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Easing impact of evictions

Pima Constables hire social worker
Posted at 6:57 PM, Jan 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-04 20:57:14-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Pima County Constables have some new abilities in their office to help tenants cope with evictions or try to prevent evictions in the first place. Now when someone from the Constable's office knocks on the door it may be a social worker.

Evictions can have more behind them than just failing to pay the rent. Drug abuse or mental health issues can put a tenant on a path to eviction and homelessness.

It’s up to Pima County Constables to enforce those eviction orders but now they have a social worker on staff to connect displaced tenants with help.

Nahrin Jabro is a trained social worker, experienced with mental health issues. Years as a staffer with the late Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias give her a strong command of community resources for a tenant in trouble.

She says, “Perhaps they can get on some kind of payment plan, they can maybe receive some rental assistance when that becomes available. Or we might need to find out an alternative plan and see where they can go to their family and their shelter. Do we need to put them in a hotel temporarily.?”

Presiding Constable Kristen Randall says Jabro may also keep in touch with landlords to try to head off trouble before it leads to eviction.

“We really need buy in from the property managers too because what I really hope is that Nahrin is going to be that point of contact, not just for the tenants but for the landlords as well so that if they think that there's an issue, or they have a tenant that needs rental assistance or is in mental health crisis they could reach out to her and kind of bring her in.”

Constable Randall says plans for a social worker were considered about a year ago but the pandemic put plans on hold. Now the office has been able to hire one when the pandemic makes her skills even more helpful.