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Home Is Where The Heartfelt Is

, , , , , | Working | April 21, 2016

(My immediate family has, at this point in the story, been basically homeless for about a year due to financial reasons. With both parents working full time and two school-age children, they are only barely getting by in a one-room hotel. My cat and I are staying with friends and splitting my paycheck between my parents and my rent. So, saving money is completely out of the question, and no place will rent to them because they were evicted from their last home. After a year of living this way and many, many rejections when they try to find a place, we are all pretty much losing hope. Randomly, on the Internet, we come across a neat little house. We give the guy a call, and agree to take a look at the house. When we get there, this happens.)

Landlord: “So, here’s the house! It’s a four-bedroom place, a bit older, but wonderful location. Large yard, great for the little ones, and we just upgraded the master bedroom!”

Dad: *in awe* “This… this is perfect! I love the location, and the house is so big! It’s amazing!”

Landlord: “Great! I’ll just have you fill out this application and I’ll need the first month’s rent and the down payment if your references check out!”

Dad: *sighs regretfully* “Sir, the thing is, I have no references. I need to be honest right now instead of later. We were evicted from our last home, been living in a hotel for the last year because no one will give us a chance, even though we are paying [ridiculously high amount] monthly as it is just to live there! But if you give us a chance, I swear to you I’ll pay the rent over my own food if I have to.”

Landlord: *pauses thoughtfully, for just a bit too long* “Y’know what? Forget the application. Forget the down payment. Pay me the first month’s rent and turn on the electricity by the end of the month, and the house is yours. When I was a young man, I lived behind dumpsters and begged for food until someone decided that I was worth taking a chance on. No one deserves to be homeless just because nobody will give them a chance. Come by my office tomorrow to sign the papers. Heck, start moving in today if you’d like! You need to get out of that hotel. You can take as long as you need to continue looking at the house.”

(My dad stood there in shock as the landlord handed him a KEY and walked out. The next day he went to go sign the papers and the rent agreement mentioned no pets allowed, which my littlest sibling caught sight of.)

Little Sibling: “No pets?! What about kitty!”

Landlord: “You have a cat? What’s his name?”

Dad: “[Cat], but if it’s going to be a problem, he’s already staying with friends…”

Landlord: *grabs a pen and starts writing on the lease* “Five people… and [Cat]. There — now he’s a part of the family!”

(We moved in by month’s end and have been living there for a really long time now. Seriously, the most amazing landlord, and person, I’ve ever met, and a wonderful, wonderful lesson in paying it forward, one which I very much try to live up to. Thank you so much, sir, for giving us a chance when no one else would!)

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