Evicted family could forfeit assistance

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 6, 2002

A Suffolk woman and her four children remain homeless after losing their public housing apartment to a fire last month.

In fact, if the family does not find a new home by Friday, Aug. 9, they forfeit assistance from the Red Cross and Social Services, which would provide the deposit and first month’s rent.

Susie Golden, the mother of the fire victim, Gwendolyn Bond, explained that her daughter has been searching diligently for housing to no avail. Golden said her lack of sufficient income is the primary roadblock.

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&uot;She just needs someone to give her a chance,&uot; said Golden.

A single parent who’s struggled to make ends meet over the years, Bond had previously lived in the federally subsidized Nansemond Square apartments off Carolina Road for 10 years. Bond had lived in Hoffler apartments for five months where she paid $48 per month for rent. Public housing rental rates are calculated, in part, based upon household size and monthly gross income.

When Bond returned to her residence on July 8, she found that the fire had totally ruined its insides and contents. Bond’s daughter left grease on the stove unattended in the downstairs kitchen while upstairs on the phone.

The Suffolk Fire Department ruled the fire accidental, and the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority moved quick on the same day to inform the resident that she would be evicted due to negligence.

Since the Red Cross provided hotel accommodations three nights for the family, the Bond family has been living from house to house. TSince the News-Herald published an article including the family’s request for assistance, Golden reported that the public has been very generous providing numerous items, including clothing, furniture, and other household items. Now all Bond needs is a place to permanently put them.

&uot;We certainly appreciate everything,&uot; said Golden. &uot;Everyone has been really nice. The family continues to cope pretty well, as best they can under the circumstances.&uot;

To help the family find housing, call 934-6123.