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Isa’s Story

Imagine you worked your entire life. You’re not rich, but you’re comfortable.  Then suddenly, you find yourself out of work.  You can get by on savings for a couple of months, but that won’t last for long. Where do you turn?

Isa worked for county government for over 30 years in different capacities. As part of her job she used to refer clients to Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) because she knew “they had a good reputation,” but still when the time came for her to need our assistance, it took a lot for her to get over her embarrassment and discomfort and call us.

Isa was laid off in February, then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and her position was eliminated. It was the first time in her entire adult life that she wasn’t working and as time went by, she fell behind in her rent. At the same time, her son was laid off and she was trying to help him through his crisis. He had two young children at home and his wife was recovering from cancer and not working as a result. Isa put her only child’s family first, as most of us would do, ultimately putting herself at risk. Isa applied for rental arrears but was initially denied. She was scared! She was afraid she would wind up homeless – something she never thought would happen to her. In desperation, she reached out to LSHV. LSHV was able to defend Isa in a nonpayment eviction case and obtain money to help pay her rental arrears to the satisfaction of her landlord. Isa stated that her attorney always called back, was professional and compassionate. He was exactly who she needed on her side at that time in her life. LSHV gave her the hope and support she needed to get through the crisis.

“I don’t want anyone to think there is no hope… it is important to keep hope alive!”  She is looking forward to the future, currently looking for a job but content in the fact that for the moment she is better off than many. She has a roof over her head and is able to buy food and pay her bills. All thanks to LSHV!