TULSA, Okla. — Eviction battles can be ruthless, and winning a case in court doesn't typically go in the tenant’s favor, according to recent data released by the University of Tulsa.
For one Oklahoma woman, the looming fear of eviction didn't stand a chance against the Oklahoma standard.
"I didn't know where I was going and what I was going to do, what was going to happen,” said Nyla Gordon, a tenant who faced eviction.
Gordon’s eviction loomed like a dark cloud over her head. She'd lost her job during the pandemic, hadn't received her stimulus or unemployment, and fell behind a month in rent.
"I've never been in this situation before ever, so it was very overwhelming for me,” Gordon said.
Her deadline to vacate was drawing near with just 48 hours to spare, but in the nick of time there was action from community groups dedicating their lives to helping renters in these predicaments.
"The number one mistake that tenants make is they don’t ask for help,” said Eric Hallett, an attorney with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma. “And they don't ask for help because they don't know they can."
The 2 Works for You Problem Solvers reached out to Family Promise of Tulsa County, Restore Hope and Legal Aid, who managed to not only save Gordon and her son from eviction, but found funds to pay her bills as well.
"She was real lucky in that the community worked really hard and came together to make those resources available, and the landlord eventually accepted that help,” Hallett said.
The generosity didn't stop there. After Gordon’s story aired, a viewer reached out to the Problem Solvers wanting to do even more. Our team coordinated with Family Promise to make that happen.
“There was a generous donor that wanted to come forward anonymously and pay for Nyla's rent, her August rent,” said Tina Massey, the executive director of Family Promise.
It was a donation meant to get Gordon back on her feet.
"When I called her, she was almost in tears,” Massey said. “She was absolutely elated and so thankful."
For Gordon, it was a gift not only getting her through the month of August, but also giving her the drive to face the hardships of a pandemic.
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