She is in her mid-twenties and attends a local university, paying for her education by working and receiving some financial aid. She just moved into a new apartment, closer to school, and within a few days, realized it was infested with bed bugs. The cost to eradicate the bugs - which the landlord opted out of helping financially - was left to the tenant.
So she paid for the extermination and then bagged up her clothing and soft goods to kill the bugs. The experience took an emotional toll on her - you could see it in her face. But it also took a financial toll because the cost of eliminating the bugs meant she couldn't pay the full amount of her rent that month.
As a Houstonian, I really don't want someone who is working hard to complete her education to become homeless. I want her to succeed and contribute to our future economy.
More importantly, I was deeply touched by how much this seemingly small incident (for those of us who can easily afford extermination services) put her on the brink, emotionally and financially. So I'm grateful she came to CCSC, where we could alleviate her burden. I hope she left our offices feeling a bit freer and able to focus on her upcoming finals.