. To make matters worse, we are still caring for our son who suffers from bipolar disorder, and my daughter is graduating from high school this year.
I have tried in vain to ask for housing assistance since we are doubled up in a basement sharing one bathroom and two very small bedrooms. My son has a small corner in the kitchen where he has his bed and all his stuff around his bed! I have written emails, made phone calls, and filled out forms for assistance in vain. I was told that I cannot be given housing assistance unless we live in a car, the street, or another place not meant for human habitation.
At the moment, I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping to get assistance for paying the rent for our small space. I have been on furlough and my husband was laid off in April, both as a result of Covid. I remain hopeful that I will land in the right office one of these days and obtain the assistance I am seeking. We have moved more than five times in less than one year.
We are a hard-working couple, and though we have managed to stay afloat thus far, our time is running out since we lost a large chunk of our earnings with the onset of the pandemic. Plus our situation was already fragile due to the first eviction.
As soon as the pandemic started, our landlord, who was residing in the same house with us, gave us a 30-day notice to vacate the house. This was despite the fact that we were up-to-date on rent. We were forced to move where we are currently in a basement, bundled up with little to no privacy.