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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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 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.
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.