When a Woman Has to Choose Between Paying For Her Son’s Medical Care or Rent, ICLC Steps in to Help

When Joanne Kroger’s 19-year-old son, John, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, she searched for the best medical care possible. “I’d risk anything for him to be well” she said. Despite being disabled by her own severe arthritis and having very little income, Ms. Kroger arranged for John to be seen at the UCLA Medical Center, where the tumor was successfully removed. But the tumor had impacted John’s ability to walk and he needed daily physical therapy. The doctors also prescribed a special diet for Larry and radiation to prevent the tumor from recurring. While Medi-Cal paid for John’s therapy, it did not pay for his special diet or the daily taxi fare to and from UCLA.

Over time, John improved, but the added costs simply overwhelmed Ms. Kroger. With just $1690 a month in income, Ms. Kroger fell behind on her rent. She and her son live in a subsidized Section 8 apartment. If they were evicted, they would likely end up homeless. Ms. Kroger worked hard to catch up on the rent, but for her landlord, it wasn’t enough. The landlord served her with a three-day notice to pay the remaining amount that she owed or be evicted.

Ms. Kroger had no friends or family to turn to for help, but she did have at dedicated team at ICLC that had her back. Our Homelessness Prevention Program paid the balance of her unpaid rent. In addition, we connected Ms. Kroger to ACCESS, which provides no-cost transportation services to people with disabilities. Now Ms. Kroger and John travel to and from UCLA for appointments at no cost. We are happy to report that John’s cancer is in remission and with the resources provided by ICLC, both Ms. Kroger and her son are healthy and in their home.