Meet the Major Family
Marguerita Major and her husband, Enel, applied to the Georgia Law Center for the Homeless (GLCH) for assistance with an eviction in October of 2017. They have six children (four minor children and two grandchildren) in their household. Their situation is particularly compelling because Mrs. Major home-schools the children (ages 7-16), and cares for two toddler grand-daughters that are in their custody. The Majors got behind on their rent because Mr. Major, a truck driver, was unable to work after his truck broke down. He lost income due to the time that the repairs required, and he was forced to use the family’s savings to repair the truck. GLCH was able to help this family by providing an attorney to represent them in the eviction case. In addition, they received rental assistance through our Eviction Prevention (Housing First) program. These interventions provided the support that helped the Majors, their children and grand-daughters keep their home while Mr. Major resolved his employment crisis. He was able to return to work full-time and took a part-time job to increase his income. Mrs. Major also got a part-time job. Through the generosity of Stanley Black and Decker and other donors, GLCH provided a Welcome Home basket and other gifts to the Major family. They asked if they could stop by our office to thank us and were invited to our holiday luncheon. Mr. Major and the children sang, played instruments and filled our space and spirits with joy! It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Major family and many others in our community who are at risk of homelessness.
Meet Ms. Eaton
Carletta Eaton has always been a fighter. A hard-working single mother of two, and with a baby on the way, Ms. Eaton never expected to face homelessness. Ms. Eaton had received a public housing voucher, and was staying with her family while she searched for an apartment. After living with them for a short while, she quickly discovered it was an unsafe environment for her children to be living in, and when she attempted to leave, was physically assaulted, and subsequently hospitalized. When she was released from the hospital, she went to stay in a local homeless shelter, secured a well-paying job and became stable.
She then found a safe, affordable apartment and moved in, only to discover a few weeks later her housing voucher could not be honored because the income from her new job was too high. Soon following, Ms. Eaton lost her driver’s license, and after being pulled over for a minor traffic ticket, was wrongfully incarcerated due to a warrant that was intended for the individual who had stolen her license. As a result of her incarceration, she consequently lost her job, and developed complications with her pregnancy due to the immense stress she was under. Ms. Eaton was placed on bed rest, and was unable to look for new employment. Not able to pay her rent, Ms. Eaton was served with an eviction, which then brought her to GLCH seeking legal services, and her journey with us then began.
Knowing Ms. Eaton was now facing eviction, I called shelter after shelter explaining Ms. Eaton’s situation, in hopes of securing a bed for herself and her children, only to hear over and over the shelters were full, despite the fact that Ms. Eaton was now due to give birth any day. My frustration and fear for Ms. Eaton’s family grew, but together we pressed on. After securing a month of temporary hotel lodging for Ms. Eaton through one of our partner agencies, I worked to arrange a stable 12-month rental for Ms. Eaton. With an eviction on her record and no income, finding housing for Ms. Eaton began to feel like an insurmountable task, until just a week before her hotel stay was to end, I received a call from a new landlord interested in renting to our clients. When Ms. Eaton heard the good news, she shared that she had just been praying about her situation “from the bottom of her soul” when she received my call. Unfortunately, when I went to move Ms. Eaton in, the rental unit did not pass inspection. Our housing and legal teams then worked diligently with the landlord to ensure the rental complied with all safety regulations, and Ms. Eaton was finally able to move in with her two children and newborn son, Magic.
Ms. Eaton’s story has only just begun. She is one of many clients facing challenging circumstances with insurmountable courage and strength every day.