Staring eviction in the face.

I am just absolutely and completely unprepared for this. I’ve been out of work for quite a while now, and my landlord wants to sell the unit, so no more patience from him. We are most of the way through the process, and at any time now the final 72 hour warning could come to say “the deputies are coming.”

What on earth does a person do in this circumstance? I’ve found a couple of basement apartments I could afford on my unemployment income, but of course none of them want to rent to someone without a job. I’ve also found the cheapest local storage place for my stuff, and I’m trying to prepare everything to be moved.

Meanwhile, of course, I’ve got to keep putting in applications and oh-by-the-way get ready for Custody Court* yet again next week, at which I will of course lose if I haven’t found acceptable housing for us. And I won’t get into details here, but the horror of Celtling having to live with her Dad full time doesn’t bear consideration.

So that’s where I’m at. I’ve called every charity, spoken to the County Services folks (I earned too much in the beginning of the year to be eligible for help now) and tried everything I can think of short of calling around to family begging for shelter. (I will if I have to, but they are not optimal, believe me.)

I need some help from the hive mind. What else could I be trying? Doing? There is a whole system for supporting folks in my position, and yet none of it seems to apply to me. How can I convince somebody to rent me a couple of rooms?
ETA: I’m in Fairfax County, VA
*The same court which has completely devastated my savings and retirement accounts. There is absolutely nothing left.

You’re not unemployed; you’re self-employed–as evidenced by your fake website “Trucelt Creations” (or whatever–which you should immediately set up).

An SRO? Not glamourous, but cheap and not too picky about whether or not you have a job.

And I know begging friends and family seems like the worst thing in the world, but I promise you it’s better than losing sleep and the color in your hair worrying about where you’re going to sleep. My sister is a grown ass woman (35) who is thankfully back to work now, but she spent two years unemployed and had to go through this. Yes, she was devastated when she, as a grown ass woman with a career and a Masters, had to move back in with mommy and daddy (and I don’t even have cool parents; they’re straight cray cray), but she warmed up to “This is in no way ideal, but it isn’t that bad.” Plus the experience has made her so much happier now that she’s back to work (yay!) and is looking for her own place again.

Best of luck to you. Being broke is scary. I get it.

What kind of checking do landlords do on someone’s job before renting a place?
Is there a college where you are, such that a group of students may have an extra room in a flat or a house?

What kind of non-family circle do you have, not just for shelter but generally?

There are a lot of elderly people living all alone in houses with more room than they need–yet a lot of these people are too ill to keep up the house, go shopping–put up a Craigslist offering to do an exchange–room for labor. (Other possibilities to advertise might be newspapers, Senior Center…)

If you do that, I would make sure to mention that you’re a woman. I’m guessing elderly folk living alone are skittish. I don’t know if mentioning the kid would be a plus or a minus but the person will know eventually.

Craig’s list could be a good start. People rent rooms or basement apartments, and may be willing to skip the credit check. Are you willing to do child care? Around here, lots of people will rent rooms in exchange for watching the kids after school and doing some light housekeeping. Are you against reaching out to a church? If so, maybe try the Unitarians?

Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and say definitively that Craigslist is a waste of time.

My SO and I were able to rent a nice condo from a private person off Craigslist after the start-up we worked for went under (not our fault!). We said we had online businesses (which we did), and provided several references vouching for our character. He didn’t check our credit. I made sure to tell him we’d take very good care of his property. He was sorry to see us go when we moved out.

ETA: I’ve seen people looking for rentals on my local buy/sell Facebook group, and several of them have been successful.

You should definitely go to a church, any church. They are singularly THE most experienced at helping families through hard times! No, they really, really don’t care if you’re from the parish, or you believe, attend, etc. Plus they don’t just know all the resources, they actually know how to navigate it all. They are truly very connected. You’re a single Mom, with a child, struggling to find a home, they WILL help. Just reach out to them.

Also you could take yourself to a woman’s shelter if you have one nearby, they take struggling woman, not just abused women.

