If I’d Had AVLF

ANONYMOUS | April 18, 2019

I had the honor of volunteering at a Standing with Our Neighbors community outreach event recently. And when I was a child, I could have been a client.

Like many single mothers, my mom struggled to make ends meet.

When I was a child, my mom, my brother, and I were living in a small apartment in metro Atlanta. We didn’t have much money, and the apartment had a terrible black mold problem. My mother complained to the leasing office about it time after time, but they refused to solve the problem, and left us to breathe in the sickly air.

Who do you turn to when the leasing office won’t help? We didn’t know our rights, and we didn’t know how to hold the property owner accountable for the hazardous conditions in our home. We didn’t have an attorney. We had to move.

We left the apartment in the middle of the second semester of my junior year of high school. We moved to a completely different neighborhood in a completely different school district. My education was totally disrupted.

I had such a difficult time adjusting that my mom allowed me to take online classes for my senior year of high school—but this learning structure didn’t work for me, and I didn’t graduate.

What if a volunteer attorney had written a demand letter to our property manager? Would the repairs have been made? Would the mold be gone? Could I have stayed at my school?

I was able to get my GED, thankfully—but my circumstances could have been a lot different if we had an attorney to stand with us.

It was an honor to volunteer with an organization like AVLF that is helping other families—and children—live safe and healthy lives.

We’re grateful to all of the volunteers from Coyote Logistics who helped out at our job and resource fair this month – and to the volunteer who contributed this article.