74-year-old Thomas Fair is like millions of Americans living on a fixed income. The college-educated veteran has a retirement plan but still works as a part-time handy man to make ends meet.
When something breaks in a customer’s home, Thomas usually gets a call for help. However, when the pandemic hit, everything changed.
“At this point, I knew I was going to have some difficulty,” Thomas said. “No one wants you to come into their home and I didn’t want to go into homes where I could possibly catch the virus.”
The situation put Thomas in a bad spot.
Without the extra income, Thomas couldn’t pay his bills.
Eventually, he fell behind on rent.
“I had to make the choice of either paying my rent or paying utilities,” Thomas said. “That was upsetting. The money wasn’t there to cover all of the expenses. I needed some help.”
That’s when Thomas contacted SDC.
Thanks to SDC’s Milwaukee Rental Assistance Program (MRAP), Thomas received money that allowed him to avoid eviction and pay rent owed.
Since the start of the pandemic, SDC has distributed more than 16 million dollars to help thousands of Milwaukee County residents avoid eviction and stay in their homes. MRAP provided financial assistance for rent and security deposits as long as the renter’s hardship was a result of the pandemic.
Not only did Thomas receive rental assistance, SDC also helped Thomas with FoodShare benefits and financial coaching.
“SDC is a God-send,” Thomas said. “ I need to be in a healthy situation. SDC gave me relief so I can go on. I have a grandson. I have a son with four kids and I want to be here for them.”