Ronald & Karen
Talk about a house of cards. Housing stability is an illusion for most of our guests.
Missing work when you're sick, a computer glitch at the hotel where you're staying, paying for car repairs so you can get to your job, child care challenges? You're in peril of becoming homeless.
We heard the stories again all day today. Sure does seem like it's getting worse.
Ronald and Karen are mentally disabled and $1,100 behind on their rent. He can't handle the side jobs any more. How to pay rent that's almost 80% of his income without those side jobs?
Robert became officially homeless at 11 a.m. today. He earns about $350 a week as a cook and lives in a hotel that costs him $328 a week. There was a computer glitch, they said. He wasn't paid up through Friday. He was paid up through today. He gets paid on Friday. Friday's too late.
Dorinda missed 4 days of work at her fast-food job last week because she didn't have anyone to care for her 18 month old son. Now she doesn't have a job, but she does have an eviction notice.
Know this: most landlords we meet are good people. They're also trying to make a living. It costs them plenty to evict a tenant. Remember - they're also supporting their families and counting on the rent income from their tenants. It's often a house of cards for them, too.
The Washington Post reports that, nationally, a person needs to earn $21.21/hr to afford a 2-bedroom home. That's 3x the federal minimum wage.
MetMin doesn't have a magic wand and we don't have unlimited resources. What we do have is relationships with landlords, partners, other community advocates committed to building stability for our most vulnerable neighbors.
If you're reading this post, you are one of them.
YOU MATTER to Ronald and Karen and Robert and Dorinda.