People worry about being evicted as gov’s order expires next week

Reporter: Nicole Gabe Writer: Jackie Winchester
Published: Updated:

There are a lot of people worried that they could be out of their homes by this time next week when the governor’s moratorium on evictions expires.

Mortgage companies and landlords are already filing notices with the courts, ready to evict people from their homes come June 2.

Among those who are worried is Melinda DeLeon, a single mom of three. She said the only reason they aren’t already homeless is because of the pandemic.

She knows what it’s like to struggle.

“We finally got to where we wanted to be. Just me and my kids. Actually having a bed and everything.”

But everything they’ve gained, she fears they’re about to lose.

“I was just making enough to pay everything.”

DeLeon lost her two jobs as a cook when the coronavirus hit. Her stimulus check covered her for a while, but she’s still not working and behind on her bills.

“We all want to get back to normal, I want to be able to pay my bills safely without endangering my kids.”

The only reason she’s still in her home is because of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ moratorium on evictions, and that expires next Tuesday.

“What are millions of people going to do when those eviction notices end up at their door?” she asked. “It isn’t something that I’m doing because I’m lazy or I don’t want to go work. I want to go to work!”

Like so many others, DeLeon said she has tried to collect unemployment but is still waiting for approval.

This week, she applied for rent and utility assistance from Lee County. She’s waiting for word on that.

“I get depressed, but you know what, I wipe the slate clean at night and I wake up fresh in the morning, and no matter how hard it is to get out of that bed, I get up.”

The governor has given no indication on whether he will extend the moratorium on evictions.

WINK News reached out to DeLeon’s landlord to find out if they’ll move forward with the eviction. She said she won’t talk about individual cases but is working with every tenant as best as she can.

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