Just reach out, so the universe can reach back, wishing you Good Luck!

I know our local United Way offers a community support hotline to help folks get in touch with services. Crisis Link might do it for your area. It looks like this org. focuses on folks with mental issues, but they’re very clear that’s not their limits:

It might be worth giving them a call to see what services they can help you access in your community. There may be temporary housing available for folks in your situation (single parents with children in danger of losing housing), for example, and they’d be the folks to know about it.

They will want to see some evidence, e.g., tax returns, recent paycheck stubs or similar records, bank statements, official letter from Social Security, etc.

Private individuals who have a unit to rent out may not be so “diligent”. Professional or corporate landlords almost certainly always do.

In my personal experience, ads stuck up in shop windows and the like are a good way to find housing that won’t care about employment status. Unfortunate, it’s also a good way of finding housing that’s sketchy as hell.

Is there anyone (a relative maybe?) who would be comfortable guaranteeing the rent? The last agency I went through, despite saying employed people only, let me rent anyway, as my parents were willing to do that (like you, I could just afford it on unemployment money anyway, but that wasn’t good enough by itself).

I don’t know what to suggest in your area, but I hope you find something good soon.

I know you don’t feel great about the idea of living with family members, but consider if it would help you in the short term…at least until you get through the hearing and have a little time to find a suitable place to rent. It may not be ideal, but getting stuck with a lease on a sucky place might be worse. Sometimes even a few weeks to give us time to breathe and find our feet can make a huge difference.
Good luck. Sending good thoughts your way.

I found a wonderful rental house off Craigslist. I think YMMV heavily in this case.

I would go to the family. I know, I am just as averse to going back home as anyone, but that’s what family’s for. It took me until my thirties to realize that. Family are the people who just can’t turn you away. It will take the stress away and you can look for a job and get a little money together.

Fairfax County social services are very good, so it could be worse. But:

You need to live with roommates or

Live with family or

Or live in a family shelter with Celting. Those have wait lists, so I would recommend getting on board with that sooner rather than later. At least at the shelter you would have access to mental and physical healthcare, job counseling, maybe babysitting, food, etc.

Fairfax County has one of the highest living costs in the country. But also some of the lowest unemployment, so hopefully when you find a job a lot of this will go away.

And yeah, I found all of my apartments through Craigslist. Not sure what MeanOldLady is on about.

I found the apartment I live in right now on Craigslist. I’m not saying it’s always a waste of time for every situation, but trying to find someone to let you live with them and/or rent from them when you have no job? Not the best place to look. You can try, and if it works out, I’ll eat all of our hats.

I’ve found some wonderful tenants on Craigslist. I hate showing properties so much that I pay an agency to do it, but I still have two tenants from my Craigslist days.

My mom owns a few really dumpy houses that she can’t afford to profitably put money into improving. She rents to people on disability or who work for themselves or get paid cash and lost their tax returns. She knows they’re extremely likely to be dumpy tenants, but they’re the only ones who want to live in her rentals.

I, on the other hand, have really charming nicely maintained rentals and would never consider renting to someone who is unemployed. I’m sorry - I’m sure you’re a wonderful person - but I do this for a living. I don’t have enough rentals to take chances.

So in conclusion, if you find a place willing to rent to you, you can be almost certain it won’t be very nice. If I were you I’d talk to all my family and friends. You don’t have to start by asking them to live with them. Maybe your aunt’s friend works with someone whose daughter is hoping to find someone to share an apartment, but doesn’t know where to look. You never know until you get the word out.

I have a lovely straw number, beaded. I’ll get it ready. Ketchup or BBQ soss? :slight_smile:

But you’re right, of course, that finding a place to rent with no job is nigh impossible. Even the most lackadaisical landlord wants to know you at least have a source of income.

Call FACETS at 703-352-5090. They are a partnership of churches that does a lot of community charitable work. They have a shelter system and can refer you to other resources as applicable. They are a Christian organization and can be slightly preachy at times but submission to their teachings is not a requirement to receive help. They are nice.