GOAL: $1734 by December 12th, 2012 ($2,649
raised so far!!!)
Christmas is a time when most people think of getting together with family at home. But this Christmas Brittny Boden, a 24 year old we profiled in our Aging out of Foster Care project, is facing eviction from her low-income housing complex, and has neither family nor friends to turn to right now to help her.
Her previously subsidized apartment is now above market rate
Brittny’s apartment in Hempstead, NY had previously been fully subsidized as part of a Nassau County homelessness prevention program for youth who aged-out of the foster care system. But when funding abruptly dried up, her rent reverted to an above-market rate of $1124 a month, which is only $40 less than the $1164 Brittny made per month as a department manager at Walmart ($9.30/hr).
Luckily, this week she started a new job with Catholic Charities at a home for the mentally ill and her income increased to $12.17 an hour. But her rent isn’t her only bill. She doesn’t have a car and her current commute is $18/day to get to and from Huntington Station where she is working for the next few months.
She’s worked hard to try to fix her situation
Brittny is a resilient and clever young woman who has tried multiple tactics to get her home situation remedied and get her rent lowered to a reasonable rate:
- Petitioned multiple times to have her rent lowered unsuccessfully
- Called organizations for homelessness prevention (didn’t qualify for aid because she doesn’t have children)
- Tried to apply for section 8 housing (2.5 year waiting list)
- Got a roommate to share rent (who skipped out without paying after 2 months)
It seems unfair that there are two apartments in her complex where women are paying only $250 or $25 for monthly rent. Why is Brittny being penalized with a higher rate? Because she is working, and is deemed “above the poverty line.”
Brittny has gumption and aspires to help others in her situation
Brittny is working towards her goal of moving up within Catholic Charities to work with foster youth. She graduated in May with a degree in Psychology from SUNY’s Westbury State University. It is an incredible achievement for someone who was in and out of homeless shelters during her college years. Brittny doesn’t quit but she does get down sometimes.
She’s now in debt and will likely be evicted at Christmas
Brittny graduated college only to enter a dismal job market. Then Superstorm Sandy arrived, Walmart was without power and so she couldn’t work (and make rent money). Even though she did everything she could, she now owes over $5000 in back rent and $500 in utilities. Her final hearing is on November 29th, 2012 (1 week from Thanksgiving). She is pretty sure that she will be evicted within 30 days. If she doesn’t have a place to go at that time, her belongings will be taken to Bennett Storage in Hempstead where they will be auctioned off.
Brittny doesn’t have family to help her – she needs US
Brittny doesn’t have a family the way most of us do. That’s because Brittny aged-out of the foster care system a few years ago.
That is why we are putting out this one-time call-to-action to help a worthy young woman get a fresh start.
GOAL= $1734 by December 12th, 2012
What the money is needed for
- Rent/deposit: Brittny first and foremost needs cash to pay for first, last and deposit for an affordable apartment in Jamaica, Queens. All of New York rent is incredibly high, but Jamaica is a good solution for Brittny because it’s one of the most affordable places to live, she has a church and friends there, NYC Subway and she will be neat the LIRR to get to work.
- Commute costs: Tickets for Long Island Railroad (daily roundtrip is $10 plus taxi from the station to work)
- Clothes: If we can get that taken care of, Brittny could use money towards some winter basics like a coat and boots, and also some clothes to help her look professional at work. She knows it’s important to dress for the job you want and not the job you have. It’s a little challenging to shop for clothes when you are size 5X woman with size 11 shoes ($83.69 Winter coat, $39 boots, $25 new tops) But she is the best person to choose clothing. We’ll accept donations of used clothing in NYC. But prefer you donate the cost of shipping to the fund than send clothing she may not love.
Every little bit helps
Any amount you can donate, from $10 to $100, anything you can manage. Brittny is already immensely touched. She is an inspiring young woman who is trying to build a better life for herself. Please help her do that.
Photos and Video by William Vazquez