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Letters to the Editor
To whom it may concern,
I am writing this letter, in hopes of getting some type of assistance in a situation that should not be
happening. My name is Adam Abdur- Rashid, currently a Homeless Resident of Middlesex County.
In June of 2016 a Real Estate agent by the name of John Cherry, came to the house my family had
been renting for the last two and a half years. He told me that he was interested in the house, and I
explained I was just renting. Shortly afterwards, He contacted me and said that he was representing
the bank who had taken possession of the house, because it had went into Foreclosure the prior
year. I then received a letter from the U.S. National Bank, stating they took over the house in
October of 2015 and I would need to deal with a law firm which turned out to be the very same firm
that represented the original owners of the home and the exact same attorney who knocked on my
door expressing interest in purchasing it.
Mr Cherry and I had a few conversations about me moving out, but we couldn’t come to an
agreement regarding the time that I needed or the funds he was willing to pay. A couple months
later I get eviction papers sent to me at home, and I had to appear in court. The bank stated that I
owed them over $20,000 in rent this represented the time that they took over the house in October of
2015, up until the time that I had to appear in court. They were stating that my rent was $1900 a
month. This was a great surprise to me as I had never had any dealings with this bank or Mr. Cherry
until approximately 3-5 months before this. There was never any lease or agreement with the bank
about this rental amount or anything, I was never directly contacted by the bank. So I agreed to
move my family out by Dec 2, 2016 and we would owe the bank no money.
I tried contacting several different places in terms of preventing my family from becoming homeless
(Middlesex County Board of Social Services, Catholic Charities, 211). I was basically told, there
was nothing they could do to help me and my family until after we had been evicted and physically
moved out of the home. We would have to show that we were homeless and without a place to live.
My wife is unable to work, and receives SSI and RSDI. This is because my wife has End Stage
Renal Failure, Type 1 Brittle Diabetes, Gastroparesis, Anemia, Neuropathy issues, just to name a
few. She goes to Dialysis 3 times a week. Her health has taken the better of her over this last year,
and she has been hospitalized on several different occasions lasting a minimum of 4 days a visit
including this last visit (12/12 – 12/14/2016). I was a part time employee at Shoprite in Piscataway,
working between 30 to 37 hrs a week. I was working, up to the time that we became homeless on
12/02/2016. I have had to take off to basically transport my family around, while jumping from hotel
to motel, getting my wife back and forth to dialysis and the kids to school. To many days off from
work, without really having a medical need caused me to have to step away. This has caused me to
lose a few jobs, because there is nobody else to care for our 5 children as my Mother had gone
back to work.
To make a long story short, we contacted 211, who sent out a case manager from Home Base to
evaluate our situation. But there is no room in the shelter system, and they are unable to
accommodate a family of my size or pay for us to stay in a hotel. We went back to the Department of
Social Services, for help with housing and was told the following. “Only my wife is “Eligible to
receive assistance from Social Services”, because she is the only one in the family getting
government assistance. My 5 children as well as myself were not “Eligible” to get any help from
them, because none of us receive cash assistance from their office, and none of us gets SSI.
They demanded that we first provide them documentation, before we could even be considered for
help. The documentation that they required was a letter from Doctor stating that my wife goes to
dialysis 3 times a week. A letter from my employer stating I am able to come back to work, when I
am able to work. A letter stating when I stop working and why, also my last 2 pay stubs. My family
could only get help if we were receiving Tanif, but because I already made more this month then
what I would have received in cash from Tanif, I am “Ineligible” until next month. But then it takes 30
days for you to be approved for Tanif!!!
DFAS did help us out a little, and paid for a hotel for a weekend (We truly appreciated and needed
the help). We received an additional hotel stay paid for by the Catholic Church. We are getting no
help anywhere, and are being forced to be left out on the street to fend for ourselves in this cold
unforgiving weather. Living in the world we do today, there is no way that a family with 5 children
and half the parents as sick as my wife, should be trying to survive by themselves on the Street
Homeless in December. We signed up for the Section 8 housing back in June, but you can NEVER
get any updates or answers about the program. I don’t know what else to do, or where else to turn.
As I’m sitting here now in the library writing this letter. Please help us
I thank you in advance for your taking the time to read this letter and truly
hope that someone will be able to lend us a helping hand.
Abdur- Rashid Family
Editor's Note - To get in touch with the Abdur-Rashid Family or to make a donation, please contact Debbie Boyle from the Boyle Memorial Foundation at 908-803-1573. Donations can be sent to The Boyle Memorial Foundation, 209 Van Fleet Avenue, South Plainfield, New Jersey 07080.
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