Her Recession: Single mom shares her struggles finding affordable housing

SPOKANE, Wash. — We continue to hear from women struggling during this pandemic. One single mom tells us she hasn’t been able to find a place to live since October.

“It shouldn’t be this hard to live. This is going on too long,” said Amy Jackson.

Jackson and her 9-year-old daughter Nyla have been staying with friends since October. As a single mother who couldn’t afford childcare during the pandemic, she had no other choice but to stop working.

“I was working at Pizza Hut and then COVID hit. They closed schools and I lost my job,” said Jackson.

Never did she think five months later, she’d still be struggling.

“I’m emotionally drained. I’m at my wits’ end. I don’t know what else to do,” said Jackson.

Jackson has been relying on a housing voucher from the Spokane Housing Authority to pay rent, but nothing available has been within her budget. With the voucher expiring in just five days, she’s worried her situation may be permanent.

“I was donating plasma and sitting there just bawling because I don’t know what else to do. Five days is not enough to find a place to live,” she said.

“Here in Spokane, it was already hovering at about 1% for available, affordable units that would fit within a voucher price. Now it’s drastically lower even because there’s no movement in the housing market. It’s very tough,” said Amanda Seybert, Homeless Services Manager with SNAP.

While it may seem daunting, there are options. Seybert says the first step is to contact the Spokane Housing Authority.

“They have a landlord liaison there on sight that works on situations like this,” said Seybert.

Seybert says they can make adjustments to vouchers or even offer an extension. When that’s not an option, SNAP is able to step in.

“We could help connect her with a landlord liaison that might know of openings and might be able to negotiate with landlords as well,” Seybert said.

SNAP also offers a Rapid Rehousing Program for singles or couples without children. For those with kids, she suggests reaching out to Catholic Charities.

“Ultimately it’s our community and we’re kind of all in this together,” said Seybert.