Rosalie Hansen was identified incorrectly yesterday. She is an employe of the Greater Southeast Community Center for the Aging.
The ripple effects of the recession mean that Martha LaBille, 81, must move out of her home of 15 years and find a new place for herself, her disabled boarder and her four aged dogs.
Her landlord, a retired D.C. policeman, did not want to sell the row house she rents on 13th Street SE. But he has to settle some estate taxes, and the depressed real estate market has forced him to sell more properties than he wanted to. "I would have rather kept that house," said the landlord, who requested his name not be used.
With a monthly income of $319 from Social Security, $62 in food stamps and $100 from her boarder, LaBille, a widow, has been unable to find an apartment. Her dogs, all rescued from the pound, make her search more difficult.
"I'd stand in the street before I'd give up my dogs," she says. "The oldest one saved me from being raped one night. I'd live in a back alley first."
Her understanding landlord has extended the Feb. 1 deadline for her to move out, but prospective buyers are touring the house and time is running out fast.
Rosalie Hansen, of the D.C. Office on Aging, is trying to help LaBille, but the prospects aren't bright. There currently are 8,600 people on the waiting list for senior citizen and public housing in the District, according to D.C. figures.
"None of us know where she can live," says Hansen, who has spent many hours looking for a place for LaBille.