I'm a yard sale fan. So, I noticed when a big plot of land was covered with tarpaulins covered with yard sale stuff.
Then I saw it.
I drove past, on an errand, but on the way back I stopped to find out what this was all about.
I took a picture of the car and some of the tarps.
The owner came over, looking annoyed.
I'm with the media I explained.
"Well, that picture will show my license plate," she said.
"I can photoshop it out," I replied.
We talked about the sign on the car. "It's for real," she told me. She said her name's Diane. She was being evicted for failure to pay her rent.
"I went to the state looking for help, but I'm working. I have a job. I just can't afford it any more," she explained.
Ends up her "Ex" is three months behind in child support. She has an 11 year old daughter. You could tell by all the girls toys for sale. Diane was selling them to try to come up with the rent.
Diana is selling her daughter's toys to make rent by the 15th
When I spoke with her, about 3:30 PM, the day mostly gone, she'd raised about $150. She needed about $2400 by October 15th to pay the month's rent she was late, the next month's rent and court costs. Her landlord had taken her to court when she let them know she was having financial trouble. Court costs are close to $200 on top of her rent, which just over $1000 a month.
She'd been holding her own until her ex-husband stopped paying support. There are millions of Americans like her, living paycheck to paycheck. A recent CNN study found that almost half of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. That means half of us are just one troubling incident or
failed back-up system away from being in Diane's shoes.
Diane, who lives in South New Jersey, has her court hearing on October 15th. She's hopeful. I asked her what she would do if she was evicted and she replied, "I have until the 15th."
She's caught between a rock and a hard place though-- no help from the state or county getting her ex-husband to pay the child support he owes, no help with her housing because she's working. You have to wonder how many hundreds of thousands of people this is happening to.
If you want to help Diane, her email is jobjmpr (at) verizon dot net (she used to do temp agency jobs.)
Follow Rob Kall on Twitter: www.twitter.com/robkall