“You gave me hope when I had none. And when you’re struggling like I am, hope means everything.”
That’s how William describes his visit to Crisis Assistance Ministry while trying to get through the devastating impacts of renal disease, job loss, and a neglectful landlord.
While awaiting his meeting with a caseworker about emergency rent and utility assistance, he attended a free class led by Legal Aid of North Carolina volunteers about tenant rights and responsibilities and the eviction process. “I found out I have rights. Even when you’re dealing with big companies and landlords, you are not without power,” William says. “I learned how to show my side of the story to the judge.”
He learned what to expect in court and what types of documentation were needed. With clear evidence of neglect and mistreatment by his landlord, William went to court where he won his case and now has prepaid rent for several months.
With his eviction stopped, Crisis Assistance Ministry caseworkers were able to make payments directly to his power and water companies to keep things on track for him and his 2-year-old son while William continues to seek disability status due to advanced renal disease.
After 32 hospital visits in four years, he’s no longer able to work in the hospitality field where he flourished for decades. Instead, he spends his days carefully charting his intake and output of fluids while undergoing dialysis.
It’s a lot. But, William says, he isn’t giving up. “When you feel like you’re crashing, don’t give up. There are people who will help you. And that’s all you need. Just a little bit of hope.”