We are calling on the community and our broader networks to help a local worker out in their time of need. Melanie is a hard-working single mom of two. They have become homeless due to a negligent slumlord making their dwelling unsafe and refusing to fix it. She breaks her back everyday working at the Golden Corral as she provides high quality service to our community members. She takes pride in her work and does the best she can like so many of us just trying to get by while supporting our families.
It is an unfortunate reality here in the New River Valley that even when we bust our humps it still doesn’t provide what we need to live decent lives as workers. Melanie has been doing everything in her power to make sure her kids can have a better life. Day after day she makes huge sacrifices for them because that is what we do for those we love. And it is because of her love for her children that she now faces homelessness through no fault of her own.
Melanie has had to live at 9 Phlegar St owned by her absentee slumlord Stefan Cametas, who lives in Richmond, Virginia. Apparently Stefan is too concerned with his multi-million dollar real estate development projects to be bothered with the illegal living conditions he has forced upon his tenants, like Melanie. And we can’t count on the courts to resolve the issue either, as Melanie has been paying her rent into escrow for the last 4 months with no hearing scheduled over the black mold and giant hole in her ceiling!
Melanie has called Stefan pleading that he fix this issue. Her son has asthma and is more susceptible to the health risks associated with mold exposure. Stefan has assured Melanie he will give her rent back and do the right thing, but these words don’t provide safe housing for her and her children.
They can’t take living in this condition any longer, she has be trying so hard to find another home on top of working a full time job and raising her kids. She has reached out to every other agency and organization asking for help and they all tell her they are sorry, but there’s nothing they can do. New River Tenants Union is committed to the principle of solidarity with our coworkers and we refuse to accept this and demand Stefan Cametas live up to his word and do right by Melanie and her family. We won’t stop until she gets her rent money back and has safe housing!
Please Help Melanie and her kids today by contributing to their fund for housing as she works to find a safe place for them to live. We will provide more updates on this case as we work with Melanie to get some stability and justice.