News 14 - Durham tenants getting help relocating from Lincoln Apartments



DURHAM -- A non-profit group is extending a hand to help its neighbors evicted from Durham's Lincoln Apartments.

Housing for New Hope is providing resources to tenants who are looking for a new place to live, but the group can't do it all.

The comfort of being in her living room with her grandchildren used to feel like home for Doris Pettiford until she was abruptly given a notice to leave immediately.

“I'm just going on a wing and a prayer hoping somebody can help me,” she said.

Pettiford was one of 150 tenants evicted from Durham's Lincoln Apartments.

“It's been hectic, it's been a real hectic situation because you got to get out try to find a place, if you got no car you got to take the bus and try to find a place," she said.

The non-profit group Housing for New Hope is extending a hand.

Melissa Hartzell, with Housing for New Hope, tells us they are offering resources to help remaining tenants make the transition. They want to help them find landlords and come up with their security deposits.

Since Thursday, the group has already scheduled four moves and plans on going door to door to make sure every tenant finds a new place to live.

“The 150 households that were evicted from Lincoln Apartments, they weren't budgeting a move. Many times when we are moving it's a choice so we're saving up for security deposits,” Hartzell said.

At least 20 remaining households, including Pettiford's, needs assistance.

With low-income housing scarce in Durham, finding a place to keep her grandchildren at the same school is proving to be a bigger challenge.

“It's about them, it's about keeping them comfortable at the school that they are in,” she added.

Housing for New Hope admits it can't do it on its own and is looking to the community to open its doors.

“We need people to make financial donations, we need people to come with their trucks and people to load up couches,” Hartzell said.

To help neighbors like Pettiford and her grandchildren rebuild their lives in hopes of regaining stability and escaping the looming threat of homelessness.

Housing for new hope and its collaborators have agreed to match up to $5,000 in private donations to help with the effort.

If you'd like to help Housing for New Hope, you can call them 919-489-6282.

Tenants have to be out of Lincoln Apartments by the end of the year

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