Keisha is a 30-something mother of two who recently was wrongfully evicted from their home. She and her children stayed with a family member who took them in yet took advantage of Keisha’s situation and demanded most of her paycheck for “rent” leaving little to feed her and her children. In the meantime, Keisha went to trial with proof that she had been keeping up with her payments, however, as you can imagine, was intimidated by the court system and not properly represented. Her lack of representation resulted in her losing the case. Desperately, she reached out to her Case Manager at Pathways to Progress who connected her with our Legal Aid department. Our team organized all information provided by Keisha that displayed proof of payments. We reached out to the attorney on the case to file for dismissal and were able to have the eviction removed from CaseNet.
CaseNet is a statewide database that stores legal records and is accessed by landlords and potential employers, among others. Many landlords are not willing to rent to someone with an eviction on their record, so a family’s housing prospects can be severely limited by a past eviction, even one that occurred many years ago. It can even be a deterrent to a potential employer, depending on the type of job.
Having a safe, decent, affordable place to live is a basic need and necessary for human dignity, which is a foundational principle informing our work as Saint Francis. Moving forward and improving the family’s situation for the long term isn’t possible until basic needs are met, which is why we invest time and energy to work with our clients on housing-related issues.
Learn more about Pathways to Progress at https://sfcsstl.org/pathways-to-progress.