The eviction notice came at the worst time for Lela and Mustafa and their 11-month-old daughter.

Lela’s mother had died just a few months earlier from COVID-19, and they were both out of work. They didn’t have the money to pay rent or hire a lawyer. Desperate, they contacted NH Legal Assistance three days before they were to be locked out of their apartment.

“We were so scared. We were so confused,” said Mustafa, who, like his wife is a      New American from Sudan. “We have no other family here and nowhere else to go. “

The couple didn’t know the CDC had banned evictions to protect families from moving into shelters during the pandemic. But their legal aid lawyer did and fought in court to stop the eviction. “I felt like crying,” said Mustafa. “NHLA kept us from being homeless.”