Dr. Matthew Desmond Discusses Eviction Crisis May 13 in Chester County as Eviction Moratorium Ends

David Bjorkgren
Invitation to May 13 talk on the impending eviction crisi

The ongoing pandemic has left thousands of individuals and families without the means to afford rent and utilities. 

A CDC moratorium prohibiting evictions kept these tenants from being put out on the street.

That moratorium is expiring at the end of June, leaving an estimated 230,000 Pennsylvanians at risk for eviction, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Residents of Chester County will feel the impact as elsewhere. 

To find ways to cope with this impending crisis, Friends Association has invited Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dr. Matthew Desmond to lead a virtual discussion May 13, 7 to 8 p.m.

This is a free event open to the public.  Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Dr. Desmond is the author of “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City”.

A MacArthur “Genius,” Dr. Desmond’s bestseller draws on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data to transform our understanding of inequity and economic exploitation in America.

 In addition to winning a Pulitzer Prize, “Evicted” won the National Books Critics Circle Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal, the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award, the Heartland Prize, and more.

It was named one of the Best Books of 2016 by nearly three dozen outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and The Wall Street Journal.

“It is hard to argue that housing is not a fundamental human need. Decent, affordable housing should be a basic right for everybody in this country. The reason is simple: without stable shelter, everything else falls apart.” Dr. Desmond states.

Evictions were once rare, even in the most desolate areas. But today, poor renting families spend half their income on housing and eviction has become more common place.

That’s especially true for single mothers.

Dr. Desmond provides a vivid, intimate ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today.

Families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods demonstrate the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

For nearly 200 years, Friends Association has worked to protect children and keep families together during times of crisis.

Friends Association provides emergency shelter and programs to prevent homelessness for families with children in Chester County.

When families experience eviction, it often leads to familial separation, chronic stress and long-term traumatic repercussions for parents, children, and ultimately entire communities. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Friends began Chester County’s first Eviction Prevention Court (EPC) Program on Sept. 1, 2020. 

Now in three county District Courts, the program has successfully assisted almost 100 households avoid eviction while assisting landlords to recuperate back rent.

The program’s partnership with the County, United Way, and the court system has proven the results that can be achieved through innovative community-based solutions.  

For more information about this event, registration details, or for sponsorship opportunities, visit www.friendsassoc.org/evicted.