When Keith’s landlord reached out to Compass Affordable Housing (CAH) for help, Keith was several months behind on rent. At the same time, Keith’s fiancé, Mary, was in the late stages of cancer and living at home. Never one to fall behind on rent, when the COVID -19 became a pandemic Keith was terrified he would bring the virus home to her and cause a devastating setback to her health. Unable to make changes with his employer, COVID-19 forced him to quit his job. Getting Mary to doctor appointments and treatments required that Keith invest in special protective gear that used up funds.
Just recently, the last of Keith’s money went to secure Hospice care for Mary. There was nothing left for rent. Keith was referred by his landlord to the Compass Affordable Housing Eviction Prevention Program. CAH assists people like Keith with rent so they do not lose their housing. The assistance we provide covers past due rent and pays rent for an additional month while households look for new employment and get back on their feet. Low-income people usually live paycheck to paycheck. The consequences of COVID-19 on their employment has forced many into arrears and without income, thereby making them vulnerable to becoming homeless.
One of the biggest concerns of Tucson community leaders during the pandemic has been the potential for hundreds of families and individuals to be evicted because of Covid-19. A city with hundreds of people left without housing, compounded by both financial and psychological effects of housing lost during a pandemic, creates nightmares at many levels. Moratoriums, while essential, merely buy time for the ultimate reckoning, as frustrated landlords look for ways to remove tenants unable to pay their rent because they were permanently furloughed, forced to quarantine or were needed to care for another, like Keith.
Each of the situations we work with has at least two faces behind it – that of a tenant struggling to pay and that of a landlord on the line for expenses. We are happy to report that we have assisted Keith and many others and continue to do that. However, these households are also without food, school supplies, needed household items and have past due utilities. They need additional help to stabilize. Compass Affordable Housing is working on this too. With your help we can assist the whole family.
To help, check out our upcoming Home for the Holidays online auction! The bidding runs from November 27 through December 11, 2020, but you can preview the auction now and keep checking in as we continue to add more items through Thanksgiving. https://cahi.betterworld.org/auctions/home-holidays. Call us at 520-305-4724 if you have questions or want more information.