Family already struggling from pandemic, now homeless after Ida; Mom just wants a job that will pay the bills

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – For the final two months, Melissa and her 15-year-old and 16-year-old sons and her 14-year-old daughter have been residing in a U-Haul van.

Melissa, whose title has been modified out of her concern of being acknowledged, and her household have been already on rocky floor previous to Hurricane Ida tearing by Louisiana. She bought COVID earlier than the storm, was out of labor for a month after which wound up out of a job altogether.

“I basically lost my place to stay, and it just went downhill from there,” Melissa stated. “I spent all the money that I had saved up in hotels and different things.”

When the hurricane hit, the resort she was staying in booked up, and when it was time to resume, it now not had house. She couldn’t discover one other resort to remain in and her funds have been working low. She filed for help however with no everlasting handle. She stated she was placed on a waitlist and has not heard again on any assist.

Melissa discovered a part-time job, bringing residence $200 every week however that’s not sufficient to pay for a roof over her children’ head.

“I don’t ever want to be like this again in my life, ever,” Melissa stated. “It’s just if I can get around and find someplace to stay, I can manage this. It won’t be so hard. Everything else is material.”

For the final two months, discovering a spot has been tough although. A “friend” has paid for a U-Haul van to assist her get round city however as an alternative, she has resorted to residing out of it together with her three children. The shelters she reached out to she stated wouldn’t settle for her and her children.

Michael Acaldo, the president of St. Vincent de Paul, stated tales like this have gotten extra frequent as a result of lapse within the eviction moratorium and the financial hardships led to by the pandemic, Hurricane Ida and the rising inflation.

“I think things, as inflation continue to rise, as evictions become more prevalent, you’re going to see more homelessness,” Acaldo stated.

Acaldo stated the extent of homelessness and the necessity for housing help is as dangerous as every other time he has seen.

Fortunately for Melissa and her household, Acaldo and St. Vincent de Paul discovered room for her and her three children at their shelter. That means they may now not must stay out of a van, however it’s simply step one in recovering. Melissa stated she nonetheless wants a better-paying job, one thing that can assist pay the payments and hold a everlasting roof over her household’s heads.

“I’d rather be on someone’s job working than to do this because I don’t want anybody to just give me anything,” she stated. “I want to work for it.”

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