An apartment manager who sent a callous eviction notice to a single mum struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic has been disciplined.
Sonja Lee lost her job at the start of the pandemic, and after working for a company for a month without getting paid in what she alleges was a scam, she fell behind on her bills.
Last Monday, the Houston mum-of-two said she found a confronting eviction letter from the apartment manager taped to her door, featuring a waving smiling emoji.
“Guess who's moving? You!!!” it said, according to ABC 13.
“Pay your outstanding balance, or release your apartment and turn in your keys to the leasing office by 6:00 p.m. today. Eviction will be filed promptly Tuesday morning, 8/18/2020.”
Ms Lee said she did not find the note amusing at all.
“So y'all think it's funny to antagonise the person that's going through financial hardship with putting an emoji stating, ‘Guess who's moving today?’” she told ABC 13.
“There was nothing funny about that.”
She told the local station she lost her job in March and applied for unemployment benefits only to be denied five times.
She scraped by to pay her rent through May, before falling behind on her bills in June and July.
Ms Lee said she had been applying for jobs and was in contact with the manager regarding her situation.
“I was overwhelmed because, to be honest, I felt like I was in a big hole and I couldn't get out of it because I was set back so much," she told People.
"So it's like, I'm a single mother with two boys. I do the best that I can and am a very hard-working woman."
Ms Lee is living in an apartment owned by Karya Property Management, which is based in Houston.
Karya Property Management provided ABC13 with a statement, saying the manager who issued the note had been disciplined.
An email was sent company-wide reminding managers only flyers approved by the company may be sent out and the founder confirmed Ms Lee was not subject to eviction.
To help her family of three during this period of financial hardship, Ms Lee started a GoFundMe, which has already surpassed the target of $3,380 and raised over $37,000.
“With these donations I plan on putting my boys in a house something they never had, their own rooms, a solid foundation stability and growth,” Ms Lee wrote on the GoFundMe.
“I also don’t have to worry about my babies saying they are hungry or what are we gonna eat.
“These are things a child should never have to worry or ask about.”
Ms Lee has since gotten a new job and starts on August 24, according to People.
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