Tamar’s Case Story
As November unfolds, bringing with it the spirit of Thanksgiving, we are reminded of the blessings we often take for granted. In stark contrast, this month also marks Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week—a poignant reminder of the struggles countless individuals face daily. The story of Tamar, a single mother of three, underscores the importance of community support during such trying times.
Tamar, a high school graduate, worked diligently to provide for her three young children. Despite her full-time job, her hourly wage was merely half of the living wage for the Pittsburgh metro area. A prolonged illness, which rendered her unable to work combined with the absence of paid time off, led to mounting rent arrears. To add to her woes, her rent was increased by $200 monthly. While she managed to secure a better-paying job, the shadow of eviction loomed large due to the accumulated debt from her period of unemployment.
The Weight of the World
The financial strain took a toll on Tamar’s mental well-being, plunging her into stress and depression. Her children, despite their tender age, could sense their mother’s distress, adding to the household’s emotional turmoil. Tamar’s own words capture the essence of her despair: “(I’m) stressed out and overwhelmed. I can’t provide for my children with the past due balance.”
Footbridge’s Timely Intervention
Footbridge for Families, recognizing the urgency of Tamar’s situation, stepped in to offer the support she so desperately needed. The assistance not only helped Tamar regain control over her finances but also provided her with the tools to navigate her financial future. Reflecting on Footbridge’s impact, Tamar expressed, “You helped me figure out my finances to get things back on track.”
The Bigger Picture
Tamar’s story is not an isolated one. Millions of Americans face housing insecurity, both renters (7.7 million) and homeowners (5.3 million). With housing costs on the rise, evictions are on the rise and are nearing pre-pandemic levels. As we approach Thanksgiving, it’s crucial to remember that while many of us gather around bountiful tables, others are grappling with the fear of eviction and the uncertainty of their next meal.
* this name has been changed for privacy reasons