TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Lillian Booker, a Tucson single mom of four, lost her job in the Spring.
"When COVID hit, I lost my hours. Plus, my kids were doing home school. They lost their ability to go to school, so I stayed home," said Booker.
Soon, Booker would no longer be able to pay for their home. She applied for unemployment and the family lived in a motel for four months.
"The struggle was real, but I saw a flier and I reached out to them. They got back to me with open arms," said Booker.
That flier brought Booker to the Pio Decimo Center. Their staff is helping families, who have faced hardship due to COVID-19, pay for rent and utilities this Winter.
"During the pandemic, the demand for rental assistance picked up," said Pio Decimo Center Housing Counselor, Marcos Crespo.
The center has assisted 72 families through a $220,000 grant from the Arizona Department of Economic Security.
"It's definitely hard to hear everybody's stories. It's really difficult, but we try to assist and help as best as we can," said Crespo.
The Booker family found a home just in time for the holidays. They moved into an apartment and their mom landed a new job.
"I couldn't have asked for nothing else this Christmas. They really helped me and my children. That's a blessing," said Booker.
The Pio Decimo Center plans to continue their rent and utility assistance program through March 31, 2021 or until funds run out.