- by Pascazie Senzara, Housing Support Specialist
In January 2022, a woman came to ProsperityME seeking assistance. She had a story that made people in the office cry, including myself. She moved to America with her daughter in hopes of getting medical services for a condition her daughter was born with. Where she lived in Africa, they had attempted to treat her, but unfortunately, they could not. She received a Visa and was able to go to a hospital in the US that had agreed to treat her. Unfortunately, her finances ran out and she was left with nothing. The grant that she had received also ran out and they told her that they could not help her anymore. That is when she moved to Maine where she had some friends who were able to take her in, but the conditions she lived in were very bad.
This woman and her daughter stayed with different friends in the community. Her daughter’s rare disease makes it difficult for her to sleep on her back, but she had no choice; they were couch-hopping and has no place of their own. Her daughter had no bed and she screamed due to pain every night.
When she found an apartment in Portland ME near the hospital where her daughter was receiving treatment, the landlord was not willing to give her the key or let her sign a lease unless she had paid the deposit. I helped her complete an emergency rental assistance application and send it to TOA as an urgent case. I followed that up with emails and phone calls to ensure that her case was processed so she did not lose her apartment. I also called her landlord and talked to him about the ERA program after receiving the go-ahead from TOA. The landlord agreed to give her the key to the house even before TOA had paid the deposit.
Our clients called us multiple times to thank ProsperityME for what we were able to assist her with.
This case touched me deeply and I was glad that I was able to be a part of her happy ending at least regarding this human basic need – housing. There is nothing like struggling and feeling helpless especially when it comes to a loved one who is ill.
ProsperityME is doing some amazing work in the lives of people like this family, and I hope we can continue to be of assistance to those in the community that need us.