With the federal eviction moratorium about to expire, the Salvation Army said it stands prepared to help the thousands of North Texans on the brink of homelessness.
The single mom of a five-year-old girl lost her retail job when the pandemic forced the store to close.
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When she fell behind on rent, she completed the CDC declaration required to qualify for the federal eviction moratorium.
Still, a judge allowed for the eviction to move forward following state guidance from the Texas Justice Court Training Center that said courts didn’t have to uphold the federal moratorium.
It's guidance that came as many tenants, as well as landlords, awaited delayed relief.
"You can have all the plans and all the backup plans in the world. But when life happens and those plans go away, you're back at square one,” said Alexys Hatcher.
That's where the Salvation Army came in, helping Hatcher secure a new apartment in Arlington. It was just part of the $2 million in financial aid Executive Director Beckie Wach said they've granted.
“We know that more than 215,000 North Texans are already at risk of experiencing homelessness. So what we realized in March of last year is that there is this huge crisis and need for people to be able to build stability into their lives again. Many are on furlough. Many are reaching out to us for the first time,” said Wach.
In Tarrant County alone, Wach said they're averaging 30 to 40 requests for help each week. It’s a number that triples looking at North Texas as a whole.
Still, she believes there are more in Hatcher’s position who simply don’t know where to turn for help.
From the floor of her new living room, playing a board game with her daughter, Hatcher said she's still nervous about what the future holds.
But with a roof over their heads she can call her own, she said she's been given peace and room to plan.
"Dark days don’t stay dark. It doesn’t rain forever," Hatcher said.
Those in need of assistance are urged to call 211 or visit the Salvation Army of North Texas’ website.