This summer I worked with 3 different single mothers who either lost their housing, or are imminently about to, for one reason and one reason only: they struggle to pay their rent in full on time. This isn't because they are irresponsible, not working, or living outside their means. (They are none of those things!) . It's because the rent is too damn high, and growing way faster than anyone's income.
A single parent needs to earn $27/hour to afford and "average" 2 bedroom in Portland renting for $1547/month.
When you're living hand to mouth and running out of paycheck before month, every month, any unplanned event or expense can snowball quickly, with zero room for mercy from our landlords. If you can't pay rent in full by the 12th of the month, in addition to $75-150 late fee on top of it, then it doesn't matter how great of a tenant or neighbor you are, or how sympathetic your story is, the landlords do not need to show mercy, and the law doesn't allow the judges to.
Despite the fact that we KNOW that short term rent assistance is the best way to prevent homelessness, and despite increasing the budget for STRA significantly over the last several years as our homeless population balloons, these moms either haven't been able to find any agency with funds to distribute, or their landlords have refused funds from the agencies that offered them, opting instead to evict these moms from their long time homes; and these kids from their long time schools.
Raising money for landlords is the last thing I want to do with my time and energy, and I firmly believe that landlords should instead be required to consider rent reductions, accept rent assistance, and otherwise work with good tenants to keep them housed -- but that's not the reality we live in right now. And these are but two of the thousands of moms facing homelessness in the Portland area without anyone throwing them a lifeline -- in part because know one even knows where the lifelines are.
However, if we can raise money for these two moms whose housing can still be saved, while calling attention to the ways that our system has failed them, then we can keep these kids from having their lives uprooted through no fault of their own (or their moms'!).
Pitch in $25-50, and tell your friends to too. Let's keep these mamas housed!
One mom needs $1000 to defend her eviction this Friday in court, the other needs about $2500 to pay off her late fees and prevent an eviction notice this month. Donations will be divided equally between these moms. If more than $2000 is raised (i.e. $1000 each), then additional donations will go toward meeting the goal for $3500. If this fund raises more than $3500 updates will be sent to donors to outline how the funds will be used to best support the goal of keeping other single mothers whose only "problem" is being a day late and dollar short on rent.