The growing rent crisis in South Florida rears its ugly head with a family who has a loved one with special needs reaching out for help.
Yolanda Rosado’s call for assistance made its way to NBC 6 after she was forced to move from the home where her family lived for years, but this spring, the skyrocketing prices left her and her son in a desperate situation.
When Rosado isn’t at work, what she lives for is the time with her son Joey, who’s now in his 20s.
“He has had cerebral palsy since he was 2," she said. "He has seizures every day. He needs a special hospital bed. He needs a wheelchair. He needs a lift because he’s heavy.”
Rosado gets help from the nurses who stay with Joey when she’s away, but it all went downhill several weeks ago when the home where they’ve been renting for seven years was sold and she had to look for another place.
“I had to leave, so I’m looking everywhere and the prices are ridiculous. I tried and tried and to no avail,” Rosado said.
A friend took them in, but quickly told them they had to go, making matters worse.
“Out of nowhere, she was like, you gotta leave," Rosado said. "At that time, I had my son’s wheelchair, lift and bed there. The next thing you know, we are leaving at 2 a.m., so I had no way of bringing his stuff with me."
Rosado showed images of Joey on the floor at a hotel without his special bed or a way to get around.
“It's like, wow, I have nowhere to go. I’m like the breadwinner — the one that’s taking care of my son, and with him, it’s even harder for me to go anywhere, to stay anywhere," Rosado said, "So, the raise of the rent is just too much. It’s just too much. Everyone cannot afford that — especially me, and I’ve tried."
Rosado contacted BSO Community Service Aid Judy Smith.
“I got a phone call from Yolanda,” Smith said. “It broke my heart because she told me that Joey was sleeping on the floor."
Smith contacted NBC 6's Willard Shepard about Rosado's situation, who then contacted Broward Commissioner Steve Geller’s aid Bina Fink.
Within a short time, Joey got his new wheelchair and a new lift with help from BSO, Florida State Senator Lauren Book, and philanthropist Jackie Patoka.
“Thank the Lord,” Rosado said. “Tremendous help. I can lift him up. Now we can put him in the chair. Now I can walk him around, even take him to the beach. which is amazing.”
“I am relieved because we do have help for them in place," Smith said. "However, we have not secured a home adequate for them yet.”
The Rosado family still has a ways to go in getting all this resolved, especially because of the special circumstances.
Rosado told NBC 6 that the owner of one housing unit said they would take them, but it is much more expensive. Pakota will help them for a while with the higher rent, but Joey still needs a new hospital bed. Click here to see how you can help assist the Rosado family.