Recently a man walked through our doors who was reluctant to seek help because he and his wife felt that others needed it more than them. But, suddenly they were on the verge of homelessness.
“Why did you wait so long to come to us?” asked the case worker. The man who walked into The Salvation Army was behind on rent and was being evicted. He now needed immediate help in order to avoid homelessness.
He explained how he is a self-sufficient man. He and his wife work hard to pay their bills, care for their dogs, and care for themselves. They’ve never been in this type of situation and they were hopeful that a new job would eventually come their way. It didn’t.
“Where we lived before, you couldn’t get evicted without a warning,” he explained. “And it’s only been two weeks since rent was due.”
The couple has been married for four years and said they’ve never had trouble with money before. When they moved to Rochester, their cost of living increased, but job opportunities were few and far-between. Since their income was much lower, they decided to rent a three bedroom apartment they could share with another renter. The renter didn’t work out and now the three bedroom is too much for them to afford alone.
“First we pay the bills,” he explained. “Then we feed the dogs, just like you would put your kids first if you had any. We come last.”
It’s situations like these where one or two things go wrong right after the other and it doesn’t take long for the bills to pile up and the payments to fall behind. They paid as much as they could, but in the end they couldn’t keep up. Now they’re so far behind an eviction hangs over their heads. Anyone could land in this situation.
They turned in an application for rental assistance, so we can help work with their landlord to prevent eviction. As humbling as it may feel to ask for help, this is the reason we’re here – to help people in their time of need.
Originally posted on RochesterSA.org.