Stable housing is a critical goal for the Veterans’ Rights Project. Catherine Mendolia, helped a veteran maintain his housing and avoid eviction and homelessness. Stabilizing his housing meant working with the landlord, raising the funds to pay the rent arrears, and assisting the veteran with budgeting to avoid a future eviction.
Upon a stipulation of settlement entered into with the landlord’s attorney, the veteran had one month to pay four months of rent arrears or be evicted. Services for the Underserved (SUS) agreed to help the veteran pay his rent arrears as long as he reduced his expenses and showed that he was able to make ongoing rent payments. Catherine helped the veteran begin the process of reducing his monthly expenses and obtaining public assistance from the Department of Social Services. She worked to reduce the veteran’s unaffordable car payment by negotiating with the dealership who agreed to buy back the vehicle and not hold the veteran liable for the balance. She then assisted the veteran to find found a more affordable vehicle. With the veteran’s monthly expenses reduced, SUS promised to pay the client’s rent arrears going back four months, as well as the following month’s rent.
By coordinating various services, Catherine provided legal assistance, negotiation, and budgeting counseling to avert this veteran’s homelessness.