An attorney called for a client…

A story of hope

An attorney called for a client. The single mother of a 22-month-old daughter was in his office, in tears, because she had been evicted. In order to qualify for public housing in Rodeo, she had been forced to sign a contract that said she’d pay her rent—$74—on the first day of each new month. The problem was that she received food stamps and financial assistance through the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) program, and funds weren’t deposited into her account until the third day of each month. After two successive months in which she was two days late in paying rent, Rodeo Public Housing evicted her. The case went to court and the woman lost because she had signed the contract. The legal aid attorney was upset about it, but didn’t know what else to do.

Our 211 call specialist talked with the woman and received permission to consult with others about her situation. The 211 specialist then contacted Housing Rights in Berkeley, which also works in Contra Costa County to protect the rights of people unfairly evicted or discriminated against in seeking housing. The agency advocated on behalf of the woman, and she ended up being reinstated in another public housing unit in another city in the county. By calling 211, she and her baby daughter avoided homelessness and maintained their subsidized housing.