The clock is ticking. Heather Sheppard and Marcus Leggo now have 12 days to find a place to live before their Section Eight housing voucher expires. If they don’t succeed, they’ll resign themselves to another winter, and perhaps spring and summer, in their RV while reapplying all over again, a process that could take several months to a year.
Which is why they’re feverishly mining rental ads in area newspapers and on Craig’s List, calling individual landlords and property management companies to see if they accept public housing vouchers and pets. Almost always, the answer is no.
As I’ve written in two earlier posts, Sheppard and Leggo have been fighting battles on multiple fronts in the last two years, and it’s far from clear when, or even if they’ll be declaring victory. The combination of serious medical issues, a lack of money, addiction, and poor credit have relegated them to living in an RV that no longer has running water, a functioning stove or refrigerator. The good news is that it starts. And for that the couple is enormously grateful. Last year, it didn’t. Every morning at 7 am, Leggo had to crawl underneath and crank the flywheel until it was in place, and then pray. Most of the time it worked. But it was just so they could drive out of the parking lot they’re assigned to in The Safe Parking Program. He’d have to go through the whole process again in the evening to return and park for legally the night, safely avoiding an expensive ticket and perhaps even a towing. To read more, see homelessinsb.org.