Mary and her longtime friend, Edwin Lai, were facing the threat of eviction. The apartment they had lived in together for the last six years was not rent controlled. Their rent was increased, and they fell behind, resulting in an eviction case. The Eviction Defense Collaborative provided legal assistance, and was able to keep them in their home through a stipulated agreement, in which they agreed to pay off the back rent owed in regular installments each month.
Edwin immediately took on a second job in an attempt to make ends meet, but he eventually suffered a massive stroke and was no longer able to work. Mary’s disability income could not cover the rent, and growing debt and medical expenses led to Mary and Edwin missing a stipulated payment. It seemed as if an eviction was imminent.
Mary eventually found herself back at the Eviction Defense Collaborative to meet with staff from RADCo, the agency’s Rental Assistance Disbursement Component. After her first meeting with RADCo, Mary started to feel things turning around.
“The Rental Assistance Coordinator I met with actually listened to me, and for the first time in months, I felt seen,” Mary said. “They took away my problems, and started taking the steps needed to make things right again. I finally felt I had found hope.”
The coordinator made a referral to the Q Foundation, another MOHCD grantee. Together, the two agencies paid off all back rent owed—dismissing the eviction case against Mary and Edwin.
Though Edwin eventually started to receive disability benefits, their shared income was still too little to cover the full rent. The Q Foundation then agreed to provide a rent subsidy to the two individuals, which has given Mary and Edwin the extra help they need to stay in their home.
An immense pressure has been lifted for Mary and Edwin, who no longer have to worry about losing their home. Now, Mary is able to focus on spending meaningful time with Edwin as he makes a full recovery. Through this partnership between long-time MOHCD grantees, solutions were found to a series of difficult problems, and these San Francisco residents kept their home.