Nameless stranger helps struggling family with rent

Published: Dec. 22, 2020 at 9:01 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Many families are struggling to keep a roof over their heads during the pandemic, but a south Richmond family is getting some relief at a critical time from people they will never meet.

An eviction moratorium at the federal level will only offer temporary relief. That’s partly why two ordinary people dipped into their own cash to help.

Pictures keep memories alive, but the time spent at the Regal Motel are recollections Toya and Clifton want to move past and forget. Home with four children - 4-months to 4 years old - is a crowded extended-stay motel room on Midlothian Turnpike since they lost their house in Amelia six months ago, Toya says.

“Not only is it hard. It’s embarrassing. We’re not used to having our family like this. So, it definitely takes a toll on me, my husband and my kids. It’s hard,” Toya said.

After talking to Toya, the best gift showed up in On Your Side Investigator Diane Walker’s inbox. It was an email from a longtime 12 On Your Side supporter who had a friend who wants to help someone facing possible eviction.

Days later, 12 On Your Side delivered $1,000 to the family, giving them some breathing room in their struggle to pay room rent. Two sisters made a donation in honor of their mother. Included in the gift were cards offering hope and encouragement.

“Thank you so much. It’s $60 every day. There were plenty of days they didn’t have the money, and were on the verge of just having to be outside, packing up and leaving,” Toya said.

“I would like to tell them ‘thank you so much for blessing me and my family.’ It’s definitely been a blessing because, without their help, we wouldn’t know where we would be right now,” she said as a message to the sisters.

$1,000 will cover about two and a half weeks at the motel for the young family of six. Toya says her husband makes money painting through day work. She says he wants regular employment but hasn’t found a job yet.

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