When it comes to eviction threats, landlords often get cast as the heartless villains who callously file evictions and toss families on the street.
That’s what many people pictured as the federal moratorium on COVID-related evictions momentarily came to an end on July 31, with talk of 30,000 Maricopa County evictions already on the constable’s desk awaiting Aug. 1 to be signed and enforced. The federal moratorium has since been extended through Oct. 3.
While frightening, one silver lining is this: The past year has shown St. Vincent de Paul a different portrait of a landlord – one of sacrifice, care and great heart to help keep residents and fellow neighbors in their homes through payment negotiations, fee waivers and more.
As SVdP staff and volunteers ramped up rent and utility assistance programming in response to the pandemic, it became clear that landlords are a crucial, cooperative piece in preventing homelessness. Not every landlord is heartless. They too have bills to pay and financial pressures that they balance with showing renters compassion and leniency.
In the video above, meet Vanessa Pimbart, one such kind soul. Vanessa is the property manager of Atwater Apartments in Phoenix. She works closely with SVdP’s Karen McAlister, the president of SVdP’s Most Holy Trinity conference, which operates a SVdP food pantry and assistance center of the local church and is run by parish-based volunteers called ‘Vincentians.’ Hear how the two women team up to keep families in their homes.
The federal moratorium on evictions has been extended thorugh Oct. 3. But SVdP isn't waiting for the new eviction moratorium to lift in the fall. Help us be proactive now in preventing crisis later. Vanessa's kindness is just one example of preventing homelessness after the pandemic. She shows us the potential to enact the same grace and helping hand with thousands more.
Will you help by sponsoring one family's rent and utilities for a month? Donate today to SVdP’s Rent and Utility Assistance Urgent Need Fund.