TEMPE, AZ — Kassandra Rancour, like many, is gasping for air while unemployed.
“I’ve been so stressed out just trying to feed my son, it just doesn’t even seem real," she said. "All of this just seems like a joke.”
Rancour packed up and moved to Arizona from Oregon just three months ago, with her 6-year-old son Tyler.
The two moved into a unit at Parkside Apartments off Priest Drive and Broadway Road in Tempe in March. Just days later, Rancour lost her job as a bartender, after her employer shut down due to the spread of COVID-19.
“Towards the end of the month I was doing everything I could, borrowing money from a local church, going to food banks," added Rancour.
Then, she got hit with a summons to appear in court by her property management company, Shelton Residential.
“I don’t understand how they could do this. I thought that our government is supposed to protect us during this time."
Just days after Rancour lost her job, she watched Governor Doug Ducey announce an executive order delaying evictions for renters affected by COVID-19.
“This ensures that no one who is suffering the impact of COVID-19 is going to be put out of their house because of their inability to pay their rent," said Ducey on March 25.
Rancour says she's spent hours on the phone trying to get financial help that was also promised to Arizonans, including a federal stimulus check and unemployment, all while trying to provide evidence and paperwork to prevent her for being evicted under the governor's orders.
According to the protections, Arizonans who have suffered a substantial loss of income resulting from COVID-19, including those who’ve lost their jobs, lost wages, place of employment was closed, or have to care for a school age child who’s home-bound would qualify for relief, as long as they provide supporting documentation to prove their circumstances.
However, landlords can move forward with court proceedings, and summon tenants to court for a judge to determine if their circumstances meet the criteria.
“I work very hard. I am proud to take care of my family. This is not OK,” added Rancour.
Rancour says she’s thankful for a Valley church, who’s not only helped provide her and her son with food during their struggle, but also helped get her enough money to pay one month of rent to avoid eviction.
Rancour was later notified that her court hearing was canceled, but the process could be re-started in June if she’s unable to pay.
“I don’t see any leeway here,” she said. “If we don’t open up then what are people like me supposed to do? People with families. Go on the street with your child?”
“I want to work, I don’t even want the stimulus, I want to work but at this time I have no option. So, if they’re going to take our job from us then maybe they should actually go forth with taking care of the people that need the help.“
ABC15 reached out to Shelton Residential, but the company has yet to return our call for comment.