Juanita Velazquez-Amador had run out of time. She, her elderly mother, and two teenaged children were evicted from their apartment at the beginning of May.

Velazquez-Amador had been going back-and-forth for months with her previous landlord, over conditions in the family's apartment. Then, they were kicked out.

"It can destroy a family," Velazquez-Amador said.

It challenged her family, but she would not let it destroy it.

Speaking in the spacious, still-unfurnished living room of her family's new home in West Hurley, Velazquez-Amador told Spectrum News how dark her situation had become before a massive community campaign to help.

Just after the eviction, she split from her husband of 25 years.

She was left to figure out how to pay rent at a new home with income from her job, and social security payments that go to her and her mother. It was not enough.

Searching for public assistance she was eligible for was also a struggle.

"I was homeless for two days," Velazquez-Amador said. "Trying to go from agency to agency, I see why a lot of homeless people give up."

Once a handful of community activists learned how dire the circumstances were for the family, they mobilized.

Most of the group's members are renters who stick up for housing insecure residents in the Kingston area. This time, they stuck up for Velazquez-Amador.

Velazquez-Amador is a fair-housing activist herself with the Kingston Tenants Union.

Activists helped find the three-bedroom rental home, and started a community fund to help pay the deposit and first month's rent.

Velazquez-Amador said the landlord even cut the first month's rent of $2,000 in half in exchange for Velazquez-Amador taking care of some of the cleaning.

She said she will pay the kindness forward.

"That's what we're supposed to be doing is be a community. That's what the KTU is about, to be a community and get together," Velazquez-Amador said. "They helped me and now it's my turn to help more others."

Velazquez-Amador said she is about to start a six-month program through RUPCO for housing-insecure, single-parent families, for which she now qualifies.

Through the Emergency Solutions Grant Program, a case manager helps a family put together a sustainable budget and — if needed — is a go-between for tenant-landlord communication.

Velazquez-Amador said she is going to spread news about the program to other families like hers through her activism with the KTU.