Local Family of 10 on The Verge of Eviction: Needs Help
(SIOUX CITY, IA) A Sioux City family of 10 is in desperate need of a place to live.
The family is living in a 2 and a half bedroom apartment, a space not legally big enough for 10 people. Now they're on the verge of being evicted.
The family is from a small town in Africa, and a language barrier makes the entire situation even more difficult which is why members of their local church are reaching out on their behalf.
From the small nation of Eritrea, Africa to Sioux City Iowa, the family of 10 has traveled a long way to live the American dream.
The father works at Tyson and the mother stays home taking care of the youngest children while the older ones go to school. But the American dream is becoming a struggle for them that's when Christine McAvoy, a member of their church, stepped in to help.
"The way the city code reads is, its 2 people per bedroom, plus one," says Christine McAvoy, a local member of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.
A few weeks ago their landlord served the family eviction papers because 10 people in a 2 and a half bedroom apartment is not legal under City code.
"The father and mother (have had) a great deal understanding that the place that they are living in is not large enough. Where they come from in Africa you build your own house. So for them to be living in a 2 and a half bedroom apartment that's kind of a luxury," says McAvoy.
The Eviction papers were thrown out and new ones have not been filed but the landlord wants them out.
The next step was signing up for Section 8 housing, a program that allows low income citizens to find their own place to rent. They were approved.
When a family is approved for section 8 housing, they get a voucher. Then they must go out and find a house that's for rent and a landlord that will participate in the program. Problem is, getting a voucher can take several months.
Time this family just doesn't have and although McAvoy says they may have emergency housing available until the family receives the voucher they haven't found a landlord with a house that's been approved for section 8 housing.
"Ask your friends, ask your neighbors, ask anybody that has space that might be available for this family. We have not hit on a property yet however there's got to be something out there," says McAvoy.
If you are interested in helping this family out, here's how you can help, just visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SiouxCityFamilyInCrisis?fref=ts