Preventing Homelessness and Preserving Stability
March 28, 2017
When families are living at or below the poverty line, they don’t have the resources they need to prevent a wrongful eviction.
By supporting United Way of Jackson County, you help us fund a mediation and eviction diversion program through Legal Services of South Central Michigan. This program facilitates communication between tenants and the landlords and is a collaboration between several non-profit agencies and Jackson County District Court. Most of the time an understanding can be reached and an eviction can be avoided. However, in some cases legal action is needed in order to protect the rights of struggling families. For example, Lisa and her young child could have been homeless in Jackson if it wasn’t for your support.
Lisa lives in subsidized housing. It’s affordable and she is able to pay the rent on time but most importantly it is home for her and her daughter. Lisa had to fight to keep her home and she needed help.
Several months ago the relationship Lisa had with her child’s father ended badly. He began to stalk her, it didn’t take long to escalate and soon he was physically abusing her. Lisa did get a PPO but her ex didn’t care, he would break into her home whenever he wanted and turned Lisa’s life into a nightmare. Eventually he was caught and arrested for violating the order but some significant damage had been done. Lisa didn’t do anything wrong but her landlord had enough and had filed an eviction action. Lisa had no options, if she lost her subsidized housing she would be homeless. Lisa asked Legal Services for help at mediation. The landlord refused to stop the eviction. Ultimately her lawyer was able to have the eviction dismissed. It was argued that Lisa was protected under the Violence Against Women Act and the judge agreed.
Lisa and her young daughter were able to remain in their home.
90% of those seeking mediation or eviction diversion assistance were able to avoid eviction or were able to come to some other successful resolution. Your support gave Lisa the resources she needed to stay in her home and remain on her pathway toward stability and success.