Mom seeks help; fears losing housing: 'It's hard. It's tiring. It's draining.'

Posted at 6:06 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 18:06:20-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- All Deja Shelton can think about these days is finding and keeping a more stable home for herself, her two-year-old daughter, and baby that's on the way.

Like so many people out of work during the pandemic, Shelton is struggling between searching for work and avoiding situations that could potentially expose her to the virus.

Her biggest fear is being out on the streets.

"It's a horrible feeling waking up knowing that you have to leave where you lay your head or where you can't have somewhere to stay," she said. "It's honestly a struggle. It's hard. It's tiring. It's draining. It just makes a person feel like giving up on life."

Shelton is looking for rent relief that can tide her over until she begins her job at a fast food restaurant and can save enough money to move from a motel room to an apartment.

She's reached out to ACTS RVA to access funds through the Virginia Rent and Mortgage Relief Program -- a $50 million initiative the state started in June.

Shelton, like so many others, is waiting to hear back.

"Not being able to have income. Not being able to have money or anything. It's just hard and it just it makes a person want to break down," she said.

Shelton remains hopeful that help through the state program will arrive.

The CBS 6 Problem Solvers found from June through September 23, the state has received or processed more than 6,900 applications for Virginia households, dispersing more than $10.4 million in rent and mortgage payments for 4,754 households in Virginia.

Families can still apply for rent relief through ACTS RVA by dialing 804-644-2401.

Leave your name and contact information and a caseworker will call you back.

There's generally an eight to 14-day waiting period due to the high volume of calls.

Landlords are also now able to apply for rent relief on behalf of tenants.