Disabled Woman Facing Eviction for Sharing Christian Message

Photo credit: Joe Kovacs

This article originally appeared on WND.com

Guest by post by Bob Unruh

‘Egregiously retaliating against her for the exercise of her rights’

A disabled woman living in a senior center now is facing eviction – as the housing-unit operator “retaliates” against her for her decision to share Gospel tracts with others in the facility in a common area where information about opportunities and events routinely is available.

It is the American Center for Law and Justice that confirmed it is “taking action,” specifically sending demand letters, to protect the elderly Christian woman.

The woman had been forbidden from placing Bible tracts on a community table because building managers insisted they wanted to be “inclusive.”

The landlord, Lindy Property Management Co. in Philadelphia now is “egregiously retaliating against our client for the exercise of her rights.”

The ACLJ explained it previously sent a letter to Lindy when the woman was ordered to stop sharing tracts with information about her Christian faith.

The legal team said it sought from the management company assurances that “her religious liberty rights be protected and that she be allowed to exercise the privileges that every member of the housing complex has and not be singled out for her religious faith.”

The ACLJ explained, “In every other circumstance where we have been helping other residents of senior living facilities, the facility has responded by acknowledging our clients’ rights and agreeing to change its conduct. At first, we thought that would occur here. Soon after sending our demand letter, we received a call on Monday, June 3, from Lindy’s lawyer saying that our client could exercise her rights again and freely share her tracts.”

But the next day, the client, Jocelyn Harris, was ordered evicted.

She, the legal team explained, “has severe medical disabilities; she is legally blind, rides a mobility scooter, and is on regular dialysis for kidney treatments. She also receives Section 8 housing assistance.”

Her tracts “communicate her religious faith and invite people to visit her church. This common area consists of a community table where pamphlets, flyers, business cards, and other personal materials are regularly available for people to share. Sharing these Bible tracts is an important part of her faith, particularly as many of her fellow residents have no way to attend church and have expressed [gratitude] to her for sharing these Bible tracts with them,” the report said.

Lindy gave her 30 days before eviction, which would be a huge task because of her various restrictions and requirements.

Involved is a “supposed debt” for late charges.

“In circumstances like Jocelyn’s – where she faces severe health challenges – such an eviction poses insurmountable difficulties and challenges. In addition, because of our client’s situation and the benefits she receives, her payments are set up to be automatically received by the housing complex from her debit card account, so her rent payments should all be processed on time by the complex itself. Some of the debt Lindy is seeking is for months where our client’s rent was paid in full, but apparently, the housing complex has drummed up a years-old late fee (if it even existed at all), further evidencing an intent to retaliate,” the ACLJ noted.

The ACLJ noted that provisions of the Fair Housing Act actually are on the resident’s side, with its prohibition on discrimination and more.

“Here, Lindy initiated an eviction against our client only five days after receiving our legal request on her behalf. This demonstrates the retaliatory nature of its conduct. Moreover, Lindy has displayed open and explicit religious hostility to our client, calling her tracts ‘garbage’ and otherwise exhibiting explicit hostility toward her for her religious faith,” the report said.

The result is another demand letter, insisting that the eviction be suspended.

Copyright 2024 WND News Center

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Thanks for sharing!