Earlier this week, we met Angela, a single mother who, when threatened with eviction, fought for over a year alongside her Brooklyn A attorney to ensure she and her children could stay in their home in Crown Heights.
We checked in with Angela to see how she and her family are coping during the COVID-19 crisis.
Angela and her children are doing well despite being on the front lines of the crisis. She is an essential worker. One of Angela’s jobs is serving food and cleaning at a veterans’ homeless shelter. This has been challenging and risky, but she has been happy to continue doing it. However, she is experiencing a loss of income. She can’t work her second job at a dentist office, which is temporarily closed.
Since being at the brink of eviction for defaulting on rent, Angela is extremely careful with her finances. Even with working multiple jobs, with stagnant low wages and high cost of living, Angela lives paycheck-to-paycheck. The loss of income from her second job has left her with having to decide between paying for rent or other basic needs.
Angela has been receiving free weekly food from the local church, which has been a tremendous help for the family. Her biggest expense during the COVID-19 crisis is taking taxis on the way home from work (she has been taking the subway on the way there) to avoid risking her health or exposing others.
Angela, like many others, has a job that cannot be done at home. At considerable risk to herself and her family, she must continue to work – helping the homeless when she is worried about making rent and potentially losing her home. Currently, tenants are protected under a state eviction moratorium. There will be a flood of COVID-19 evictions after the moratorium lifts. When the public-health crisis ends, eviction notices resume, courts reopen, and the city marshal begins enforcing court orders.
Brooklyn A is and will continue to ensure that, in this critical moment, Angela and other New Yorkers like her have access to legal services and advocacy to preserve housing, prevent homelessness, and protect people’s health and livelihoods.
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