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Woman fights to help her elderly mom facing eviction: 'I'm not going to stop'

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Posted at 6:46 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 18:47:20-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Roshaun Johnson knows the reality of what could happen to her mom Thursday at 11 a.m.

Eviction is imminent and she's doing all she can to help her mom in this 11th hour.

“Because she’s an elder and she has some mental challenges and I know she doesn’t have anywhere to go. I’m homeless myself so I can’t pull her in with me, and I really need to have somewhere for her to go,” Johnson said.

Up to 40 million renters may face the same fate by the end of this year due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.

This is why rent relief programs are sorely needed.

“A lot of people don’t know about the program. I did not know, until I called to find out,” Johnson said.

The South Richmond woman says though late in the game, her mom has reached out to the Eviction Diversion Program through HOME of Virginia.

She even alerted the courts to the CDC eviction moratorium declaration form her mom submitted to the landlord, hoping for a few months of protection.

She fears what could happen if her mom ends up on the streets during the pandemic.

“Oh, that is really scary because she does have pre-existing problems and it is very severe to the point where if she comes out here, it can kill her. I’m not ready for that. I don’t think anybody deserves that,” Johnson explained.

She was thrilled to learn HOME of Virginia recently received a $300,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation.

That enables the agency and its partners Central VA Legal Aid Society and the Greater Richmond Bar Association to enhance free counseling and low-cost legal assistance for people like Johnson’s mom.

“I’m hoping I can get any help that’s available to help my mother in this situation. I’m not going to stop because I refuse to see my mom out in the streets,” Johnson said.

Late Wednesday evening CBS 6 Problem Solvers learned that Johnson’s eviction set for Thursday morning was canceled.

Since HOME'S Eviction Diversion Program began last year, close to 150 families have received financial assistance.

Housing experts say HOME will continue to use financial resources provided as they anticipate a tsunami of eviction cases for the remainder of 2020 and beyond.

To contact the Eviction Diversion Hotline, call 1-833-663-8428.