Sharina Doyle and Jeremiah Aviles are moving again, living out of suitcases with the bulk of their belongings in storage.
“We are technically homeless,” Doyle said.
We first told you about them last month, when the city ordered them out of their Sunset Park, Brooklyn apartment because of unsafe conditions.
We checked in on them again a few weeks later, when the Red Cross put them up at a Williamsburg hotel.
Now, they have landed at the bottom rung of the housing ladder. The city is placing them in an extended stay hotel in Gramercy Park, which is now essentially a city shelter.
“It’s tiny. It’s dark," explained Jeremiah Aviles after checking in. "Very far cry from our home, where we were vacated from.”
That was in an attic apartment, with water leaks and mold. They complained to the city that their landlord wouldn’t fix. Inspectors arrived and found their landlord was leasing them a makeshift illegal apartment. There was no fire escape.
“We do believe the city made the wrong decision in vacating these tenants during a global health pandemic," their lawyer, Jack Underwood, said. The staff attorney with Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A says the couple could have been safer in the apartment they lived in for years, rather than the Red Cross-provided hotel, where the windows were screwed shut.
“In the event there’s a fire in our hotel at our door, how do we get out of our room?” asked Doyle.
They now worry about the city-provided emergency shelter in Manhattan.
“In just the five minutes it took to check-in, a gentlemen checked in without a mask,” said Doyle.
What’s scarier, they say, is the bathroom situation.
"The bathroom is a communal bathroom," Aviles said.
They’re worried about their safety sharing facilities with an entire floor during the pandemic.
“Ostensibly, all this is being done for our good,” Aviles sad. “We feel manipulated by the city.”
The city says a fire in their old apartment could have been disastrous. Like others, though, they lost their jobs in the pandemic. Relocation expenses have them piling up debt and unable to save for a new place. At this point, they see no way back to a place of independence and stability.