The phrase “Home Sweet Home” took on new significance in 2020 as the pandemic took hold, and everyone was encouraged to shelter in place. But for Tiffany, her temporary home was more of a prison than a refuge.
After the mobile home she rented was condemned in late 2019, a former co-worker offered her a room to rent at his house. With only 15 days to find a new place, she accepted. Affordable, decent places to live are few and far between, especially when you are working part-time and living with ovarian cancer.
It wasn’t long before Tiffany realized that her new landlord wanted more from her than just rent money. “He would ask me over and over again when was I going to share his bed,” Tiffany says.
Afraid to leave during the pandemic, and with nowhere else to go, Tiffany endured constant harassment for almost seven months. One night she woke to find him touching her. Then he demanded she pay him $550/month and have sex with him weekly. She called Pisgah Legal Services.
After consulting with Pisgah Legal Attorney Casey Steen, Tiffany was referred to Pisgah Legal Social Worker Sandy Devoid to help her find safe housing. A local church generously paid for temporary housing while Sandy sought long-term housing, food resources, even furniture for Tiffany’s new place. When Tiffany found a new place to live, Sandy helped her apply and get approved.
Unfortunately, Tiffany still needs Pisgah Legal Services. Her former landlord tracked her to her new home and began throwing trash on her lawn and threatening her. Casey has filed for protective orders as this man stalks Tiffany at her home and at work. He has been jailed but continues to harass her. Casey Steen helped Tiffany secure another protective order in the Fall of 2021, and Sandy continues to provide support and accompany Tiffany to court.
Tiffany says, “I’ve never had anyone in my life like Sandy. She doesn’t judge me. She lifts me up. And Pisgah Legal isn’t just a lawyer’s office. They help in a lot of ways that people don’t even think about.”