Brooke and her family live in Eastern Oregon. She is the mother of three teenage daughters and a young son, Jose, who was born with Mosaic Down Syndrome. Brooke’s husband, Jeffrey, worked to keep the family afloat while she stayed home to take care of Jose. In late 2019, they began struggling to keep up with their bills, yet always managed to pay the rent and any late fees each month. After Jeffrey lost his job during the COVID pandemic, however, the family was no longer able to afford rent. Desperate for help, Brooke reached out to a local community action program offering rental assistance for families experiencing COVID-related financial difficulties. She was approved for funding that would cover any past due rent, as well as current and future rent into early 2021. The landlord accepted all of these past and future rent payments in one lump sum, but still attempted to evict the family for prior non-payment. Frustrated and despondent, Brooke contacted her local legal aid office. Her legal aid attorney notified the landlord that they were challenging the eviction filing because the landlord did not specify the cause for eviction and had accepted $9,000 in rent. They also asserted that the family was protected by the state’s moratorium on residential evictions. Within days, the landlord conceded and withdrew the eviction complaint. Brooke was able to keep her family in their home, and is grateful for legal aid’s advocacy. She said, “Legal aid is amazing. I couldn’t have done this by myself. Without their help, we would have been evicted and living in our car.”

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