Out of a hotel and into a home: Community helps family waiting on COVID-19 rent relief

Michele Jones
Posted at 4:30 PM, Mar 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-09 21:48:04-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A family has secured a new home after they were evicted while waiting for COVID-19 rent relief funding.

When NewsChannel 5 first talked to Michele Jones, she was down in the dumps. Her family was forced out of their apartment while waiting for COVID-19 emergency rent relief from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.

After the interview, her son's school — Nashville School of the Arts and the community — stepped up to help.

"Metro Social Services, you guys, thank you so much, everybody friends, family, everybody that helped," Jones said.

She said a property manager worked hard to assist them as well.

"The grace of God, we are in a townhome bigger and better, and we’re happy," Jones said.

She said when her son found out, he was elated to be back in a home and out of a hotel. He was struggling with the changes because he has autism.

"He’s so happy, his whole mood, everything is different, and I’m so grateful for everything and everyone," Jones said.

She's still working, and her husband starts a new job soon.

"Don’t give up, and God is always in charge," Jones said.

As for the THDA funding, she's still waiting.

"It’s a little annoying, but I know that it’s there, they’re still trying to help," Jones said.

She hopes if the back rent is paid at her old apartment, they'll no longer have an eviction on their record.

"We were just waiting for funds from THDA and that’s the reason we got evicted," Jones said.

For now, they're unpacking and looking forward to a better future.

"And just because one door closes, there’s always another that’s going to open," Jones said. "Always remember that."

Last NewsChannel 5 knew, thousands of renters were still waiting for their rent relief applications to be processed by THDA. We reached out to them and they said they're collecting data to see how many are still pending.

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