Shelby County offers help to some struggling to pay a mortgage or rent

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Even though it’s not likely evictions notices will be served because in-person court proceedings have stopped, people out of work because of COVID-19 told FOX13 they are still concerned about coming up with the money to pay for living expenses.

FOX13 spoke with people concerned about the sacrifices people are making to keep a roof over their heads and there is help for people trying to make ends meet.

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People all over the country have found themselves between a rock and a hard place because they have a legal obligation to pay their rent and mortgages. But there is no set plan in place for what to do during a global pandemic.

Although the Tennessee Supreme Court has stopped in-person court proceedings which include evictions, Marquisha Griffin told FOX13 she’s experienced the growing tension between tenants and property managers since COVID-19.

“Not everybody has a two-income family. I’m a single mom raising my daughter,“ Griffin said.

Griffin said she is tied to her daughter’s lease agreement for her off-campus apartment. Her daughter is a University of Memphis student who normally stays at the apartment, but she is back home with her mom in Nashville now.

"Because of COVID-19. My concern was her health,” Griffin said.

Griffin said she will keep paying for the unoccupied apartment, but the money could be used for other needs.

"I have elderly parents who I am taking care of,” she said.

Griffin also said she wonders about people who don’t have a job or anyone to fall back on.

"It’s going to take people a long time to get back adjusted and caught up to get back to what we all consider normal,” she said.

Dorcas Young Griffin, with the Shelby County Division of Community Services told FOX13 people might not realize there is help available.

“Historically, some of these folks that have been working and recently laid off might not have qualified for our services because they were working at the time, but now situations have changed,“ she said.

SCDCS expects to see an influx of people. It has programs for those who find themselves struggling to pay rent or a mortgage.


“That is for people who are currently in a location, but also we help get people settled into new locations. We can help with the deposit and the first month’s rent,” she told FOX13.

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