Houston Family Receives More Than $60,000 in Donations After Their Eviction Was Filmed
The law enforcement officers who evicted the family set up a GoFundMe that has garnered hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations.
Last week, Israel Rodriguez, his girlfriend, and two children were evicted from their Houston apartment after they fell behind in rent when Rodriguez lost his job amid the coronavirus pandemic. But just days after the eviction, which had movers in tears, the officers who enforced the eviction set up a GoFundMe to help Rodriguez and other Houston families get back on their feet.
"It's unbelievable how people got such a great heart," Rodriguez said in a news conference with the Harris County Constable's Office, which served the eviction notice. "People didn't have to help me. But people did it because of their heart." The funds will not only help Rodriguez support his children, who'd been staying in a hotel after the eviction, but will also help him and his girlfriend buy new clothes (he'd told CNN they barely have any).
Two GoFundMe accounts were created to help the family. One account was organized by former Houston teacher Patrick Tarnowski; that one raised more than $60,000 to help the Rodriguez family. The other account, set up by the Harris County Constable Precinct One Foundation, has received more than $230,000 in donations, which will go to multiple Houston-area families who've been evicted during the pandemic.
Deputy Bennie Gant of the Harris County Constable's Office served eviction notices to Rodriguez and seven other families in one day last week. In total, the county ordered 200 evictions last week, which is more than double what they would have done in a week before the pandemic began.