Thomas McLaughlin found a place to live—but just barely in time.
He and his partner, Derrik, had lived in the Silver Oak Apartments for three months when they got a letter taped to their door telling them they had to move by Jan 10.
“I was at work when (Derrik) called me,” said McLaughlin. “I came home and found the letter. It said we had to be out by January 10. We were just getting things squared away here and getting back on our feet from other things and we got back to this again.”
Residents of the apartment complex have been moving out for months. But for many, the notice to vacate came just days before the holidays.
McLaughlin said they got their notice just one month ago and the news hit them hard. They knew moving wouldn’t be easy.
“We are basically living paycheck to paycheck right now,” he said. “A lot of places are requiring security deposits and other things, so it’s been tough. Really tough.”
Harold Rice Jr., Chief Program Officer with Community Link, said the organization has been working with the complex for about a week and have a representative in the leasing office to help residents with their housing issues.
“Everyone’s needs will be different,” he said. “Some will be receiving eviction notices, so that’s a different need, some will need help finding another apartment, so that’s a different need, and some people will need financial assistance.”
Rice said the families of Silver Oak are taken aback by the news of the eviction.
“It’s the holiday season and they get this notice ‘I have to be out,’ and they don’t know what they’ll do,” he said. “They didn’t expect to move at this point in time and so they’re upset.”
The good news is Rice, along with Silver Oak property owner Roy Goode, have come up with a plan on how to get help to those who need it.
“We didn’t have any answers ourselves until we met the people and put a strategic plan together,” he said. “So now we have answers, some answers I should say, to their problems."
Luckily for them, McLaughlin and his partner were able to find a home in Kannapolis, even without the help of Community Link.
“I said ‘Thank you Jesus," he said. "Because that’s been a blessing, to finally find a real home.”