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Help Victims of Room-For-Rent Scam

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We are a group of tenants in South Los Angeles on the verge of being homeless after we found out that the lady we were renting room from didn't pay the bills and was being evicted.  We were scheduled to be locked out on Sunday morning but through the work of an attorney managed to get one more day--Monday.  We need to raise money to pay the attorney who is going into court to fight for us on Monday.
We need help. We've given the little money we had to Ms. Wilkerson and she has disappeared. We all need time to find a new place to live and to save up enough money to get into a new place to live. Hiring an attorney who can get us that time is our current plan. As horrible as this house is, it's all that is standing between us and being on the street.

Anything you can give to help is appreciated and will go towards paying the attorney's costs.

Our Story

Targeting low-income people, Giovanna Wilkerson (also known to use the name Giovanna Clark), solicited the rental of rooms through posted flyers and word of mouth claiming to operate transitional housing. Ms. Wilkerson targeted people like us who were in need of immediate housing who were mostly on government assistance (General Relief., SSI, etc.). She took our money and occasionally food stamps as payment for rent.

After we found out that Ms. Wilkerson took our money without paying the bills--including the rent--she disappeared. We have no heat.  No hot water. The lights and the water were turned off but we managed to convince Los Angeles Department and Water to turn it back on.

One of us is on a respirator, one young man is autistic living with his mother who is his caregiver--in all there are about 12 to 15 of us still left living here because we have nowhere else to go.  Some of us were dropped off here by the hospital, others referred.  

We were promised a boarding care facility like environment to live in by Ms. Wilkerson that included three meals a day, clean bedrooms with beds, running water, heat, access to a working kitchen and job assistance programs.

We pay between $175 and $500 per month to rent a bed in a room.  All of us are current on our rent to Ms. Wilkerson.

The house is in deplorable conditions including rats, roaches, holes in the ceiling, water leaks and a serious bed bug infestation.  There is mold in everyone room of the house.  Some of us are currently sleeping on bunk beds with no mattress or on the floor.  Anything to not be outside on the street.

Officials with the City of Los Angeles told us that if they leave—willingly or not—they can’t do anything to help us get our money back. 

We recently found out this Ms. Wilkerson is running these room-for-rent scams all over South Los Angeles taking advantage of people who can't afford Los Angeles' high rent but don't want to be homeless.  Besides our house, she's running similar operations in at least two other locations. 

We have very little time to raise money before Monday's court date.

Anything you can give to help is appreciated and will go towards paying the attorney's costs.

If a judge gives us more time, we plan to try and raise enough money so that we can all find another place to go ASAP.

Thank you.


The House

Ayasha's Story

Ayasha has been living in the Crenshaw House for nearly one year with her 24-year-old autistic son Chris. They share one small room and a twin bed on the floor. She uses a hot plate for heat. She is a diabetic and she is her son's sole caregiver. She moved into the Crenshaw House after moving from home that was shot up during a drive-by shooting. She pays $500 per month.

Wendy's Story

Wendy was dropped off at the Crenshaw House by Silverlake Medical Center, an acute psychiatric hospital and mental health center.

Vincent's Story


Shalana Little
Los Angeles, CA

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