In Youth Service, Inc. Success Stories, we aim to recognize clients who have overcome their hardships to find success through our programming. This month, we are highlighting our Family Empowerment Services (FES) program. FES provides time-limited social services to help families enhance their abilities to meet the basic well-being and needs of their children. The goal of FES is to promote family stability and well-being, enhance protective factors, reduce risk factors for families and children, increase community support networks and linkages for families and children and increase a family’s abilities to address their own needs.
YSI was introduced to Ms. K and her family to address medical concerns, however, during the intake it became known that the family was facing an immediate housing crisis.
Ms. K, a single mother who had recently given birth, was on unpaid maternity leave. The apartment she was living in experienced frequent flooding, damaged her property and food, and caused a serious fall. There was also an infestation of fleas and roaches. Her landlord was not being appropriately responsive, and Ms. K had withheld rent until the issues were resolved. Now, she had received an eviction notice and was due to appear in court in just three days.
Understandably Ms. K was feeling overwhelmed and scared about the possibility of losing her home. Immediately the YSI case manager and case manager intern took action to support this family. First, the case manager contacted an acquaintance who is a lawyer with specific experience with evictions. She provided information about the lawyer-of-the-day program at the court, and also offered her assistance on the day of the hearing. The team then compiled and sorted all paperwork, photos and other evidence. The case manager provided a template for Ms. K to follow in case she needed to present her case to the judge. The lawyer listened to Ms. K’s desired outcome and helped to craft a realistic deal. The lawyer handled the back and forth communication, and finally returned with great news, Ms. K’s landlord had accepted.
She was granted permission to move out in 30-days, not to pay any debt as originally cited, to have the eviction erased from her record immediately, and to retain the right to sue in the future. Once all paperwork was complete, the case manager, intern, and Ms. K left the courthouse feeling successful. The case manager is currently supporting the family to apply to a fund at Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) that can help with the security deposit when the family finds suitable housing to meet their needs.
*Names were changed to protect the identities of our clients.