Nygia's Story

Columbia, MO

Nygia’s Story

I never knew that the need was so great here until I needed it. I’m currently in public housing because the place I was residing at was leaking freon and the apartment had become hazardous. I have a daughter that’s autistic and partially blind, so she needed to have surgery on one of her eyes. Well, we lived in an apartment with an upstairs and downstairs, and she’s already struggling with both eyes, so just using the side of one eye, she would have issues with stepping down the stairs. So we couldn’t go forward with the surgery and have her come home to try to go through the recovery process. So I started making complaints because, in the summertime, our apartment was scorching hot. We had to stay there for a whole year because they refused to move us and they refused to fix the AC. They’d recharge it, but within a week’s time the freon would all leak out on the inside of the apartment. The day after Christmas, I left to go get some milk that morning, and on the way back I was rear-ended by a truck. Instantly, we became homeless. I wasn’t able to work or able to provide. I suffered a small concussion, slight scoliosis in the spine, bruising to the abdominal area and the ribs, and my vehicle was totaled. Before that, I worked two jobs as an administrative assistant professional.

Central Missouri Community Action kept us above water. They provide utility assistance and there was no way I was able to afford the bill, especially with the AC not working and the most that housing authority would give us was a portable one-room air conditioner for the whole house. We suffered in the heat. And I pleaded and begged, and they said they weren’t doing anything just because I wanted it done. They even tried to evict me because I was $5.43 short on my rent for a month. They sent me a letter saying if I didn’t pay it within a week, I’d be evicted. I asked, ‘Can you put it on next month’s? Can you just give me a late fee?’ I was told that they didn’t do that.

How hard was it at that time to come up with $5 and 40 something cents?

I didn’t have it. I went to the Turning Point and they helped me with the $5.43.

For Missourians most in need, economic supports that help cover the basics are in fact a lifeline. When we look out for one another, we all see #TheNetBenefit. Learn more about access to economic support in Missouri.