ORANGEBURG, S.C. — South Carolina Legal Services, a non-profit organization, hosted an eviction assistance clinic on Friday for people in the state who are on the verge of being evicted due to pandemic financial burdens.
The non-profit's executive director, Andrea Loney, says the goal is to represent them as their lawyer to show their landlords the money is coming.
"That's the first part," expressed Loney. "The second part is to help them because of the precarious situation they are in right now trying to get the application complete through the SC Stay Plus Program."
Orangeburg resident, Dimitri Moore, is one of several South Carolina residents seeking help with rental assistance.
"As men, we let our pride get the best of us," said Moore. "I decided to put my pride to the side and come get a little help with my rent and light bill."
Beth Overton is a landlord for South Carolina Regional Housing Authority No.3. She says she has seen an increase in tenants not being able to pay their rent on time because of COVID. Overton says the clinic is beneficial to landlords as well because the eviction process can be expensive.
"Once a tenant moves out, The landlord has to go in there, clean and repair the unit, bring the unit back up so they can move someone in there," explained Overton. "That could cost a landlord thousands of dollars, on top of whatever lost income they had with the lost rental."
South Carolina Legal Service officials say they will continue helping folks outside the clinic seeking rental assistance. You have to call them at 1 (888) 346-5592.
Moore says after submitting his application he can focus more on taking care of his baby girl.
"It's a lot when having a daughter in the middle of the pandemic," expressed Moore. "You're trying to handle your bills, work, and take care of your child at the same time."