I hope this note finds you doing well.
I am humbly writing to ask for your generous support as I struggle through an urgent housing situation.
I live in an apartment building that is owned/managed by a prominent, mostly White social justice organization here in Philadelphia.
There are three tenants in the building, one White/Puerto Rican woman and the other two of us are Black women. We were told in June by the leader of the organization that the situation here would be “in transition”, meaning they would soon begin to only admit as tenants those that are participants in the organization’s programs and we the two Black women would have to move out since we are not program participants. When we asked when this transition would begin and be complete, we were told, “I’m not sure, but not soon, sometime in 2019.”
Unfortunately, something changed in a matter of approximately six weeks and in a letter dated August 1, the other Black woman was given a 30 day eviction notice with no explanation for a reason why. I have asked the two leaders of the organization twice why this was done this way and I only got stonewalled, with no real reason given. The other Black woman has never been late with her rent and has never caused any problems. She has lived here for eight years and has contributed tremendously to the furnishings of the entire building and to programs that have helped the surrounding community. She is well liked and respected by many of our neighbors.
As we all know, it is extremely difficult, stressful even, to find safe, affordable housing here in this city and 30 days eviction notice is simply not enough time and is very unfair, especially coming from an organization that prides itself as a strong advocate and supporter of affordable housing and other social justice issues.
As a Black woman that has lived here now for three years, this situation is stressful for me as well. Black women are not work mules where our labor, gifts, talents and ideas are to be used and then we are discarded like Monday morning trash. I am now expected to assist them with their community programs, even though that was never discussed as a condition for me to live here. And no, they do not require a lease but we did have to sign an agreement on June 12 regarding the “transition and restructuring.”
At this point, I do not feel safe or welcome here; I am sad, disappointed and yes angry that my house mate has been treated in this way and I have no intention to stay here and possibly have such a sudden, unwarranted eviction thrown at me as well. This situation has increased my existing anxiety and when this first happened, for several days I had a nervous stomach. I am even thinking about starting therapy again.
So I respectfully ask for your $$$ support as I seek to move out as soon as possible. Like many of you, I work a low wage job and I don’t have enough money saved to afford to move. I am now trying to raise $2,500 to afford a new place to live, all moving expenses, storage, paying two or three people to help me, etc. I hope I can get 100 people to donate (or loan) $25 to help me do this as quickly and with as little stress as possible. I desperately want to be out of here in 60 days or less.
Your $$$ support and suggestions for a new place to live are greatly appreciated. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact me at your earliest convenience.
Thanks and solidarity,