Sarah was referred to Project Homeless Connect by the San Francisco Office of the Treasurer after she initially reached out to them for support with a parking citation and impound fees.
Sarah is a 65 year old disabled senior whose only income is her Social Security, which is a total of $945 a month. Sarah had recently received a parking citation and her car was impounded after she parked on a street where, unbeknownst to her, parking was prohibited. The citation itself cost $109, but Sarah also needed to pay $303 to get her car out of the impound.
Sarah made the difficult choice to pay the $303 to get her car out of the impound before the fees increased. Sarah lives in west Marin and relies on her car as a means of transportation. Because Sarah paid the fees to get her car out of the impound, she was unable to pay her rent that month. In addition, Sarah was unable to pay her car insurance and had to file an affidavit of non-use for her car. Sarah now struggles with riding the bus in Marin but has no other choice.
Sarah tried to find a reasonable solution – first she went to the SFMTA to request administrative review of her citation, hoping that her income would be taken into account and the citation fee be lowered. Her request was denied because the citation was declared valid. Sarah left feeling defeated and unsure what to do.
Her greatest fear was that she would become homeless because she could not make rent.
Sarah then connected with Project Homeless Connect and explained her situation. PHC was able to support her with the cost of the citation as well as the cost of rent for the month she was unable to pay. Sarah is now feeling stable again, she had been very concerned that this unexpected expense of the citation and impound would have set her back so much that she would end up on the street.
For many of our Participants, it only takes one unexpected expense to have dire consequences, especially for someone on a fixed income or over the age of 65.
Thank you to the donors that make our emergency funds possible – every gift can help a person remain housed.
By: Alison Van Nort