Hearth and home

Dec 18, 2002 at 12:00 am

Genetically predisposed to reject the feel-good stories that proliferate this time of year, the misanthropes here at News Hits nonetheless feel compelled to bestow some happy holiday news. It regards Anetta Foster, the 28-year-old single mother who was renting a rat-infested Detroit hovel lacking heat and running water. Featured in our piece about the city’s most notorious landlord, Joy Management (“This cold house,” Metro Times, Nov. 6-12), Foster’s story generated an outpouring of response from readers who wanted to provide assistance. They can all rest easy, because Foster and her children now reside in a warm, clean apartment with a working refrigerator and plumbing, thanks to Yvonne Johnson, her landlord-tenant counselor with United Community Housing Coalition.

“It’s got heat, the walls are clean, my kids love it, they’re not scared, they just play and play,” says Foster with an ear-to-ear grin. She moved in the day before Thanksgiving, and is now working the morning shift peeling potatoes near Eastern Market. She says she hopes to find a job that could turn into a career.

Foster says that after Metro Times published the story about Joy Management and its owner, Ernest Karr, she got word from the landlord that she wouldn’t get her $650 deposit and last month’s rent back.

Johnson took Foster, unemployed at the time, around to subsidized housing. Ironically, Foster found that she had been approved to live at Martin Luther King Townhouse Apartments at Lafayette and Chene after applying last year, but management had been unable to locate her.

“It was by the grace of God,” says Johnson, who notes it’s nearly impossible to get into subsidized housing in Detroit because the waiting list is 9,000 names long.

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