KEEPING OLDER PEOPLE SAFE DURING THE PANDEMIC
John called LSE after his house had been foreclosed on due to a tax lien, and he had an eviction pending against him by the town. He lived in the house with his wife and adult child who has disabilities. He had recently paid off the mortgage. John missed a tax payment after he became unable to work for a period of time. Despite his best efforts, his bid on the property at public sale was rejected due to technicalities. An LSE Attorney pressured the town into accepting John's initial bid through letters, phone calls, the recruitment of a state senator, and participation in a Selectpersons' Board meeting. The LSE Attorney also got the eviction dismissed. If John had not had the help of an attorney, John and his wife and their adult child with disabilities would have been forced out of their home of 30 years in the midst of the pandemic.
Mary called LSE because she had family members living in her home that had become abusive and were destroying the property. In addition, Mary wanted to isolate herself from the public as much as possible due to her significant health risks if she were to contract COVID-19, and the family members refused to take any precautions of any kind. Tension was growing over the property damage and health concerns, and the family members were becoming physically threatening when Mary tried to reason with them. An LSE Attorney started an eviction proceeding. Although most eviction hearings were on hold at the time this was happening, the Attorney handling the case got it set for hearing by identifying it to the court as a case involving escalating safety concerns. Mary obtained an eviction order, and the Sheriff removed the family members from her home. If Mary had not had the help of an attorney, Mary would have been forced to choose between continuing to live in unsafe conditions for the indefinite future or trying to find alternative housing in the midst of the pandemic.
When Julie called LSE, she had just learned that the town code enforcement officer was going to post her home as condemned at the end of the week. The home was unsafe, but Julie had no place to go. In addition, Julie was in desperate need of surgery, but her medical providers would not do the surgery until she had secured safe housing. Julie was over the age of 80 and completely overwhelmed by the situation. As this was happening, everything had just shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. An LSE Attorney reached out to the town and convinced them to delay the condemnation until Julie secured safe housing. Because of the pandemic, emergency housing was unavailable. The LSE Attorney worked with several partner agencies to search for alternative housing, and eventually Julie secured a safe place to go, and she was able to receive the surgery she so desperately needed. Julie would have become homeless in the midst of the pandemic if she had not had the help of an attorney.