Patricia Mendoza and her two kids have been living out of boxes for the last few months. She fears eviction and says she has to be ready to go at all times.
"My anxiety it's from zero to 1 million and like, you know, from one minute to another,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza lost her job as a non-emergency medical driver back in March 2020.
"It's been the worst, the worst nightmare," Mendoza said.
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In the past year, Mendoza said she’s been threatened with getting evicted from her Imperial Beach apartment three times. But she’s been able to stay put and she attributes it to help she’s received from a group called ACCES, created under the SD Eviction Prevention Collaborative to help tenants understand their rights and make them aware of all local, state, and federal funds available.
“There is a lot of federal government help that's going through our cities as well as the county," said Laura Ferea, leader of SD Eviction Prevention Collaborative.
The group also hosts free seminars weekly where they offer advice to tenants facing eviction.
"I just want to let everybody know that there is, you know, there is hope,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza received both fundings from the program and legal aid, and now as an employee with the organization, she is using her personal experience to help others. Empowering her neighbors through education.