On Monday, Dasha Kelly was facing eviction and didn’t know how she was going to pay her back rent. A day later, thanks to strangers, more than $170,000 has been raised so far for her and her three daughters.
Kelly was recently featured in a CNN story about the end of the federal eviction moratorium, which has since been extended to cover about 90% of renters through Oct. 3, and she recounted the difficulties she’s faced since losing her job as a card dealer amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 32-year-old mother said received a 24-hour eviction notice on July 24 after owing more than $1,900 to her landlord. Since losing her job, Kelly can’t pay for child care and recently resorted to selling her blood plasma for money, she told CNN.
To support her three daughters — Sharron, 8, Kia, 6, and Imani, 5 — Kelly started a GoFundMe campaign as a last resort.
“We were maintaining just fine before this pandemic hit. Now we are suffering,” Kelly wrote on the page. “We do have EBT for food, and also applied for Chap. However, they do not assist immediately. We owe $1,900 for rent alone, not including utilities.”
“I will figure out utilities by pawning a few things,” she added. “As you all know, it is entirely still [too] hot to be homeless. My daughters are aged 5, 6, and 8. Please help with anything you can.”
While her goal was to raise $2,000, the campaign blew past that, having amassed nearly $230,000 as of Friday afternoon.
“This campaign was solely created upon desperation,” Kelly said in an update after the flurry of support from strangers across the country. “I literally tried almost everything to earn income while taking care of my family prior to creating this. Never in my life did I think CNN would reach out to us when we posted. The first month being posted on here we didn’t receive one donation.”
“Our bills will be paid now, and the landlord that has been so great to us will be now be paid off for the entire lease,” she added, in part. “We can now finish the house back. My family can afford a vehicle again, which will allow me to return to work.”
Kelly also said she plans to “pay it forward” and help another family in “dire” need. She won’t have trouble finding one. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 11.4 million adult renters in the U.S. were behind on rent as of July 29.
What a blessing.