Hit the ground running.
That’s the plan for Brian and Ashley, their baby and five-year-old daughter.
Part of that plan means digging themselves out of a legal nightmare with immediate help/support they found at Family Resource Exchange,
Because where are they now?
Living in their car.
When they fell behind on rent for their Kent apartment, they were evicted. They agreed to pay the landlord $5,000 to settle, but when they couldn’t pay that off right away—there was a reason they were already behind on rent, after all—fees suddenly ballooned to $10,000.
“It’s hard when it feels like you’re in a hole that you’re trying to dig yourself out of,” Ashley said at the Family Resource Exchange. “It’s been difficult trying to get that paid down.”
An eviction mark on their record. A fee so high they didn’t know how they’d pay it off. So, how did they dig out?
They started with Mary’s Place, which worked with the property owner so that they only have to pay the original fee. They’re working towards that, with Brian employed as an auto technician and Ashley about to start a job at an Amazon fulfillment center. But even that doesn’t mean they’re be on solid ground.
“The thing keeping us out of housing is the eviction,” said Ashley said.
“It’s like they blacklisted us and now no one will rent to us,” added Brian.
That’s where the legal help at the Family Resource Exchange comes in. Getting the eviction mark off their record means opportunity for this family because just paying off the fine isn’t enough.
Until then, they’re touched by the many other opportunities available at the Exchange, including clothing, food, voter registration and more. “It’s amazing, the resources we found that we didn’t know were out there,” Ashley said.
And the Family Resource Exchange continues to help your friends and neighbors. If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, resources for jobs, housing, legal and more are available at the Family Resource Exchange on October 20 in Burien.