Houston Family Whose Eviction Was Televised Receives Thousands in Donations

The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for pretty much everyone. For many of us, the inconveniences involve things like setting up classrooms for our kids to do distance learning at home and not being able to visit our favorite theme parks. These are very, very small inconveniences compared to people who are truly struggling to pay the bills.

Many people lost their jobs when the pandemic and resulting lockdowns started. Especially for families, paying the bills got increasingly difficult. Between rent, food and clothing for growing children, there just wasn’t enough in the bank to make it all work.

Unfortunately, some people were not able to stay up on their rent. CNN reported that hundreds of people were facing eviction in the Houston area. These people included families, couples and senior citizens who lived on their own.

A news clip about these evictions showed several people who were being evicted including one family. The heartbreaking video showed 24-year-old Israel Rodriguez, his girlfriend and their 2 children being forced to leave their apartment. They piled clothes, toilet paper and snacks for the kids onto their baby’s stroller. They hardly brought anything for themselves.

When a news reporter asked Rodriguez where they were going to go, he said that he didn’t know. They didn’t have anywhere to go. When she asked him what they were going to do with the rest of the belongings in their apartment, he called everything else “trash.” They didn’t have anywhere to bring any of their belongings, so it would all end up in a dumpster.

Viewers felt compelled to help Rodriguez and his family. Just days after the video aired, a GoFundMe raised thousands of dollars for the family, more than enough to help them get a fresh start. 

Actually, two GoFundMe accounts have been set up to help the family. One, organized by Patrick Tarnowski, a former teacher in Houston, has raised over $70,000

The second GoFundMe was set up by the Harris County Constable Precinct One Foundation. This foundation is not exclusively for Rodriguez, but it is to help anyone who was been evicted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This account has raised over $230,000.

Watch the video below to hear Rodriguez’s reaction to the outpouring of help from the community.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your family? Do you know anyone who is facing eviction because of the pandemic?