Meet Sarah and Erik
Message from the Founder-
Hi, I'm Paradise and I am fundraising for Sarah and Erik. This started out as a way to help find them work and clothing. He's always extremely nice, never asks for anything. When he's on the corner he is always asking for work or selling books. One night, he even saw me walking and walked me to go get food so I wouldn't be walking around New York at 1 am alone--still never asked for anything.
I was passing him by after not seeing him on the corner for a while. Turns out he fell back on hard times. The job he had ended, and since he was living paycheck to paycheck there wasn't anything to save. He is trying but needs help. I then met Sara, who he was trying to help as well.
I reached out to the community for help with getting them clothing. I'm helping them with work, but they don't have many slacks and button-ups. They will need a winter coat, shoes (work and walking), and hygiene products. The community was able to get them a couple of gently used items to get them started with their new jobs, but as I got to know them better, the situation became worse.
I found out that the place they were living in, Erik lived there the year prior with a roommate as a sublet. The house was in unlivable conditions. When the roommate moved out during covid times, the landlord agreed to let Erik stay longer especially while he updated the unity and brought it to code. They paid two months of rent and had a verbal agreement with the landlord to stay on a month-to-month basis. After the payment was made, the landlord changed his mind and accused them of holding over-the unit was never updated or brought to code. Because there was no written/formal agreement, the courts sided with the landlord but agreed to give them time until the memorandum was over to find another place to live.
Currently, they are essentially staying in the unit at the whim of the landlord. They have offered several times to continue to pay, but the landlord ignores them. He has gone as far as to remove the locks off the door and attempt to steal all of their belongings. They have simply asked for grace until they could find more work and get into a home with a formal lease.
Upon looking at their home, I noticed there was an excessive amount of mold & mildew. Erik told me that they flooded terribly during the recent NY storms and that the landlord hadn't come to clean anything before, during, or after. There are leaks and holes in the ceiling. The front door doesn't close properly which has permitted there to be several break-ins. They don't even have a stove that works (never have and the fire department has sent notice for the landlord to fix it-he continues to ignore it).
Additionally, due to the issues with the landlord, he's turn off the utilities that were in Erik's name. They have to use an extension cord from the neighbor's house to use one lamp. The fridge cannot run so they use coolers (spending $10 a day on ice) to keep what they can cool. Most days they don't have enough to keep food cool so they don't buy food, which means that they're not eating.
Erik and Sarah are not asking for handouts. They asked for an opportunity and they are trying. However, I know personally that it's hard to progress when you are starving, having to sleep in a house with a door wide open where you are subject to being robbed frequently.
My goal with this go fund me is to surprise them with community drive donations to match what The Catch A Falling Star Foundation is trying to do for them, asap. It will be cold soon, and no one deserves to be sleeping in the snow. I'd like to get them into a safe, clean home and pay their rent for a few months while they work and get back on their feet.
Things they need:
2 monthly bus passes
Below are Video updates on Sarah and Erik