With 1 in 5 Massachusetts residents reporting domestic violence as a reason for their homelessness, collaborations between domestic violence organizations and legal aid can keep survivors housed.
Recently, the New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (NELCWIT), the sexual and domestic violence crisis center in Franklin County, referred a case to Community Legal Aid (CLA). The tenant, a single mother, had lost her job because of her abusive partner and owed thousands of dollars in rent. Her landlord refused to accept rental assistance to cover the amount owed and filed an eviction case against her.
CLA CELHP case manager, Persis, had extensive conversations with the client and her advocate at NELCWIT. Persis applied for rental assistance (RAFT) on behalf of the client, and got approval for her to relocate. However, she was unable to find a place to live in enough time, and her application timed out.
Persis completed a successful second application for the client during a Zoom court mediation and CELHP staff negotiated the dismissal of the eviction case upon RAFT payment. This advocacy enables the client to stay in her home.