Manny, 31, loved her job and earned $1,200 to $1,500 per week, often picking up extra hours. But when Phoenix implemented passenger limits on public transportation to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Manny’s two-hour commute turned into a four-hour journey some days. She would wait at the bus stop, only to watch the shuttles drive past her because they were at capacity. After arriving late to work a fifth time, Manny lost her job.
She fell behind on bills and was unable to pay rent in August. Desperate for help, Manny reached out to social services organizations that told her not to panic because a nationwide moratorium on evictions would serve as a lifeline. She submitted a sworn affidavit stating she had lost her income and presented it to her landlord. A few weeks later in September, deputies were at her door. They said: “You have to go.”
“I kept getting eviction notices on my door,” Manny told me. “I filled out all of my paperwork. I did what I was told to do. To end up homeless is so devastating; I’ve never been in this situation before. I really wasn’t even given a chance.”