We are between rock and a hard place

September 29, 2020

“After Sally, we had damage to our apartment. Last Thursday, they sent us an eviction notice that we have to be out by midnight tomorrow night. We have lived here for 19 years. We have gone everywhere looking for a place to stay but can’t find anything. I am on Section 8 and we pay $151 a month. The motels are booked by work crews and we can’t find anywhere to stay. We can’t afford most housing on our fixed income. We are between a hard place and a rock right now.

They put the letter on the door on my birthday. I turned 69 that day. I had gone riding with my granddaughter and we were playing spades. My other granddaughter found the letter and I started crying. It was about 8:30 that night when they put it on my door. The eviction notice is in the envelope of my birthday card, along with numbers for the Red Cross so I can find everything.

I have COPD. I am asthmatic, I am diabetic and I have bronchitis. I am also a breast cancer survivor. Most of my medicine is not covered by insurance so we pay for it on the little I come we have. The mold here is bad for me, so I know I can’t stay. My husband is a stroke victim. My granddaughter is our caretaker.

All of our life is in the middle of the floor. We pack a while, sit down a while, then get up a while. We don’t have anywhere to put it, and we don’t have anywhere to go. The letter told us if we aren’t out by midnight, the police are going to put everything outside. I cry, sleep, go outside and sit in my chair. I go to bed at night and think, God, we have to wake up to the same old same old. The problems will be there in the morning. I want to ask the police department to put us up when they put us out.

A week isn’t long enough. They should have given us more time. This happened to people around us, too. One just had major surgery. A lot of us are sickly and we don’t have anywhere to go. We are on social security and don’t get our checks until Friday. I called the Red Cross and they said it could take a week to ten days to get to us. We don’t have that kind of time.

I am originally from Daphne. I worked in the fields when I was a kid. I later worked at a restaurant as a cook and then cleaning classrooms in the Daphne schools. My husband and I met over the phone. I dialed the wrong number twice trying to call the doctor. He picked up both times. He asked if I was married and we started talking. It was a long time before we met. But we met and kept talking. We have been married for 21 years. The teddy bear in the corner is one of the gifts he has given me.

At the end of the day, the people who own and work at these apartments have a place to lay their heads. Where are we going to go? We can’t go to the park and sleep or the police are going to run us off. All we can do is hug each other and cry and hope everything is going to be alright.”

From their eviction notice:
Your lease and possessory interest will terminate at midnight on Oct. 1, 2020. The occupant must surrender possession of the premises before that date. This action is being taken as a result of the destruction of leased premises by wind and flood which has rendered the premises uninhabitable.
Any property that remains will be considered abandoned. Failure to surrender possession of the premises may result in your removal by the City of Foley.

Dated the 24th day of September, 2020


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