Taking Control (with a little support)


The following post is written by Jennifer Spiller, Healthy Housing Specialist at Healthy Homes.

I recently received a call from Erica, a mother that my co-worker Courtney and I had worked with in the summer of 2014.

When Healthy Homes began working with Erica, she was renting a home where the landlord had not been using lead-safe work practices to repair the siding. That work created toxic lead dust where her twin toddlers would play. There was also a toilet that was leaking so badly that the wood underneath it was rotting. Erica was under a lot of stress, having a difficult time finding work and feeling guilty about the condition of her house. She was frustrated and didn't know what to do to improve the situation.

Working around the obstacle of an uncooperative landlord, Courtney and I taught Erica strategies to prevent her children from being exposed to lead hazards such as how to safely clean up the lead dust. We provided her with a HEPA-filtered vacuum as well as track mats to keep lead dust out of her home. As she learned more about her rights as a tenant, she eventually moved out to a safer, healthier home.

What a nice surprise it was to hear from Erica a year later. She called just to let us know that life is going great. She is happily engaged, the twins are doing well, and they are getting ready to move to Atlanta where she already has a job lined up. She thanked us for working with her during a tough time in her life.

It is so rewarding to know that the information and resources Healthy Homes provided to Erica really helped her transition to a better place in her life.