May 16, 2010

I’ve never had to kick a single mom and her kids out of a house. How do I do that and live with myself? We’ve done all we can to help her.

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I’m evicting our tenant.  Ouch.

She’s 5 months behind on her rent and keeps dragging it out.

Her electricity was cut off months ago and I found out that she’s strung an extension cord around the back to her neighbor to scam his electricity.

I found out that her kids have broken out the window in the garage and have tampered with the lawn equipment stored there.

She refuses to let me into the apartment to show it, even though legally all I have to do is give her 24 hours notice.

I have had a ton of sympathy for her plight (obviously!) or she wouldn’t still be there.  But, I have to make it stop.

I’ve never had to kick a single mom and her kids out of a house.  How do I do that and live with myself?  We’ve done all we can to help her.  Ron even went to a city agency and got paperwork started that paid part of her rent one month.

When do I stop being responsible for her?  How do I harden my heart and do what I’ve got to do?

Bad things happen.  Sometimes there’s a rhyme and reason and sometimes it eludes me.  I guess all I can do is not be a confrontational asshole while going about the business of taking care of business.  It’s hard when someone’s yelling at you that she’s not going to allow her kids to be homeless.  It’s hard not to yell back about not allowing someone to push my property into foreclose because I can’t pay the mortgage without the rent.

I’ve never had to kick a single mom and her kids out of a house.  How do I do that and live with myself?  We’ve done all we can to help her.  Ron even went to a city agency and got paperwork started that paid part of her rent one month.

When do I stop being responsible for her?  How do I harden my heart and do what I’ve got to do?

Bad things happen.  Sometimes there’s a rhyme and reason and sometimes it eludes me.  I guess all I can do is not be a confrontational asshole while going about the business of taking care of business.  It’s hard when someone’s yelling at you that she’s not going to allow her kids to be homeless.  It’s hard not to yell back about not allowing someone to push my property into foreclose because I can’t pay the mortgage without the rent.

I need to go over there today and sign some sort of paper she has.  Frankly, she’s so angry, I’m afraid to go alone.

Time for some prayer.  And maybe to call a friend to go with me.

Significantly,

Susan Scot Fry

Update… I feel much less like a cowardly failure.

7 thoughts on “May 16, 2010”

  1. I would definitely take a friend with. I can understand how you would feel bad, but at the same time, it kind of sounds like being evicted is what she needs. Stealing electricity from the neighbors is crazy. There are low income energy programs. There are programs to help with rent. To not have paid anything in 5 months?? She’s not interested in paying. She’s mooching. Even if she is on welfare, she would get SOMETHING, and be able to pay SOMETHING. She can yell that she isn’t going to allow her kids to be homeless because that’s the easiest thing to do. However, if she really doesn’t want them to be homeless then she needs to do more than just yell. Maybe starting an eviction proceeding – which can take a while at that – will be a wake up call to her — maybe it won’t, but maybe taking the “tough love” route with this woman will be enough to get her to do what she needs to do to really take care of her kids. She is not ENTITLED to live in a home you own rent free without YOUR approval.

    1. Thanks Kerri. I was feeling like a big baby for not wanting to go alone. So much of my early life experiences deal with facing angry, hurt people and I know how dangerous they can be. But for some reason, I chide myself for being afraid of them. As if it’s my fault they’re out of control.

      Thanks for all the perspectives too. This really helps.

      1. Even the nicest people in the world can become someone quite different when they are angry. It’s always good to have back-up. Cops with tazers and guns very seldom walk into a situation with angry people alone, there is no reason why you, an unarmed civilian, should feel like a baby for not wanting to go it alone!

  2. Hey there-
    She will be homeless anyway if she forces you into foreclosure. Eviction is always hard to do from a landlord side, even when they have earned it. I cannot go with you today, but I would… if you are going another day, let me know and I will come with. Please do not go alone.

    1. JIll, you are a generous, abundant woman. If I can’t get someone to go with me today and I need to go tomorrow, I’ll call and see if you’re available.

      Thank you so much.

  3. I think Kerri really hit the mark here. You folks went above and beyond by investigating alternate ways to help her pay rent. If she was unable to pay but wanted to she would have taken your lead and looked into other programs herself or worked out some sort of payment method. I understand being frustrated and overwhelmed to the point where you just give up, but inaction never solves anything. By yelling and screaming, she is able to paint herself as the victim and divorce herself from any responsibilty. She’s trying to prey on your sympathy by touting her homeless children. Public programs are especially geared toward helping children. What about child support? At some point she needs to take responsibility in some fashion, if not ITS NOT YOUR FAULT! You are responsible for yourself and you are doing what you need to for yourself. You are a wonderful, kind, generous woman. Do not let her make you think otherwise.

    Love you

    1. Thank you, Alice. I get so wrapped up in trying to figure out what to do to help and to be understanding that I end up allowing myself to be taken advantage of. There are resources. Hell, I was a welfare kid living with a single mother who worked as a clerk in a store. She always figured things out. We may have needed those services then, but that’s what they were there for.

      Thank you, Alice.

      Love you, too.

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