AMES, Iowa — At the end of January, the nationwide moratorium on evictions will end, leaving many without a home; however, the Ames Romero House, a Catholic Worker House in Ames, is lending a helping hand to men impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In late 2020, Iowa State University graduate Matt Mitchell purchased the house. He had no idea that he would use his home to help others in need.
“Two years ago, I thought that I was going to be somewhere else. I thought somewhere on one of the coasts, some big affluent job, but there’s a need here,” said Mitchell, the Ames Romero House homeowner.
Since opening its doors, Mitchell has seen an increase in applications from people asking for help.
“I became jobless because of COVID 19,” said James Kell, a resident.
Last year, the City of Ames helped more than 90 families avoid eviction. The City of Ames’ housing coordinator said if you face eviction, seek help from nonprofits and communicate with your landlord.
“Contact your landlord immediately. Let them know what’s happening. It’s impacting your ability to pay your rent and then start calling agencies for help and getting your applications in,” said Vanessa Baker-Latimer, City of Ames’ housing coordinator.
In the meantime, Mitchell is happy to be a resource for the community.
“I think it’s important to realize that people take care of people, not governments,” Mitchell said.